news

Surprise winners in last night's budget: Ballerinas and small business.

Treasurer Joe Hockey discussing the budget last night on the ABC’s 7.30 Report.

Still confused about the budget? Here we break it down in the simplest way possible. Who won. Who lost. And by how much.

Winners

Ballerinas

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.

Medical research

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 committed $20 billion to the Medical Research Future Fund.

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.

School chaplains

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 businesses

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.

Losers

The cut-off for the Family Tax Benefit B from $150,000, to $100,000.

Politicians

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.

Families

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…

ADVERTISEMENT

The unemployed (particularly the young ones)

As well as the age of eligibility for Newstart being raised from 22 to 25, people under 30 who become unemployed will have to wait six months to become eligible for Newstart. They will then only be able to receive the benefit for six months, before it is cut for another six months.

People who have become suddenly unemployed better hope they have a couch to crash on. People under 30 who become unemployed, when they do receive Newstart will have to do 25 hours work for week for the dole, rather than engaging in education or training programs.

The $7.00 GP co-payment for GP visits will hurt low-income earners.

People who occasionally get sick

The $7.00 GP co-payment for GP visits (per patient) will particularly hurt low-income earners, and hospital funding agreements will be wound back from 2017 – saving $50 billion over eight years.

People with a disability

The criteria for receiving the disability pensions will be tightened, and disability pensioners under 35 will face particular tough criteria – with a focus on reintegrating these people into the workforce. Mamamia reader Amara is worried about how people will be effected, saying “[The government] keep pushing me and my community of severely disabled and vulnerable Australians into a corner where we feel like we have nowhere to go.”

Pensioners

The pension age will rise to 70 in 2035, the Government will cut support for state and territory seniors’ concessions, and Commonwealth Seniors Health Card holders will lose the Seniors supplement.

The Seniors Health Card will also be harder to qualify for. Pensioners are also likely to be hardest hit by the $7 co-payment for GP visits and the return to indexing the fuel excise – as low income earners are more likely to spend more of their money on petrol.

Schools

The Government will dump the Gonski school funding plan and save $30 billion, uncap university fees from 2016 enrolments (which mean universities can set their own costs for higher education), lower the threshold at which graduates need to start paying back their uni debt by 10 per cent, and charge an interest rate on FEE-HELP loans.

The ABC and SBS lose 1 per cent of annual funding over the next four years.

The ABC and SBS

Both will lose 1 per cent of annual funding over the next four years. The ABC has also lost the contract for Australia Network.

Other scientific research

Despite a huge increase to medical research, other areas of scientific endeavour didn’t fare so well. The CSIRO’s research budget has been slashed by $111 million, the Australian Institute of Marine Science by $7.8 million, and the Australian Nuclear and Science and Technology Organisation lost $28 million.

People who aren’t lucky enough to be born in Australia

The Government will cut $7.6 billion from the foreign aid budget over five years, a far greater number that originally expected.

High income earners

People who earn over $180,000 a year will face a deficit tax rise of two percentage points.

The Nation’s Capital

16,500 jobs will be cut from the public service, which may well lead to a recession in Canberra. That’s an increase on the government’s pre-election target, which initially suggested 12,000 jobs would be cut.

People who sometimes drive a car

Petrol will become more expensive due to the decision to index the petrol excise to inflation. This will particularly affect low-income earners.

The planet Earth

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency has been abolished, and investments in renewables cut. The government’s commitment to funding their direct action policy – the Emissions Reduction Fund – will spread $2.55 billion out over 10 years, rather than 4 years as previous promised. The government has promised $525 million to its Green Army, but cut $438 million from Landcare – an organisation who do a similar job.

Still want more?

Here’s the Federal Budget 2014: Everything you need to know in under 5 minutes.

And the Super helpful: Abbott Government’s election promises versus tonight’s budget.

What did you think of the budget announced last night? How will it affect you and your family?

00:00 / ???