Still confused about the budget? Here we break it down in the simplest way possible. Who won. Who lost. And by how much.
The Government will provide $1 million for ballet students’ boarding accommodation. Yes. That’s in the budget papers. Although oddly, this was left out of the Treasurer’s speech on Friday night.
Working mothers (sort of)
While the paid parental scheme Tony Abbott and his Government took to the election won’t be rolled out in the form it was promised, a new Paid Parental Leave Scheme will still pay new mothers up to $50,000 while they stay at home with their newborns.
The Government has committed $20 billion to the Medical Research Future Fund. Money for the fund (up to $20 billion) will come from savings made through cuts to healthcare, including the controversial $7.00 GP co-payment.
Infrastructure and construction firms
The Government has allocated $11 billion in infrastructure spending. Some of these funds ($2.2 billion) are expected to be raised through the petrol fuel excise, all of which will be channelled into building roads.
Although the school chaplains program could be overturned in the High Court, the budget has allocated funding of $243.8 million over the next four years.
Schools will be able to apply for grants of $20,000 to help cover the cost of employing a school chaplain.
This is a controversial decision, and many believe religion has no place in secular schools. Mamamia reader Amara asks, “What about the separation of church and state?”
People who make fighting machines
Defence spending is going to rise to 2 per cent of GDP within a decade. The Government will also be bringing forward $1.5 billion in spending planned for 2017-18 to earlier years, and any efficiencies found in Defence costs will not be returned to the Government – instead, they will be reinvested back into Defence.
Small business will get a 1.5 per cent company tax cut, and won’t be required to pay a parental leave levy.
The mining sector
The mining sector will not have to face the increase in the diesel fuel excise, and the budget has outlines the abolition of the Minerals Resource Rent Tax.
Politicians (and top public servants) will face a one year pay freeze. This means that from July 1, MPs won’t get a 2.4 per cent pay increase. For the average backbencher, that means their salary won’t increase by about $3,900.
The cut-off for the Family Tax Benefit B has dropped from $150,000, to $100,000. The benefit will also be cut for families whose children are six-years-old and above, whereas previously it applied to families with children up to the age of 16, or 18 (if they were dependent secondary school students).
Single mother Danielle, a Mamamia reader, is studying education par time because she wants to be able to give back to the community. She’s worried about losing the Family Tax Benefit B, as her son’s father pays no child support. She says, “For me this budget will probably see me head back into full time work and force me to study at night, which is going to suck up any time for sleep, something I only manage to get 5 to 6 hours of a night at the moment.”
Another Mamamia reader, Gail, is also a single mother who receives no money from her son’s father. Last year she was treated for cancer, and is worried about ongoing doctor’s visits as well as losing the Family Tax Benefit B. “I do not receive huge payments from the government but the little I do get goes a long way for me,” Gail says. Both Danielle and Gail are worried about losing the benefit when their children turn six – not because they are high-income earners.
Families are also likely to be affected by the changes to other welfare supports, such as the age of eligibility for Newstart being raised from 22 to 25. Speaking of…