Experts review the 2014 budget
Who really wins and loses in the 2014 budget? This time last
week, we woke up to a new plan for Australia. Since then, the
commentators have combed through budget papers, experts have analysed,
and spectators have spoken.
The verdict is in: this budget
didn't just break government's promises on health, education, public
broadcasting and pensions - it will also undermine universal healthcare,
accessible education and discourage equal opportunity. It's a bad news
budget for the vast majority of Australians - creating an unfair burden
on those who can least afford it, while giving a free pass to those who
Read on for a round-up of the best articles on what this budget will mean for you and your community.
This budget could devastate Indigenous Australians
Mick Gooda writes: from cuts to youth welfare to the new Medicare co-payment, the budget will have a profound impact on Indigenous Australians. Will the Federal Government speak to Aboriginal leaders before proceeding? Click here to read more.
This budget prioritises high income-earners
Ross Gittins writes: [Hockey] chose to focus on cutting three big classes of government spending: health, education, and income-support programs
(pensions, the dole and family tax benefits). Not by chance, these are
the programs of least importance to high income-earners. And while
slashing away at health, education and income support, he was also busy
abolishing the carbon tax, the mining tax paid largely by three huge
foreign mining companies, cutting the rate of company tax by 1.5
percentage points and exempting federal grants to private schools from
his education cuts. Click here to read more.
Student fee hike will force many women to pay more for education
Daniel Hurst writes: "Women who take time off work to have a baby face paying 30% more than their male counterparts
in interest on their university student loans, according to new
analysis of the Abbott government's higher education changes. The
proposed overhaul – which faces an uncertain fate in the Senate –
includes the removal of restrictions on the fees universities could
charge students, decreasing the public funding for each course by an
average of 20%, and increasing the interest charged via the Higher
Education Loan Program (Help)". Click here to read more.
This budget means students will pay more, and are more likely to accumulate huge debt
Matthew Knott and Heath Gilmore write: "University degrees will cost up to three times as much under a deregulated fee system, leaving graduates with $120,000-plus debts,
according to the architect of the HECS student loan scheme. Bruce
Chapman, regarded as one of Australia's leading education economists,
also warned that increasing the interest rate for student debts would
hit poor graduates and women the hardest. Click here to read more.
This budget goes hard on young Australians
Bridie Jabour writes: "People under 30 will receive Newstart and Youth
Allowance for only six months of the year which they will spend
undertaking 25 hours a week on Work for the Dole programs. The Abbott
government's first budget revealed job seekers applying for Newstart or
Youth Allowance, who have not been previously employed, will face a
six-month waiting period of no income support before they are eligible
for payments by undertaking 25 hours a week in the Work for the Dole
program." Click here to read more.
This budget puts our most vulnerable at risk
Lauren Wilson writes: "Almost a quarter of Australians on welfare are currently unable to afford medical treatment when needed
and a third are unable to buy medicines prescribed by a doctor. The
findings, contained in the Salvation Army's annual Economic and Social
Impact Study, to be released today, have raised fresh concerns about how
some of Australia's poorest families will cope when the federal
government's new $7 GP co-payment and changes to the pharmaceutical
benefits scheme come into effect on 1 July next year". Click here to read more.
Miki Perkins writes: "The Salvation Army has warned it expects a surge
in people searching for emergency relief if federal budget cuts to
welfare are passed, increasing the already significant number of
Australians living in entrenched and grinding poverty."
Click here to read more.
Join the campaign to protect Medicare from Abbott's Sick Tax
This budget puts greater restrictions on people with a disability
Tessa van der Riet writes: "Changing the requirements for those on the
disability support pension, as announced in the federal budget, is "completely ludicrous",
says disabilities advocate Stella Young.
"The reassessment of people on the disability support pension is always
going to be a problem," Ms Young said. "It doesn't necessarily create
jobs in the labour market, it doesn't create opportunities."" Click here to read more.>
This budget keeps life easy for high-income earners
Ben Phillips writes: "My overall impression is it's not really sharing the pain,
the pain is largely going to lower and middle income families, and
quite fundamentally, when you look at the forward estimates to 2017-18.
High income families generally won't be hit all that hard, especially
once you get to 2017-18 where they won't be hit at all when the deficit
levy is gone. Click here to read more.
This budget spells trouble for rural Australians
Lesley Barclay writes: "People living in remote and rural Australia
already have a shorter life expectancies and higher rates of premature
deaths. Last week's federal budget will not only make that worse, it will introduce even more problems." Click here to read more.
This budget is bad news for the environment
Graham Readfearn writes, "The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
now has $600,000 per year less at a time when the coastline is the focus
of multiple new developments and facing an embarrassing "in danger"
listing by the World Heritage Committee. Not touched were subsidies to fossil fuel companies and miners, such as the tax credit that saves multi-billion dollar firms about $2.4 billion a year on their fuel costs." Click here to read more.
This budget will send us backwards on climate and renewables
John Connor writes: "If there was ever any doubt that the election of
the Abbott Government might slam the brakes on Australia's climate and
clean energy progress, it's now over. With the Government's first
budget, it's reversing at full speed. This is the Backwards Budget - a
budget that shifts the burden for pollution reduction from polluters to
taxpayers. A budget that slashes renewable energy agencies and
funding programs that are helping create the jobs and industries of the
21st century. A budget that rips hundreds of millions of dollars
away from climate science, international climate finance and clean
technology research programs. Click here to read more.
This budget takes a swipe at public broadcasters
Matthew Knott writes: "The managing directors of the ABC and SBS have
criticised the Abbott government for breaking a pre-election promise not
to cut funding to the broadcasters.
Treasurer Joe Hockey revealed in Tuesday's budget that $43.5 million
will be cut from the ABC and SBS over four years, with more cuts
expected when an efficiency review of the broadcasters is complete. The
ABC will also lose funding for the $223 million Australia Network
international broadcasting service. Click here to read more.
Check out what GetUp members made possible on this campaign here.
This budget will take money from secular services, and put it for religious services
Eliza Borello writes: "A school group says the scrapping of funding for
non-religious counsellors under the National School Chaplaincy Program
is doing students a disservice. Kylie Catto from the West Australian
Council of State School Organisations is unhappy with the move. "State
schools provide for a very diverse population of students, the current
program gives them the option of having a school chaplain or a student
welfare worker, we think that works well, giving schools the choice and
we believe removing the choice is inappropriate," Ms Catto said." Click here to read more.