Federal Budget 2014-15 Update
On Tuesday 13 May 2014, the Commonwealth Treasurer, The Honourable Joe Hockey MP delivered Australia’s 2014 Federal Budget.
This year, the Budget announcement has garnered particular attention following a recent change of government and the recommendations of the National Commission of Audit.
In essence, the government ‘s strategy centres on expenditure savings in the areas of health services contribution, foreign aid, education, loan programs, family and other welfare benefits. Coupled with the reintroduction of fuel excise indexation and a personal tax increase.
All Australians to pay at least $7 for GP visits, blood tests and X-rays.
General patients to pay $5 more and concessional patients 80¢ more for prescription drugs.
Billions slashed from hospitals, which will be free to charge for emergency department
Foreign aid frozen at current levels for two years, helping save $7.6 billion over five years
International commitment to spend 0.5 per cent of gross national income on foreign aid abandoned
$400 million saved over four years by folding the former AusAID into the Foreign Affairs Department
Complete deregulation of university fees
Commonwealth funding extended to students at TAFEs, private colleges and sub-bachelor degrees at a cost of $820 million over three years
Labor’s ‘Gonski’ school funding commitments scrapped from 2017-18 with school funding indexed to inflation from 2018
School chaplaincy program continued at a cost of $243.5 million over five years
Age pension age to reach 70 by July 1, 2035
Pension means test thresholds to be frozen for 3 years
Tougher income test for self funded retirees to receive Commonwealth Seniors Health Card
Enforced six month waiting period for under-30s signing on for the dole. After first six months on dole they will again be cut off for a six month period
Tightened eligibility criteria for disability support pensioners under 35
New start recipients aged between 22 and 25 will be pushed back onto the lower-value Youth Allowance (other) payment
The government will reintroduce the twice annual indexation of fuel excise to the Consumer Price Index from August 1 this year.
High income earners levy
A 2% levy will apply to those earning income above $180,000. The impost is for three years only from 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2017 and means that those earning above $180,000 will pay the extra 2% levy on all income in excess of $180,000.
Business gains and losses
The Government remains committed to cutting the company tax rate by 1.5% from 1 July 2015. For large companies this will offset the cost of the Government’s Paid Parental Leave Levy. For the SMEs it will provide a boost to profits.
The Government has also reinforced its promise to repeal the Minerals Resource Rent Tax (MRRT) and Carbon Tax.
For more information please click on The Federal Budget Webpage