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How did the Budget measure up to our fears?

By Emily Morris - 13 May 2014 57

2014-budget

At the end of April many of you shared your thoughts on the upcoming budget – what you feared and predictions of what might take place.

Tonight Joe Hockey handed down his first budget.  It was expected to be harsh and speculation had been rife for weeks.  In some ways, having something set in stone to end that speculation was almost a relief.  Almost.

The main factors that had come up as concerns for you guys were:

  • Middle Class Welfare
  • Deficit Levy – hopes that it would be applied to companies and trusts
  • Politician entitelments
  • Inclusion of family homes > $500k in pension calculations
  • Paid Parental Leave (PPL)

For all the ‘sound-bites’ taking place tonight, the ones that stick are ‘we are a nation of lifters, not movers’ and that it is a ‘contribute and build’ process.  I can just imagine a team of people locked in a room for hours on end until they came up with the slogans for the budget.

They predict $36bn savings in 4 years.  The pragmatist (and I must confess economic gumby) in me can’t help but go back to the household income or small business mentality of keeping things in the black, although I can appreciate that the investment needs are much bigger, and indeed more complicated than that.  In part, although I found Tony’s face a bit smug for my liking given the scolding being handed out – there were parts I agreed with.

I am in no way an economic expert – far from it, but here I inscribe my thoughts in the stone that is RiotACT.

The ‘earn or learn’ theory to me is OK – I’m on board with the idea that young people should be either working or in education.  The bit that doesn’t sit well is the 6 month wait on Newstart for unemployed under 30 (kicking in and out in 6 month cycles until they find a job or turn 30).  I think it makes a fairly dated assumption that those studying (or under 30) are at home and fully supported by mum and dad.  I know a lot of students supporting themselves through their educations and plenty of people under 30 with no dependence on their folks (many of whom wouldn’t have the means to support them if they were) .  What happens to those who don’t have ‘the bank of mum and dad’ to fall back on?

The medical research fund was a surprise.  I am relieved that in some way we are attempting to stay cutting edge as a Nation.  The $7 co-payment that will fund this generally sits OK with me, but there is such a big ‘gap’ for GP visits, an extra $7 doesn’t seem overwhelming.  I would worry if it stops people seeing a GP who really need it – particularly children.  I feel the same about the extra $5 for prescriptions.  All well and good but what happens when someone can’t afford medicines for their kids?

Cutting the Carbon and Mining taxes.  As much as I’m lax to open the debate on this again, the carbon tax seemed to be bedding in – I wonder if it was more a ‘point making’ exercise than one that has real impact versus the cost and I tend to think the miners should pay a pretty nice slice of their toils back into the pocket of our fair country.

Fuel excise to rise in line with inflation – I remember the days of paying 60c a litre. Enough said.

Family Tax Benefits – There is always a population who is going to be really hurt by this, but I know plenty of families who are receiving tax benefits that are a bonus rather than something they really need to get by.  I do fear that along with cutting the benefit to those who don’t necessarily need it, it will really hurt those who do.

Gonski is gone-ski…  How are we going to thrive as a Nation without world class educations for our kids?  I think this is short-sighted.

PPL is in there and will include superannuation.  The $ terms are set as minimum wage (as a minimum) for 6 months.  I can’t find a cap on it, but generally think it should be minimum wage with a company having the option to ‘top it up’ as part of their remuneration package.

Hospitals able to charge for ER visits that only required a GP.  I am on board with this as long as it can be linked to the Healthcare line.  Many times I have called the healthline to be told to take them to emergency, when actually it was maybe something that could have been GP solved.  Without medical training, especially with kids – it can be a hard call to make.

There’s my 10c in any case.

The ABC is running a handy little ‘winners and losers’ page for those like me who have a bit of a challenge wading through the more analytical reports.

How do you see it?

What’s Your opinion?


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57 Responses to
How did the Budget measure up to our fears?
1
wildturkeycanoe 6:31 am
14 May 14
#

Well, I fared pretty poorly and will be around $60/week worse off. That doesn’t include any increase in petrol prices or doctor’s visits. That is roughly a 6% cut to our total income, not much for most people but it has halved our “budgeted” grocery money from $120 to $60 per week. Not much to live on for a family of five. I guess we are putting the house on the market and looking for a cheap rental, if there are any out there. No, I am not kidding either. Without a job and with even worse prospect of finding one after this budget, we are going to have to sell up in the near future. It’s a soul-crushing thought.

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2
Az 9:26 am
14 May 14
#

Budget winner. Buy a house when the market crashes and ramp up selling services to govt now they’re planning to get rid of all the public servants in my industry.

It’s a bit like interest rates – you never see the headline, “Rates increase, elderly cheer.”

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3
Maya123 9:35 am
14 May 14
#

wildturkeycanoe said :

Well, I fared pretty poorly and will be around $60/week worse off. That doesn’t include any increase in petrol prices or doctor’s visits. That is roughly a 6% cut to our total income, not much for most people but it has halved our “budgeted” grocery money from $120 to $60 per week. Not much to live on for a family of five. I guess we are putting the house on the market and looking for a cheap rental, if there are any out there. No, I am not kidding either. Without a job and with even worse prospect of finding one after this budget, we are going to have to sell up in the near future. It’s a soul-crushing thought.

The sad thing is that if more people do sell their house there will be more competition for rental properties and this will drive the rent up. But with more houses on the market it will drive down what people can hope to get for their house when selling it.

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4
dtc 9:40 am
14 May 14
#

I’m pretty sure a job I dont want is telling people at Emergency that they will have to pay because its been diagnosed that they could have gone to a GP

GPs can stich people up, GPs can remove embedded glass and lots of things like that – where is the line?

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5
joingler 9:52 am
14 May 14
#

Overall there is no difference at all for me apart from not being able to retire until I am 70 which was unlikely to happen to me.

I don’t own a home, have no children, am in the second lowest tax bracket but am able to get by just fine financially as I have no debts. I don’t drive so not even petrol increase will affect me.

The budget wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be (although every government always makes it sounds worse prior to the day to prepare people for the worst). Most things in the budget I am supportive of. We need to be a country that does not rely on borrowing to give its citizens the best chance of a successful life.

Still undecided on the carbon tax though.

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6
HiddenDragon 10:08 am
14 May 14
#

Aside from the squeeze on federal public service spending in the ACT (with more of that likely to come due to the federalism and other reviews), the big issue for us, as a community, is the reduction in Commonwealth funding in the “out years” for health and education.

As I understand it, it’s a reduction in the rate of increase of such funding – with indexation still provided for inflation as measured by the CPI, and population growth – not a cut in nominal terms, but the shortfall compared to earlier funding projections will be large. The NSW and Victorian Treasurers were interviewed this morning, and both acknowledged this to be a major change, with big implications for State budgets. Given the ACT’s puny (not just proportionately smaller, but very shallow) revenue base, the problems for us will surely be that much greater, particularly against the relatively high cost of running our health and education systems. So unless there is extra revenue from an increased or broadened GST, future ACT Governments are going to have to face some highly unpalatable options about service cuts or further very large rates/taxes/charges increases.

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7
Roundhead89 10:30 am
14 May 14
#

A pity the old Daily Mirror isn’t still publishing with its classic “Beer, Cigs Up” banner headline the day after the Budget.

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8
VYBerlinaV8_is_back 10:31 am
14 May 14
#

I came out fine, and feel almost a bit guilty. I feel for families with kids where one parent stays home.

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9
Tenpoints 11:19 am
14 May 14
#

Not keen on:
Cuts to environmental conservation initiatives.
Scrapping of the Gonski scheme.
Reducing medicare rebates. Dental should be COVERED under medicare. People need fillings almost as much as they get the cold and flu.

6 months on/ 6 months off unemployment benefits. Why not just make it 50% for the whole 12 months? How can anyone survive for half a year without an income? Sometimes it takes that long to get a job, especially with youth unemployment so high.

Ah well, end of the day, this is a drop in the pool. Future predictions:
Overpopulation
Increased pollution.
Increased refugees.
More natural disasters
Increased cost of living due to gradual scarcity of resources.
And all the socioeconomic flow-on effects that arise from more and more people not being able to earn a living.

Keep on floating in your bubble of self-centredness chaps :-).

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10
magiccar9 11:23 am
14 May 14
#

joingler said :

Overall there is no difference at all for me apart from not being able to retire until I am 70 which was unlikely to happen to me.

I don’t own a home, have no children, am in the second lowest tax bracket but am able to get by just fine financially as I have no debts. I don’t drive so not even petrol increase will affect me.

The budget wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be (although every government always makes it sounds worse prior to the day to prepare people for the worst). Most things in the budget I am supportive of. We need to be a country that does not rely on borrowing to give its citizens the best chance of a successful life.

Still undecided on the carbon tax though.

+1 (minus the car part – but let’s face it, petrol companies move their prices by double this week-to-week anyway)

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11
magiccar9 11:30 am
14 May 14
#

Tenpoints said :

Reducing medicare rebates. Dental should be COVERED under medicare. People need fillings almost as much as they get the cold and flu.

Two things…

1. You don’t need to be going to the doctor for a cold. Only mild-severe flu needs attendance to the doctor – in which you should be paying for yourself anyway.

2. Why should tax payers be funding your trip to the dentist for fillings? It’s your responsibility to ensure you look after you teeth. Maybe if people weren’t such high consumers of everything sugar based we wouldn’t “need” so many (if any) fillings.

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12
Tenpoints 12:51 pm
14 May 14
#

magiccar9 said :

That seems fair. I’ll withdraw that comment.

Actually those are my words, oops.

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13
Mothy 1:02 pm
14 May 14
#

magiccar9 said :

1. You don’t need to be going to the doctor for a cold. Only mild-severe flu needs attendance to the doctor – in which you should be paying for yourself anyway.

Yes, you don’t need to from a health perspective, but you still HAVE TO to get the doctors certificate to satisfy your employer.

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14
Codders111 1:04 pm
14 May 14
#

I came out fine as well, but that’s hardly the point. These sorts of infantile, self-centred outlooks are precisely why we ended up with a conservative nutcase as PM. There’s a lot in the budget I’m uncomfortable with, but the changes to newstart are the worst. Finding a job takes time. What are recent graduates or young workers who were laid off supposed to do while they search for work? Sleep on the street and rummage through dumpsters for food??? Not everyone has family to mooch off. I’m ashamed to live in a country that thinks this is fair.

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15
qbngeek 1:26 pm
14 May 14
#

Mothy said :

magiccar9 said :

1. You don’t need to be going to the doctor for a cold. Only mild-severe flu needs attendance to the doctor – in which you should be paying for yourself anyway.

Yes, you don’t need to from a health perspective, but you still HAVE TO to get the doctors certificate to satisfy your employer.

I was thinking the same thing….ohh well looks like I will just go to work sick as I can barely afford the current $75 to go to the doctors and at the rate prices on everything currently go up (not counting that prices will now go up again because of this budget, especially the fuel excise), plus a new fee I definatly can’t afford to go in case my kids get sick and I need to take them. If it comes to a choice between take them to the doctor or go myself, they always win.

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