We take a look at how the 2014 Australian Federal Budget could affect you.
- Medicare co-payment – For most Australians this will mean the end to free GP visits with most having to pay an extra $7 on each visit to the doctor. This has been capped for pensioner and children at $70 per year
- Petrol excise – If you drive a motor vehicle then you will be paying more for petrol. The freeze on the petrol excise will be lifted and will now be increased every 6 months at the rate of inflation.
- Unemployment benefits – People under 30 will now have to wait six months for any benefits
- Newstart – Those unemployed under 25 will be paid Youth Allowance instead of Newstart
- University fees – These will most likely increase as the university fee structure is deregulated.
Older Australians / Pensioners
- Pension age – The pension age will rise to 70 by 2035 (this will not affect any Australians born before July 1, 1958)
- Payments – Pension payments will rise at a slower rate as they will be indexed to the consumer price index (rather than the average male wage)
- Assets and income tests – From 2017, the assets and income test thresholds will be frozen for three years
- Pensioner entitlements – Many pension entitlements will be reduced or abolished
- Older workers – Employers will gain financial incentives to employ those who are aged over 50.
- Job losses – 16,500 government jobs will go, including 4,700 employees from the ATO.
- Family Tax Benefit – The payments for this will remain at current levels until July, 2016
- Tax Benefit A – There will be an income threshold set at $94,316. Only families with four or more children will receive the benefit
- Tax Benefit B – From 2015, this benefit will cease when the youngest child turns six. The income test on this will also be lowered from $150,000 to $100,000 per household
- School Kids Bonus – This will be scrapped completely, meaning a loss of $410 or $820 per child, per year
- Paid Parental Leave – This has been greatly reduced from the original idea – being capped at $50,000 per annum – and will be introduced at the very earliest July, 2015.
- Exports – Companies will receive financial assistance to access export markets
- Grants – Grants will be available for manufacturers moving into “growth” areas
- Mining – Energy and resources sectors will be encouraged to explore for new mineral deposits
- Defence spending will increase two per cent (of GDP) per year within the next decade
- A new medical resource fund will be set up (in part paid by the Medicare co-payment)
- Infrastructure spending will increase by $50 billion. This will be earmarked for roads, rail, ports and airports over the next seven years.
How do you feel about this budget? Does it directly affect you or someone close to you?