2019 NATSEM Budget Luncheon

  • Date: 4th Apr 2019
  • Time: 11:00 am
  • Location:

    Mural Hall, Parliament House

The 2019 Budget is set to be the most important one this decade, happening just before the Federal election. Already the coalition has pledged $3.5 Bn on climate change (carbon abatement) and both parties have talked about tax cuts. The rhetoric has certainly shifted from “budget repair” to an emphasis on spending. This is partly driven by stronger revenue, but also by the electoral cycle. How far will Budget 2019 be seen as an election sweetener budget? And what choices will be given to a jaded electorate immediately before the next election?

For the last 8 years, the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM) has used innovative modelling to show the impact of the tax/transfer system in the Commonwealth budget on Australian families. Most importantly in an election year, NATSEM will be showing the impact of the changes in the tax/transfer system by electorate.

This event will bring together NATSEM’s modelling, presented by Dr Jinjing Li, an expert in modelling the Australian tax and transfer system, with a number of commentators on the budget, including political leaders Senator the Hon. Matthew Canavan and Dr Andrew Leigh MP. The event will start with the result of NATSEM’s modelling at 11am, and will then move to discussion of the budget from 12:30 to 1:30, with an introduction to this discussion from 12:25.


Matthew James Canavan was elected to the Australian Senate representing the state of Queensland at the 2013 federal election for the term beginning 1 July 2014. In the First Turnbull Ministry, Matthew served as the Minister for Northern Australia between 18 February and 19 July 2016. With the reelection of the Turnbull Government in 2016, he was elevated into Cabinet becoming the Minister for Resources and Northern Australia between 19 July 2016 to 25 July 2017 and from 27 October 2017. Matthew was previously an executive at KPMG and an economist at the Productivity Commission.

Andrew Leigh is the Shadow Assistant Treasurer and Federal Member for Fenner in the ACT. Prior to being elected in 2010, Andrew was a professor of economics at the Australian National University. He holds a PhD in Public Policy from Harvard, having graduated from the University of Sydney with first class honours in Law and Arts. Andrew will discus the opposition’s response to the budget and provide insights into the implications of the latest budget for the economy and the broader societal impacts.

Jane Halton AO, PSM is former Secretary of the Australian Department of Finance. She was responsible for essential services delivered by Finance including supporting the delivery of the Australian Government Budget. Prior to her appointment as Secretary of the Department of Finance in July 2014, Jane was Secretary of the Department of Health from 2002 to 2014 and was Australia’s longest serving secretary. Jane was recently appointed to the Board of the ANZ Bank and was created an Officer of the Order of Australia in June 2015.

Michelle Grattan AO is recognised as one of Australia’s most influential political journalists, and is currently Chief Political Correspondent at The Conversation and a professorial fellow in IGPA at the University of Canberra.

Peter Martin is Business and Economy Editor of The Conversation and a visiting fellow at the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University. A former Commonwealth Treasury official and former economics editor of The Age, he has reported economics since 1985. With Dr Gigi Foster he presents The Economists on ABC Radio National. In 2016 he was made a Distinguished Alumni of Flinders University in recognition of his contribution to the community’s understanding of economics.


Jinjing Li is Associate Professor at NATSEM, and is an expert in datadriven policy simulation models that are used to evaluate the societal and economic impact of public policies. Jinjing leads a specialised team at NATSEM in modelling the Australian tax and transfer system. He has developed numerous policy simulation models for different government agencies, think tanks and international organisations worldwide, and presently serves as a board member of the International Microsimulation Association.

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