ANU experts react to the Federal Budget

3 April 2019

The Morrison Government handed down its Budget on Tuesday 2 April.

A number of ANU experts are available to comment on the Budget and its implications for Australia.

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ECONOMICS & TAX

Professor Robert Breunig

Director, Tax and Transfer Policy Institute

Crawford School of Public Policy

"The kind of proposals that are being suggested are not tax reform, they're tinkering with a system that's broken. We need to sit down and fix the system, but we have a kind of political paralysis around tax reform."

 

Associate Professor Paul Burke

Crawford School of Public Policy

"The $2 billion for the Climate Solutions Fund has now been budgeted to extend over 15 years instead of 10. This is not much money for what is the central pillar of the Government's climate policy.

"The budget balance would be in a better position if Australia had retained its former carbon price, instead of scrapping it and moving to a subsidy-based approach. Emissions would be lower, and we would be in a much better position to move forward with emissions reductions over coming years."

 

SOCIAL POLICY

Dr Liz Allen

Centre for Social Research and Methods

"There were many opportunities in this budget for a government serious about population policy to take earnest action, unfortunately this election Budget fell short of addressing the nation's demographic challenges."

"Despite touted permanent migration cuts, Budget assumptions see net overseas migration estimates increase when compared to the 2018 Budget. This affirms concerns Australia will increasingly rely on migrants as a temporary class of citizenry, shirking reciprocal responsibilities."

 

 Associate Professor Ben Phillips

Centre for Social Research & Methods

"There's obviously a nice little sugar hit on the tax side of things, however, I would argue that a lot of it is just overcoming bracket creep.

"Yes the cuts look impressive on paper, but I think by the time we get to say 2022, most households will probably be paying a pretty similar rate of tax."

 

POLITICS

Professor John Warhurst

School of Politics and International Relations

"It's all about the politics at this stage - this is the Government's last throw of the dice before the election. It's a question of how convincing last minute promises are."

 

HEALTH & SCIENCE

Dr Gaetan Burgio

The John Curtin School of Medical Research

"Budget 2019 is a mixed bag for science and technology.  Importantly, the Budget 2019 outlines a strong commitment from the government to medical research.

"However, no additional and in fact a slight decline in investment from the government was outlined in the Budget document to research agencies,  key for the development of new ideas translational in the long-term to beneficial outcomes for Australia.

"Overall, and in line with previous Budgets, the government's investment in science and technology and medical research provides a strong signal towards translational outcomes and research infrastructure. But it once again fails to further support blue-sky research, critical to fuel long-term research programs and innovation."