Budget 2015/16 – what to expect

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This year’s federal budget is expected to be far different to the ‘budget repair job’ of last year. Pension changes, new taxes to crackdown on multinational tax avoidance, GST on online sales, further cuts to foreign aid, cuts to health and company tax rate cuts for small businesses are just some of the expected announcements in tonight’s budget.

Announced on Thursday, plans to change the way in which pensions are indexed have been dumped and replaced by a proposal which will see wealthier pensioners lose their Age Pensions. The asset thresholds will be lowered and the pension taper rate changed. 170,000 pensioners with modest assets will be about $30 per fortnight better off.

The ‘engine room of the economy’, two million small businesses that employ over four million workers Australia-wide will benefit from a tax cut of at least 1.5% with the government hoping to win over this sector.

New legislation will be announced in this year’s budget to deal with 30 companies that are diverting profits offshore. Treasurer Joe Hockey has also announced plans to charge GST on transactions by companies such as Netflix and Amazon that provide online products such as television streaming services or the sale of ebooks.


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Soft budget following reality check

The Federal Budget being presented this evening is expected to be very different to the 2014/15 budget, which was labelled by some as the harshest budget in more than 20 years. After failing over the past year to push through the Senate several key policies that were introduced in the last budget, it’s no surprise that the government has back flipped on many unpopular issues, and has started to focus on the bigger picture.

Over the past three months, there has been a noticeable shift in the attitude of the government, away from targeting the poorest and most vulnerable, with a greater focus on boosting the economy. The large number of policies already announced suggesting that we aren’t in for many shocks. However, we can always still expect a few hidden surprises in the details.

One thing has been made crystal clear from all the talk surrounding the budget this year – don’t expect to see a budget surplus. In fact, if the figures from last week’s Deloitte Access Economics’ budget analysis are correct, we could be in for a $45 billion deficit due to flat wage growth and iron ore prices as low as $35 a tonne.

What are you wanting or expecting from this budget? Will the success of this budget keep Tony Abbott in power to contest the next election? Will it save the Treasurer Joe Hockey? Are you feeling more comfortable with the approach of the Federal Government compared to 12-months ago? 

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Written by Drew

Starting out as a week of work experience in 2005 while studying his Bachelor of Business at Swinburne University, Drew has never left his post and has been with the company ever since, working on the websites digital needs. Drew has a passion for all things technology which is only rivalled for his love of all things sport (watching, not playing).
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91 Comments

Total Comments: 91
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    the budget is just a legal way of saying “I want what you have and I’m going to take it”

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      Yes, Jurassicgeek. They couldn’t get away with slugging the poor, so now they are attacking the lower to mid-range middle class – the workers and savers who have been hardest hit by falling investment returns. Now those who struggled to save will be worse in retirement of than anyone who didn’t. Maybe their goal is to make us all spend like drunken sailors? They say they want to reduce the cost of aged pensions over time, but this latest move will increase the cost as it will push people who would otherwise have claimed a very small pension to spend their savings and need a full pension. But the good news is that the hard-working, frugal retirees who tried hard to save enough to fund their own retirement, but couldn’t quite make it in a poor investment climate, will now generously sacrifice comfort in retirement to give more to the gamblers, drinkers, smokers, and others who enjoyed an extravagant lifestyle and now put their hands out for benefits. The Treasurer said a sincere thanks for this generosity. The beneficiaries of it are dancing in the street and claiming it’s somehow ”fair”, and shouting that people should be happy to live on less than most pensioners get because it’s ”good news for the poor”. And the Government is saying it’s fine because they are only victimizing about 91,000 people. Well, that makes it okay then, doesn’t it? Those 91,000 have suffered greater loss than anyone else in the community due to falling investment returns. Might as well finish them off completely. Just wipe out all their retirement plans altogether.
      MESSAGE TO YOUNG FOLK: Don’t save for retirement! There is no benefit in being hard-working or frugal. It will all be taken from you later, and given to people who are, for the most part, far less deserving.
      MESSAGE TO RETIREES AND THOSE ABOUT TO RETIRE: If you’ve saved for retirement, go on a big spending spree now. Enjoy it while you can, because more of these unfair changes are coming, and you can be sure they will all victimize the savers.

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      Not sure I entirely agree with you here Rainey. Its not quite that the Government is taking money off those with a modest saving, but more they expect them to spend it on what they saved it for – namely their retirement. However, as I said yesterday, I still think the proposed thresholds are too low.

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      Your right Jurassicgeek, or as Kevin07 said “I’ve got ya money and I’ll spend it where and how I like”.

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      The only thing missing from this post is either ‘Proudly sponsored by the ALP and ACTU’ or ‘Australians for Anarchy’. Who do you expect to pay for the running of the country? It’s easy to say the rich, but if you overload them they take their money and possibly their business overseas and you create unemployment. Fair shares does not mean because someone is able to earn double someones else they should pay more. Why! They won’t get any better services, and in fact, will get less – certainly less than the dole bludgers who are the sweethearts of the ALP at present for their votes. Get real! National debts are debts of all Australians. How about paying back the $1000 you got for nothing, tax payer or not a couple of years ago!

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      Gimme All Ya Money !!
      Ma Baker…

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      Again – the idea was to spend the rewards generated from savings – not spend the savings themselves. I don’t see a single politician in that position……

      No person should be compelled to spend the savings – when the revenue from those put-away for retirement savings drops below the level of pension – it should be made up by government to pension level. These same self-funders have paid levies for social security in their income tax all their lives as well as those who have little to nothing did, and are thus entitled to a part pension and benefits when their income falls below a certain level.

      To me – the idea is that it is the level of income from either or all that counts – not its nature and from where it is derived.

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      Oh – and I think with 800,000+ unemployed and at least twice that under-employed – I think we can safely leave terms like ‘dole bludger’ behind for the foreseeable future. It’s day, and that of all terms similar – is long gone from the Australian lexicon.

      These Social Security Recipients are receiving income support when there is no work for them.

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      Talking of unemployment a young fellow spoke to me this morning and said he had applied for a job a couple of months ago and they kept saying they would make a decision in a couple of days. He now tells me that they have decided not to employ anyone for the position. How many other employers are now having second thoughts?

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      Bonny how does this man know they haven’t already employed someone else? Or perhaps they just don’t want him? There is not enough information here to make the judgment you are making.

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      The email clearly stated that they had decided to not offer the job. “We regret to inform you that we are unable to proceed with the recruitment of this vacancy”

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      Reeper: I feel an election coming – soft soap before, vicious attacks on the poor and average citizens after.
      Sad that you again use this article to attack the previous government. As Rudd said during the last election “yes I was responsible for WWE. …” so keep up the crap mate.
      The reality is that the rich expect to pay no tax and there are many tax minimization schemes set up for THE. The current super system has been one of the greatest rorts set up for the rich that we have ever seen. Even better than the Bottom of the Harbour Scheme.

      So maybe do something for the country Reeper, or whoever you are. Suggest changes which are fair and not destined to attack average citizens whilst the poor rort the pie. That is what a patriotic Australian would do.

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    Sometimes I wonder how people expect to have Pulic Hospitals, Public Schools, Police & Emergency Services without there being any Taxation. The biggest problem is not Taxes but who pays, how much they pay & what the money is used for. Thats the real debate.

    For the first time ever, Social media & access to the Internet has allowed the middle income earners & the poor to have a voice & influence policy. There are more of us than there are rich people. So do yourself a favour, read the policies, read comments from all sides for & against the policies then you CAN make a difference.

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    Where do idiots get the idea that a 65-year-old couple with $823,000 in savings to get them through the next 30 years of inflation are ”wealthy”? How stupid! Well, they won’t be now. They will be worse off than pensioners until they erode their capital away and fall back below the new threshold, and ultimately they will cost the government MORE in pension costs over their retirement lifetime. At the same time, this cruel move that victimizes those who worked hard and saved carefully will discourage younger folk from saving for retirement. It sends a strong message: There’s no benefit in being responsible and doing what successive governments have urged us to do. Those who spend like drunken sailors will be rewarded, and the savers will suffer. If you have more than $820,000 (or $550 for a single person), go spend it quickly! Enjoy it while you can.

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      Compared to the average retiree mate you are well off, perhaps not wealthy but certainly sitting nicely. You just don’t know it compared to the rest of us.

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      Living to 95 would not be the average. More like 20 years of retirement if you retired at 65 would be normal. I agree spend your money and enjoy it…that is what you worked for.

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      Remember as you get older you dont spend as much anyway. Most would probably not be interested in travelling or have health issues which prevent it anyway.

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      Rainey…I guess saving for a rainy day has lost a little of its meaning with the new Super thresholds. Your comments are well founded but people like myself get around them. Upgrade your house to $1m plus…become the loan bank for your children before you are 65…$’$$$??????…
      Keep your Super at no more than $400000.
      Receive close to full pension $33,000 plus $20,000 draw down on a tax free Super Fund annuity plus other benefits…53000 pa tax free. This also comes with the valuable tag of now just being a battler and ergo no flack from the “forever needy” who always want the spoils but not the toils.

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      I don;t know about you all – but I had heart troubles at 51 after a lifetime of extreme fitness (you may not ask), and just started the cancer scare at 65. Not a problem to me – I’ll get through… but let’s be honest…. 20 years after retiring at 65?

      School mates died at 58.. my brother at 59…. every week a list of people fall from the tree starting at around 48…… a gentleman I know turned 80 last week – the first man in his family to ever do so….

      How many actually do make it to 85?

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      Good plan Rainey! I’m not retiring until I have enough to last me 55 years. Just in case I outlive the previous oldest person in the world.

  4. 0
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    Soft Budget & Snap Election if we “Soften Up” to the currently Criminal & Intimidating regime.
    Just hope that we’ll have a “More Sustained” memory and not FALL for the current lolly.

    Sad enough, who else is there to “Really be worth voting for”.
    Which party which FAIRLY has the interest of ALL Australians in it’s CrossHairs?

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      🙂 Do you really think there is an Honest answer to that question ?

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      The Grey Panther Party..

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      particolor,
      NONE of the main ones and – with the system “set Up” as i currently is – the little/new/minor ones might be honest before they get in – but they’ll soon succumb to the bribes from the Multinational Cartels.
      They “Simply Have NO Choice”!
      We MUST Introduce “Citizen’s Referendum & Voters Veto” as a “People’s Power mechanism” to ‘KEEP THE BASTARDS HONEST” !!!

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      Keeping the Bustard’s Honest went the way of the DoDo !!

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      The great truth about politicians is that no matter how honourable their intentions when seeking election, once elected, the easy money and easy lifestyle, as well as handling billions on a daily basis, immediately gull them into the false belief that everyone else has it so easy, and that a few dollars here and there mean nothing.

      On top of that they soon find out that they must toe the party line or cop it, and that to attain anything at all means having to compromise.

      Some greater man than I once wrote that the moment they are thus compromised, they are compromised in all ways…. or words to that effect.

      Thus we can expect very little from an elected politician. It could be argued that the lifestyle of a politician is geared to ensure their compliance and total lack of understanding of real issues.

  5. 0
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    Budget 2015: Expect little improvement, get even less.

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      A modest asset I probably come just under that. Single Age pensioner 77years. Term deposit and a healthy savings account of which is too high. I have to spend some of it and buy a new BBQ this week.Senior homes fee $ 40 p/w, I own the equity. Pay all my bills on time and really want for nothing. I usually buy the best at Supermarkets. Not wealthy or well off but better off than most. Why doesn’t the current Govt. see that common sense prevails. Co-payment gone, Indexation gone, Uni-education gone, and now I believe the 6 months wait for the dole has gone replaced in tonights Budget by something else. Why are not the Politician’s taken a pay cut to help the bottom line of the budget. Why is it always the low, poor and pensioners targeted all the time. The Lib’s have to go at the next Polls or sooner. They have learnt nothing from the last Buget and are still as Rude and arrogant as ever.

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      I like Rude !! 🙂 My dictionary sais … Impolte..Coarse..Vulgar..Primitive..Roughly Made.. Uneducated.. Sudden,Violent!!..:-) Yep !!

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      I expect anything other than as little pain as possible.

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      Tiger …Who now picks up the tab for all the gones…Co-Payment…Uni fees…Pensions to CPI…6 month wait for unemployment. No not those poor old pensioners tiger….the poor old worker often single wage with children has to foot the bill…yes the one that doesn’t understand why a Uni Student should be given a $50000 handout or why most citizens couldn’t afford $7 to see a doctor. Why so many are happy to do nothing and live off the excesses other produce. Try for a little balance in your comments without the obvious bias.

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      Incorrect sum1 – the tax system is far more comprehensive and all-encompassing than income tax, and every time a dollar is spent it incurs tax. Then when it is spent again it incurs tax.. and so on.

      EVERYBODY pays tax – the simple reality is that those with less pay less tax overall, but much more in proportion to earnings.

      So, NO – it is NOT the workers who will be funding these changes…. it is everyone who pays their fair share of tax.

      THAT is the biggest issue facing government at this time – who actually is paying their fair share of tax?

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      So, NO – it is NOT the workers who will be funding these changes…. it is everyone who pays their fair share of tax.

      My apologies – I should add to that “and those who evade and avoid tax also contribute on a sliding scale depending on how much they can evade or avoid’…..

      Have to remain fair….

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      Don’t forget about the “Indirect Taxes” we ALL pay when we Purchase goods & Services.
      These could amount to an amazing 40 to 50%.

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      It has been demonstrated often that it is not so much the tax take that is the problem it is the tax given away as concessions that is the problem. As has been demonstrated time and time again it is those that really don’t need these concessions that mainly benefit.

      Why is it that these people or businesses are called the lifters yet need concessions to remain so.

    • 0
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      Well Wstaton you will be happy to know that the Super concession has just been watered down.

  6. 0
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    No, I’m not feeling more comfortable with the government’s softer approach because they’ve already shown what their agenda is, and they’re only softening up the gullible for the next election. It’s just more cunning on top of the manure.

  7. 0
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    Read the Budget not the stupid or hysterical comments. Tomorrow is the day to make reasoned statements and comments as we will then be aware of what is actually in the budget.

  8. 0
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    I also think the thresholds are to low.Single part pension modest house with assets well below the current threshold.But come Jan 2017 I will lose the part pension.So I intend to sell my modest home and build a new home to bring under the new threshold.In the long run this will cost the government more.

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      Wonga, don’t you mean cost the people that are paying tax more? Every cent that is paid out in welfare payments comes out of current taxation or current borrowings and future taxation.

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      Sceptic…The evidence is that people don’t mind paying more tax or increasing the welfare payments…if they did mind we would not endure Labor Governments.

  9. 0
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    SPOT ON TREBOR!

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      The bit about not being forced to spend your retirement savings and/or down-size your bought and paid for home?

      That’s putting pensioners in the same bracket as unemployed people, who have to spend all before they can get assistance. Now Tony and Joey and Corrmit the Frog, and Morrie might think that a reasonable position – but they encouraged those people to save and also levied part of their income tax for retirement funding – they are as entitled as anyone else to have a top-up without selling their family jewels.

      It’s stupid – they’ll all end up on a pension anyway if this line is pursued.

      Better to give this lot (and their Opposition) time to re-write the speeches before tonight when they face the cameras….

      (oops – they don’t like it – Amelia – where’s that Plan B draft…..)

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      I’m going to add this now – why should a person suddenly thrust onto unemployment also have to spend down every cent they have tried to save before getting assistance to live?

      They also pay into Social Security via levies on income tax – all their lives by now – and are entitled to a fair go at the support mechanism. You may argue that young people leaving school are not in that position – in that case when they find work they should not be levied for that proportion of income tax to support social security. I would also argue that since their parents paid into that scheme as a family unit, their children are entitled to draw on it in time of need.

      Anyone else rubbing hands in glee that Tone told us that the ‘Age Of Entitlement’ was over? Now we are all busily working out what are Rights and what are ‘Entitlements’, a term which has become skewed into something it never was to suit a political agenda.

      entitlement
      ?n?t??t(?)lm?nt/
      noun
      noun: entitlement; plural noun: entitlements

      the fact of having a right to something.
      “full entitlement to fees and maintenance should be offered”
      synonyms:tright, prerogative, claim, title, licence; More
      permission, dispensation, privilege, liberty
      “their entitlement to social-security benefits”
      the amount to which a person has a right.
      “her annual leave entitlement”
      synonyms:tallowance, allocation, allotment, quota, ration, grant, limit
      “your annual holiday entitlement”
      the belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment.
      “no wonder your kids have a sense of entitlement”

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      the belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment.
      “no wonder your kids have a sense of entitlement”

      This is the part of the definition that ToJo cling to like a drowning sailor.

      Could someone explain to me how a pensioner or a person unemployed has any sense of expecting privileges or special treatment? What are these ‘privileges’ or ‘special treatment’ that these ‘leaners’ expect??

      They only ask for a return from the Bank of Social Security that they bought stocks in for years as a hedge against age and unemployment- when they need it.

      I think that pretty well ties it all up.

  10. 0
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    Will there be enough money left over for us to pick another fight next year

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