A fair budget?

Research shows poorest contribute the most.

A fair budget?

The fallout from last week’s budget has been massive, with opinion polls showing a rapid decline in the popularity of both the Government and the Prime Minister. Both Mr Abbott and Mr Hockey are on the front foot defending both the budget and the need for such deep cuts across many areas of spending, particularly welfare. They continue to declare that all Australians need to do the ‘heavy lifting’ to help balance the books. But three respected and independent institutions have now done the sums and concluded that the budget is not fair to all socio-economic groups, with the poorer often doing more heavy lifting than others.

In particular, the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University (ANU) has compared the projected difference in real disposable incomes for different household groups and found that the hardest hit are single people on Newstart, followed closely by single parents and then couples on a low income with young children.

This research is supported by modelling conducted by the Grattan Institute and principal research fellow, Ben Phillips at the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM).

NATSEM research concluded that the two per cent tax increase on higher income earners was proportionately mild and would have a ‘token impact’.

Importantly, we have yet to see modelling on the effect of those receiving a full or part Age Pension. Watch this space.

Read the ANU assessment here.

What do you think? Is this a fair budget to which we will all contribute equally? Or are some people more equal than others, with those who can least afford it required to do the heavy lifting?





    COMMENTS

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    Honeybun
    20th May 2014
    11:00am
    Why am I not surprised that the poorest in our community will bear most of the "heavy lifting" as a result of this budget? It is simply social engineering, in line with the conservative philosophy, which is to look after the big end of the town.
    Jen
    20th May 2014
    11:51am
    Totally agree, Honeybun.
    LENYJAC
    20th May 2014
    12:58pm
    THE POOR AND PENSIONERS GET HIT EVERY BLOODY TIME NO MATTER WHICH OF THESE OVERPAID PRICKS ARE IN POWER??????
    scotia
    20th May 2014
    11:10am
    As a ex liberal voter i did something i never thought i would never do, i donated money to the labour party. That is how fair i think this budget is. scotia0
    Nightshade
    20th May 2014
    11:29am
    I HAVE ALWAYS & STILL DO TODAY
    INSTEAD OF CONVENTIONAL MEDICINES & G.P. QUACKS
    PAY CASH FOR
    ALTERNATIVE PRACTITIONERS & ALTERNATIVE MEDICINES
    TO THE TUNE OF LOTS & LOTS OF CASH DOLLARS
    SO DO APPROXIMATELY 70 % OF ALL AUSTRALIANS

    THE PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES THRIVE BECAUSE OF
    AND THEIR MAIN PROFITS COME FROM ALTERNATIVE MEDICINES - VITAMINS & MINERALS & THE LIKE
    AND NOT CONVENTIONAL MEDICINES
    I PUT IT TO YOU
    THAT THE HEALTH CARE COSTS ARE NOT WHAT WE ARE LED TO BELIEVE
    THE POLITICAL ARENA IS TELLING US LIES.
    KSS
    20th May 2014
    1:06pm
    Shouting again Nightingale.
    Arby
    20th May 2014
    11:51am
    In this day and age when no one has to take resposibilty for their actions, I think it's time the Government did what parents have failed to do in recent times. and that is, take responsibilty for what you choose to do. Remove th baby bonus for all but the first child, by then you should have all the equipment needed for subsequent children,learn to take care of what you have instead of throwing it away to get some new stuff for the next. This alone will save BILLIONS.
    aly_rob60
    20th May 2014
    12:43pm
    Well said, Arby. We got on OK without baby bonuses and parenting payments and allowances. There are more people living in this country than ever and paying taxes on every bloody thing we touch and use, so why the hell are the Govt crying poor?? The Govt need to take responsibility for THEIR actions. They are nothing but liars and are clearly working in together to get what they want. Next thing, Labor will be back in power after making promises, then they will rip us off even more and the Libs will be blaming them! Its a viscous circle. You just cant trust any of them.
    KSS
    20th May 2014
    1:11pm
    Yes but then half of the baby equipment shops will close because no-one is buying new 'stuff', more people out of work, more people on the dole, less tax being paid, less money for health, education, pensions and everything else, higher taxes, health educations and pension cuts. So cut the baby incentives for the first child, half the remaining baby shops close (you can buy what you need secondhand on e-bay) and round we go again.........
    Waytoopoortobeme
    20th May 2014
    5:17pm
    I dont agree with the Baby bonus but back in 1941 the Menzies Government actually introduced the Child endowment payment which was paid directly to the Mother at the flat rate of 5 shillings per week. 1950 saw it paid to the 1st child with subsequent children at 10 shillings, providing aid for people who had the responsibility & priviledge of caring for Families. So those in need were supported by the Government something Abbott should take a long hard look at.
    survivor
    20th May 2014
    5:49pm
    Baby bonus has been cut from $500= to $1000 for first child and $500 for others. But i would like to say that I had a cot for my first child that belonged to grandparents and it was used for all my 5 children, then was passed to to a needy family when my children no longer needed it. However the cot my daughter brought for her first child at a cost of $700 did not last to her 3rd child. same with my sons children. And the so called experts say a new mattress is needed for each baby to prevent Sids. Today nothing is made to last, but when funds are limited you have to get what you can afford.So if there is a time period between births Yes you need to start again. Prams do not last for more than I child, and car seats are needed. Nappies? cloth or disposable all debatable. It is a different world to the one we grew up in and I believe children deserve all the help they can get, but the baby bonus if it comes back needs to go to the one raising the child not the one who gave birth. I was appalled when I learnt that drug addicted mothers had a baby left it at the hospital got the $5000 the went and got pregnant to give birth again. next year. Most people are honest and those who are not will find a new way to exploit the system at the expense of those who really need help. I see Abbots bugget taking Australia back a 100 years
    survivor
    20th May 2014
    5:51pm
    Sorry Amount was$5000
    Tom Tank
    20th May 2014
    11:56am
    The current situation poses a real problem for the Liberal Party. Abbot/Hockey/ Pyne et al have seriously damaged their personal credibility and taking the Liberal Party's with them.
    Unless there is some major change the next election will probably be based upon credibility, Abbot essentially based the last election on this and won. If he tries it next time he, and the Libs, will lose.
    Could we see a coup being mounted from within the Libs to try to undo the damage that has been done by this now obviously unfair budget?
    Some may see this as drawing a long bow but is it really so far fetched?
    Grateful
    20th May 2014
    4:57pm
    I agree Tom Tank. That polling backlash is more aimed at Tony Abbott and not the just Liberal Party and the Budget.
    By making those unnecessary stupid promises before the election, breaking most of them and then trying to say that they were not broken promises, has made him look deceptive and I can already see the advertising campaign for the next election. With Tony Abbott as leader, you can already declare that the next election will be lost by the Coalition.
    They have no alternative but to dump Tony Abbott ASAP as he has done his job as a most effective Opposition Leader to defeat the Gillard/Rudd government, the reason why he was elected as the leader of the Liberals, but, he frankly looks and sounds extremely poor as the Prime Minister.
    Wstaton
    20th May 2014
    7:51pm
    Can't ever remember when the highest tax rate was 50% anf I am 73.
    MITZY
    21st May 2014
    12:54pm
    Hi Grateful: I agree with you mostly however what he did as you say has "made him look deceptive" .... I think he definitely is deceptive to the hilt. There is so much more bits and pieces of information filtering through where pensioners may end up much worse than they initially thought one week ago.
    What is not helping their cause either is the smirkish smiles and laughs Hockey and Abbott are portraying. It's just as if they are enjoying every moment and under their breath are saying we sucked you all in.
    I thought a good government was measured by a greater means of "fairness" to all its people regardless of their station in life.
    Brissiegirl
    20th May 2014
    12:15pm
    One of the government's major problems is their derelict credibility. Elected on the matter of trust, Hockey simply shrugs his shoulders when the public express our dismay on broken promises e.g. new taxes. As there is no modelling on full and part age pensioners, the government still has some pain to receive from us. It's not so long ago that they were telling people they wanted us to live comfortably in old age that is why we were all encouraged to sacrifice as much as we could into super. It now seems that those who don't rely on a full pension because they did sacrifice, are just dirt under their feet. Well I've got new for them - re-evaluate their definition of entitlement mentality or we will evaluate it for them.
    retroy
    20th May 2014
    12:19pm
    Another example of flawed thinking by bleeding heart economists and commentators.
    If you really wanted to determine who has, and is, doing the heavy lifting in a taxation situation you really have to take into account the total tax paid and not just the change brought about by a new budget.

    I know that before I retired I was paying over 50% of most of my income as tax, and the lower paid people were paying less than 30 %.
    Just do the Math as they say, 50% of $100000 is $50000, while the lower paid person might be paying 30% of $30000 which is $9000, so now tell me who was doing the heavy lifting.
    So in this example on that small difference in income the higher paid person contributes $41000 more and still uses the same utilities provided by the government. Other examples can show even greater distortion.
    Open both eyes wide and think about it.
    Ginty 01
    20th May 2014
    12:50pm
    A person on $100,000 a year would be paying approx $24,000 extra tax a year not $41,000. They would have a nett income of about $73,000 compared to approx $28,000 after Medicare. I know which one I would rather be living on.
    Tom Tank
    20th May 2014
    1:10pm
    Given that Directors of the Grattan Institute include form Liberal Cabinet Ministers I don't think they can be classed as 'Bleeding Hearts"
    Tom Tank
    20th May 2014
    1:11pm
    Sorry that should read "former Liberal Cabinet Ministers."
    Golden Oldie
    20th May 2014
    5:30pm
    Australia has a tiered system for income tax, not a flat rate. The first $18,200 is tax free, for everyone, even high earners with a salary of $100,000 and above. From $18,201 to $37,000 the rate is 19%, $37,001 to $80,000 has a rate of 32.5%, $80,001 to $180,000 is 37%, over $180,000 the rate is 45%. These rates do not include the Medicare Levy.
    Therefore, the claim of paying 50% on $100,000 is totally incorrect. Not only does this level of earnings not fall into a 50% rate, but only the top $20,000 is taxed at 37% + Medicare. The rest is taxed at the lower levels. Top salary earners can afford to salary sacrifice salary at a rate of 15% tax. If Retroy salary sacrifices $20,000, his top rate of rax drops to 32.5% instead of 37% and he saves 17.5% on the $20,000 going into super to build up his super balance.
    retroy
    20th May 2014
    5:56pm
    Open your eyes folks and read what I wrote

    "50% of most of my income" my income was not $100000
    The figures I quoted are not the current tax rates which I made clear.
    Salary sacrifice was not available when I was paying the high tax.
    Golden Oldie you are up to date with the latest tax tables and the max you can sacrifice so just what is the total tax paid by a high paid individual?
    If you open your eyes you could see what is written, and not what you want to see.
    Golden Oldie
    20th May 2014
    6:16pm
    If you paid 50% of your income in tax, that must have been when the highest tax rate was greater than 50%.
    Tax on $100,000 for example, would be $24,947 +Medicare. An extra of 2% on $100,000 is $2,000 which is $38.46 per week. Not really heavy lifting on a take home pay of about $73,000 pa.
    Wstaton
    20th May 2014
    7:53pm
    Can't ever remember when the highest tax rate was 50% and I am 73.
    ph
    20th May 2014
    10:51pm
    retroy, if you paid almost 50% of your income in tax that would have been many many decades ago. You would have had to be earning a substantial amout, in the order of many $100,000 a year. That would also coincided with the cost of living be far far less than it is now. At that time what was the average house price? I don't mean the house you could afford but the ones most Australians lived in. I am sure even you at that time were not crying poverty. It should be that those that can afford to, pay the biggest burden in tax. That is right and just. What Tony and the boys are trying to do is turn that around so the greatest burden is on those that can least afford it. We are not the USA. We do not want the social divide, poverty, crime and all that goes with the American model. Even the Americans are trying to turn their system around, albeit with great difficulty and many people like yourself crying out at the injustice of the rich having to pay a greater portion of their income in tax. Please remember the poorer parts of society have to pay a greater portion of their income just to survive. The wealthier parts of society can spend exactly the same amount to survive, then have all there extra monies to do what they will with. Money does not buy happiness, but it does buy choices, and choices can make a person happy.
    retroy
    21st May 2014
    10:00am
    You guys still want to read what you want to see, and not what I wrote.
    Also sorry if your memories are fading because mine is OK

    To repeat, the fact is I paid more than 50% on MOST of my income. There was a gun levy in place for a while too. The marginal tax rate was > 50%. At no time did I say I paid 50% of my income in tax but for simple example I used $100000 as a component of salary, compared with $30000 as a component of salary and illustrated which person was contributing the major component of their income towards the tax coffers. This the "heavy lifting".
    Don't worry about the total amounts and cite that as a reason why they should pay more,because that indicates jealousy/envy.
    These high paid people work hard for too many hours a week and then risk the bullet if they cannot satisfy their board.
    ph please be assured there is no crying out on my part I just want people to understand just which individuals have and are contributing the most towards the tax take in Australia. That is the "thema provocore"
    In HK for example there is one tax rate for every one, not an increasing one for the rich, and HK was and is a go ahead sort of place.
    MITZY
    21st May 2014
    1:43pm
    retroy and others:

    https:www.ato.gov.au/Rates/Individual-income-

    There are taxable income tables AND THE TAX payable on the taxable income listed as far back as 1983-1984 year up to 20122013 at the above website.

    don't know what years you are referring to but I picked out 1995-1996
    as an example which reads as follows:

    Australian residents eligible for the tax free threshold without medicare levy included:

    Taxable Income - Tax on Taxable Income

    $1 to $5,400 - NIL
    $5,401 to $20,700 - 20 cents for each dollar over $20,700
    $20,701 to $38,000 - $3,060 plus 34 cents for each dollar over $20,700
    $38,001 to $50,000 - $8,942 plus 43 cents for each dollar over $38,000
    $50,001 and over - $14,102 plus 47 cents for each dollar over $50,001

    The tables closer to the past few years of course have more variations in tax take due to higher incomes being earned.

    If you are working for a lower paid job you work just as hard in it as a person higher up the money tree. Many of these high paid people you refer to risk the bullet if they don't satisfy their board of directors, many get sacked with golden handshakes even though they didn't reach the potential required of them. Many of them have lots of other perks and benefits in their employ and also accountants who do marvellous things for them to reduce their tax payable etc. etc.
    At the other end of the money tree none of this applies and these basic wage earners who are now pensioners have a right to express their distress at the current injustices foisted upon them very soon not for 2-3 years (as for the high income earners) but forever for these pensioners.
    How many of these high income earners are whinging and creating a fuss about the levy they will pay for just 2-3 years? It amounts to 0.03% of their salaries compared to 5% for a pensioner.
    It's definitely not a fair budget considering a government is judged on how it looks after the most vulnerable of its people.
    Aurora60
    20th May 2014
    12:55pm
    It is not a fair budget - the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
    niemakawa
    20th May 2014
    5:52pm
    There is an alternative, the so called poor can elevate themselves and make more effort to improve their lot. No, instead, they whinge and complain incessantly.
    Pass the Ductape
    20th May 2014
    5:55pm
    niemakawa...You are so full of it, it's a wonder you can walk - but then perhaps you don't!
    niemakawa
    20th May 2014
    6:25pm
    I Walk the talk, old fella. Still have every body part functioning at optimum level. Are you one of those creatures, that have nothing better to do than complain. Most "poor" ( I use that term loosely) deserve what they get, they should have made something of themselves when they had the chance.
    Waytoopoortobeme
    20th May 2014
    7:27pm
    What a narrow minded point of view!! Oh how Lucky you are to be in such tip top shape both physically & mentally. Please spare a thought for the many of your loosly termed 'poor' who are are not so lucky. Through no fault of their own, they are unable or incapable of making something of themselves. In fact they never do get that Chance you speak of.
    Wstaton
    20th May 2014
    7:55pm
    I think there are a few ringins in his forum.
    Not Senile Yet!
    20th May 2014
    1:27pm
    Retroy...Please...50%...what about Salary Sacrifice?...extra put into Super that is not taxed @50%!...Come on mate.....we might be poor..or on less income....but does that mean we are stupid or dumb?
    Your mathematics with regard to economics suggests you are paid way too much considering your ill found logic!
    Society is a Pyramid Mate.....the poor on the bottom way outnumber the people higher up.... so about half way up that Pyramid there not even half the numbers on say 60 to 100 Grand....from there on the numbers decrease as they climb the Pyramid.
    The people from the Middle up can pay more without it hurting there ability to SURVIVE!
    If you keep hitting the people at the lower level you not only make it harder for them to survive(economically) but you also directly hurt their buying power which in turn directly affects good sold.
    When Companies go under...it is not just because of mismanagement....it is more often because people cannot afford their products after they pay for the basics.(ie Rent Food Living Expenses.)
    So get it straight ...you hurt the little guy....you hurt their buying power! If you keep doing this...the drop in sales will eventually cause middle management cuts...downsizing(you ever heard of this?)
    This is caused by the Shrinking spending power.....if you keep doing that.....what do you think happens?
    Oh Yeah!.....it is called a Depression!
    By the way.....Rome collapsed that way...ever increasing taxes on the poor...to name but one example!
    The total tax raised from the bottom level is far more than from the Middle or the Top.....because there are more of them.
    Both eyes wide open and thinking about it indeed!
    I do not believe your figures and neither would the ATO!
    One doubts if anyone on 100,000 would ever pay 50% Tax.
    Maybe if you all did instead of dodging it...the Government might not be looking the hit the little guy!
    Hawkeye
    20th May 2014
    1:55pm
    No mate. You are Definitely not senile yet!!!!
    You should run for PM.
    I have never heard such a simple and all encompassing prescription for this country's ills. I would vote for you in a flash.
    If only the lying ar*****es that put themselves up as our saviours could have half the insight that you have.

    And Retroy, your are either a bloody liar or you failed year 1 math's
    porthboy
    20th May 2014
    1:59pm
    Maybe if you all did instead of dodging it...the Government might not be looking the hit the little guy!

    This government would still be looking to hit the little guy.
    Salary sacrifice is the rich man's government hand-out. How many $billions does that cost other tax payers on lower incomes
    Anonymous
    20th May 2014
    4:46pm
    Yes, indeed.. he entire purpose of taxation is to run a society and not just the well-off in it - and as my esteemed colleague above said - paying more does not hurt the better off anywhere near as much as it hurts those not so well-off.

    I've been discussing the 'net taxpayer' furphy on another forum - on the same lines as 'taxation is for running society, not rich people'......

    Double the Pension Now!!
    Wstaton
    20th May 2014
    8:00pm
    Dead right double the pension. Just think of all that buying power.
    Kathleen
    20th May 2014
    1:27pm
    I think there is little doubt who would be doing the heavy lifting if this budget survives the Senate which is in doubt. Hopefully, the worst of the measures would be stopped like the attack on Medicare. It is not even the people who pay tax of any kind who should be the object of our wrath but the elite wealthy who pay no tax ever. Aim at the four big banks who reap billions from super and suchlike. Egos of Mr Abbott and Mr Hocking are puffed up with their own sense of importance and they are blind to any kind of social justice.
    LENYJAC
    20th May 2014
    1:36pm
    HERE HERE grandmakathleen
    niemakawa
    20th May 2014
    5:58pm
    You want social justice go and live in a Socialist Country, then see what happens. Everyone does quite well here in Australia, just that some are more industrious than others and rewarded accordingly. Nothing to do with social justice. Stop complaining.
    KSS
    20th May 2014
    1:35pm
    There is nothing new here. A letter in my local paper today:
    “The Budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed, lest Rome will become bankrupt. People must again learn to work instead of living on public assistance.” Thus said Cicero in 55BC. So evidently we’ve learned very little over the past 2069 years.
    As I've said before: round we go again.
    wally
    20th May 2014
    1:45pm
    the polling results so far have given Tony and Joe a pretty good idea that they have a lot of work to do regarding their budget. They still have until July to do their nipping and tucking here and there to either convince the public that the changes they want to make will be beneficial to the public, OR change, modify and water down their budget proposals to make them more acceptable to the public. And the Senators. I think that they will be burning a lot of midnight oil working out and rebalancing their proposals before the final budget proposal is ready to present to the senate.
    wally
    20th May 2014
    1:51pm
    And as far as creating a "fair budget" is concerned, in a political sense it is a "none-such". It is impossible to get everyone to agree on what a "fair budget" is, just as it is impossible to define how long a piece of string is. Everybody has their own opinions and desires on what they want, and no matter how they create the budget, somebody always winds up getting the rough end of the pineapple.
    Mar
    20th May 2014
    2:12pm
    The problem is , in this budget "somebody" is the disadvantaged in our community and this is the usual. This budget creates even more inequality. The question is, do we accept this?
    niemakawa
    20th May 2014
    5:55pm
    Yes I do it is part of the game. Nobody is disadvantaged ( I dislike like the modern use of that word) only annoyed that they have to make a contribution to the Nation's wealth.
    MITZY
    21st May 2014
    1:57pm
    niemakawa: None of this is a game as you put it whether you accept it or you don't. Its deadly serious for the disadvantaged and there are plenty that are genuinely disadvantaged. A government is judged on the way it looks after the most vulnerable in its keeping.
    lizzylou
    20th May 2014
    3:53pm
    Not only is the current budget most unfairly those least able to cope but it is designed to give the big end of town an unfair advantage. The big end of town gets at least 8 months to re engineer their salary packages and re package their income in such away as to avoid paying the new temporary or significantly reduce it. Where is that fair? Leading economists have already said that the Government will be lucky to get even 1/3 of the predicted new tax. Not only that but the amount they have to for go is way less in most cases than pensioners etc and as a percentage of their overall income it is minuscule compared with the very high percentages low income folks will lose.
    Now how can that be fair when the low income and below poverty line income folks have to do such a higher percentage of the heavy lifting.
    It is definitely the Conservatives policy look after the big end of town at the expense of the majority of the population and in particular the poor, the children, the students...our future depends on them, the disabled, the sick and the elderly

    20th May 2014
    4:01pm
    On Q&A last night a person said to to the Treasurer ....about taking away the Concessions for pensioners...and the Treasurer rightly pointed out that was not so. Goes to show how many folks believe the BS going around. It is the Seniors Concession that is going to be dropped, not the pension concessions..wake up folks.
    Anonymous
    20th May 2014
    5:17pm
    Please explain the Seniors Concession. I read that the current agreement over fares etc with the States is to be canned in July.... are we to believe that there will be no reduction in the current extra aid to pensioners to cover the rises in living costs?

    I argue and contributed to John Howard offering that to DSP people just before his defeat...

    It sounds - and you may correct me with a reference - as if the intention is to remove that extra payment.
    MITZY
    21st May 2014
    2:43pm
    PIXAPD: So it's o.k. if the Seniors lose their concessions? What about the fact that they have been lucky enough to have jobs where they have superannuation contributions of a reasonable magnitude to be able to be self-funded or eligible for small portions of the age pension. If their super is not sustainable for their anticipated "date of death" at least the Howard government gave them the opportunity to get concessions just like you do on the age pension. These concessions at least gave these seniors a feeling of being part of our ageing population with rebates on utilities and rates etc. The way this government is ruthlessly taking the lower income earners to the cleaners is a crime.
    This Abbott character earning $507,000 p.a. is now whinging about the fact that the levy will rob him of $6,500 - a drop in the ocean for him with all his other perks and commonwealth cars to take him everywhere. Him and Hokeidonian have conveniently managed to leave out one of the papers from the budget that actually indicates who will be better off and who will be worse off. A paper that is part of every budget. Guess who is better off?
    PIX: Part of your pension supplement is changeing. The current clean energy supplement next payment due end of June will be frozen at its current rate.
    So if the master of the universe manages to get the carbon tax abolished by the new Senate and as usual on 1st July the gas and electricity prices rise, as they always do (estimated to be 17%) you would be compensated with an increased payment in your supplement. Not anymore however, we will all be paying more for energy. Add all the other increases to occur and then factor in the different way of calculating how the age pension will be calculated on inflation instead of 27.7% of average male earnings and we are facing a $1500-$2000 pa decrease in the value of our pensions.
    Another factor of which I'm current not sure how it will affect us is the trip to the opticians for eye tests etc. Pensioners currently don't pay anything for the eye test as it is covered by Medicare. We only pay for our glasses. The budget indicates that the Medicare rebate will be reduced by 5% and the opticians allowed to charge what they think is a fair charge to perform the eye tests, i.e. just like doctors they can now set their own fees, they are no longer restricted to charging the Medicare scheduled fees. Could we possibly be charged a co-payment for visiting the optician also? Does anybody know?
    The government spruikes furphies every half hour or so and the biggest one is the pensioners of this nation and recipients of other welfare benefits are the biggest drain on the government but in a few years time that won't be the case with the raise to eligible age pension age and the workforce retiring on superannuation pensions where they have paid into them all their working life. But, as usual those at the bottom of the feeding chain with disabilities, mental problems, circumstances beyond their control lack of education etc are losing programmes that would assist them to rise up.
    Anonymous
    21st May 2014
    6:56pm
    I EXPECT folks to understand what the Treasurer said and it was to do with the SENIORS CONCESSIONS and NOT the pensions concessions..if you do NOT know the difference then go to the CENTRELINK SITE AND LEARN !!!!
    niemakawa
    20th May 2014
    5:07pm
    Yes I think overall it is more than a fair budget. These measures will go a long way in bringing Australia back to a surplus. If only Labor, Greens and other minor parties were not so opportunistic and do the right thing by ALL Australians. They should support all the budget measures as they stand. Theses parties will be able to explain in detail their policies in the weeks ahead before the next General election. Then the people can decide at the ballot box. Until that time the Opposition et al should quieten down.
    Pass the Ductape
    20th May 2014
    5:57pm
    Pathetic logic!
    niemakawa
    20th May 2014
    6:30pm
    Is that all you have to offer. No wonder this Country is going to the dogs!.
    Golden Oldie
    20th May 2014
    6:35pm
    Why should all the other parties quieten down over the budget. Ever since Tony Abbott was elected to be oppositon leader that is all he has done. He opposed everything done by the government. I was so sick of his attitude that I stopped reading newspapers and changed channels when he appeared on TV. I looked for Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck on the ballot paper, as I thought they would do a better job.
    creeker
    20th May 2014
    6:53pm
    The figures available today show that our debt to GDP is falling and at the moment is 20.8% of GDP. This is a very comfortable figure and certainly no reason for the panic stricken calls of rising debt. It would only require a slight tightening of the belt To see this figure fall even further, then we could challenge ESTONIA for the lowest Debt level in the world. Wake up people, you are being conned!Instead of abusing one another cast you recriminations at the people calling this a "crisis" Joe the clown and Abbott the fool
    Kathleen
    20th May 2014
    5:26pm
    Niemakawa....really? Bad things happen when good people do nothing! The budget is not fair and not needed! It is not exacting money from those who can afford it but on the most vulnerable members of society! There are billions to be had by a few measures only but it is easier to take some from many than do the right thing and exact money from the billionaires. They do not ask anything of some and everything from many! You need to research your facts carefully and have an open mind and heart. Why hurt a disabled child or a very sick person or people who cannot fight back? We need to stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves!
    niemakawa
    20th May 2014
    5:34pm
    Your comment is very emotional and shows little substance. Please carefully review my earlier post.
    MITZY
    21st May 2014
    2:49pm
    And yours niemakawa shows little empathy and a distinct leaning to be Sir Tony Taxalot's love child, just as he was John Howard's love child.
    Kathleen
    20th May 2014
    5:42pm
    You have no earlier post but I do have one. See mine! We should be emotional because it is wrong! The opposition are there to confront and they should definitely not quieter down! To silence argument is to deny democracy! I do not want Medicare tampered with because it would open the floodgates on future erosion of this Aussie gem! Niemakawa, your tone is as arrogant as Mr abbott's and Mr Hocking's!
    niemakawa
    20th May 2014
    5:50pm
    I respect you opinion. Neither Mr Abbott or Mr Hocking are arrogant, and their attitude, similar to mine, is based purely on common sense and understanding of the underlying issues. Unfortunately Labor lack these qualities.
    Waytoopoortobeme
    20th May 2014
    7:37pm
    It appears Abbott & Hockey have no common sense if they believed the public would lay down, accept & applaud their budget lies.
    Wstaton
    20th May 2014
    8:22pm
    niemakawa, I do not think you understand the meaning of arrogance. Abbott is one of the most arrogant people I have ever heard. Anyone who can spout that he did not lie, is arrogance personified. He even lies about the past. For example he says that his reduction in the polls was the same that happened to Howard in his first year. This is not true. For whatever reason Howard's poll actually rose to 50% during the first year. Seems like our Abbott is an habitual liar and in his arrogance expects everyone to believe him.
    MITZY
    21st May 2014
    2:58pm
    niemakawa It's not attitude we need. And If you think Hockey/Abbott's attitude is based purely on common sense and understanding of the underlying issues, then you have sadly been hoodwinked. If as you say their attitude is similar to yours then I'd rather have Labor's qualities or lack of them. The "lack" of empathy of Abbott/Hockey etc. beggars belief. How they lie straight in bed each night is beyond me.
    Pass the Ductape
    20th May 2014
    5:52pm
    The poor ALWAYS suffer the consequences of the national budget! Tell me atime when they didn't!
    Kathleen
    20th May 2014
    6:01pm
    Read the above assessment from ANU, Niemakawa! Who are you? A liberal politician placed on here to dispel the rising anguish of ordinary people who are worried about their future and that of each and every underdog! People are concerned enough on here to voice their concern about the budget. Even some of the liberal politicians are worried and people who voted liberal are concerned. Every thinking person should be!
    niemakawa
    20th May 2014
    6:29pm
    Again you tackle it from an emotional rather than a rational viewpoint. Nobody is going to die, from these measures. A few dollars a week is not a lot to ask of anyone. I am more than willing to pay, am a low income earner, but have the foresight to see the net good that will come from this budget.
    Wstaton
    20th May 2014
    8:26pm
    Hmm I am thinking whose ring-in you are niemakawa. Nothing grandmaKathleen22 has said above has the slightest bit of emotion but was simply stating some facts.
    Mar
    20th May 2014
    6:02pm
    Absolutely agree with GrandmaKathleen. If we do not speak up and support the underprivileged we will certainly create a poorer Australia. This budget is wrong. No social justice. I don't want a government like this operating for the next three years. Too many people will have suffered by then.

    20th May 2014
    6:09pm
    http://www.smh.com.au/money/budgets-secret-sting-for-pensioners-and-matureage-workers-20140516-zreh5.html#ixzz324EsARuA

    While ever Western governments persist with the absolute myth that enriching the rich will ensure a 'flow down' to the rest of society instead of ensuring that the rich hoard or invest in dead stock (properties, private jets, overseas holiday resorts, etc) - the poor will always be viewed as both expendable and as being fair game for any imposition of enforced cash withdrawal to meet any 'budget'.
    *Imagine*
    20th May 2014
    7:02pm
    It would be impossible to convince some people that this budget is unfair - they just don’t get it. Hocking is not to blame (whoever he is) the name of the treasurer is Hockey, he and his advisers are responsible for assuming that out of work youngsters are unemployed because they want to be, and should borrow money to get training in order to find a job or they won’t be given any support for 6 months.

    Why then are graduates in engineering and law unemployed? There are no jobs available. Many casual part time positions in hotels and cafes are presently filled by out of work graduates who owe tens of thousands of dollars to the HELP system for their degrees. Meanwhile 457 visas are used to bring foreign workers in to fill skilled positions. Clever Country, I think not.

    Is it fair that mining companies including foreign entities like Xtrata and Nyrstar, make so much money by ripping out Australia’s mineral wealth but have had the mining tax removed- a system designed to share that wealth? Is it equitable to then reduce company tax and at the same time remove the funding that allows the states to provide some assistance to those on fixed incomes (pensioners) to pay for rising utility costs and Council rates?

    I have no worry about trying to rebalance the budget, I am willing to pay my share. However, the structure of this budget is not equitable, the burden carried by the low income and fixed income sector is far in excess of that carried by the companies and high earning individuals who pay less than they should already.
    Mar
    20th May 2014
    7:10pm
    It's not a few dollars a week. It will be the difference between deciding to have an evening meal or go to the doctors for some people. For a single mother with a sick child it could be punishing. Medicare must be protected. A young person who cannot find work will be penalized. It's not just about living on a low income. For some it will be the total inability to pay the doctor. A choice between food or medical attention. For those lucky enough to have a job and be earning a reasonable income it might only be a few dollars. For the aged living only on the pension, paying rent and in ill health , it will push them further into depression.If this budget goes through we are in for a more depressed society and a bigger drain on our medical system which will already be suffering from less finance. Our youth already have a higher suicide rate than ever. Whilst the rich get richer!!!!!
    Jilly B
    20th May 2014
    7:41pm
    I do not agree with this conclusion that the poorest will bear most of the ''heavy lifting". It will not be easy for me or anyone who has limited means and maybe will live for a long time as a single person without any family support. I have always known this fact so at 50 years of age I left my husband who was running up more debt each year, started a degree in education which I completed in 31/2 years and I have worked overseas for the last 7 years due to the lack off positions in Australia. I bought a modest apartment in 2010 and I am paying it off as fast as I can and living a frugal life. When I had two children I worked at a huge variety of jobs which paid poorly and there was no child care refunds or subsidies, no baby bonus and many other benefits which are available today. It can be done if you plan and live frugally. I am also paying off a new car and have travelled in my holidays. It if not any persons fault that the previous government ran up a huge debt and all of us in some way have to pay it back. They had conducted government this way for my entire life from my observations. So what to do!! Cut back on non essential items, and pay accounts and get the interest benefit. Pay by the month if necessary and there are many other things that can be done. Use less electricity, fresh air is free, and your children do not have to have the latest of everything. I watch my parents and my pupils every day and the amount of items that children are bought these days are simply extravagant.
    MacI
    20th May 2014
    7:42pm
    I understand that the government need to get spending under control but to try to run an argument that the heavy lifting is being carried by everyone is despicable and makes me angry. What makes it worse for me is that I voted for them and I feel really let down. I'm retired and while not wealthy I consider myself reasonably comfortable. I think that I've gotten off lightly at the expense of the poorest and most vulnerable.
    Each day I learn something new that makes me more disappointed. Today I read that the money that the federal government gives to the states to fund pensioner discounts for electricity, rates, and phones will be withdrawn as of 1st July. I guess this is another flick pass to the state governments.
    Yesterday I read that interest on HECS debt which is currently set at CPI will be tied to the government bond rate from 2016. My son works works with the disabled. Most workers in disability services are among the lowest paid and therefore are among the people least able to pay off HECS debt quickly.
    I'm having difficulty coming to terms with the inequity embedded in this budget. I just don't get Abbott and Hockey. Is it that they have no comprehension of the hardship even a relatively small reduction in income does to the poorest in our society or is it that they are driven by a cold impersonal ideology that leaves no room for empathy. They project themselves as tough, doing the right thing for the nation, but to take a big stick to the most vulnerable and a feather duster to the wealthiest is not tough - it's weak. If they were truly tough they would have hit the wealthiest at least proportionally.
    Wstaton
    20th May 2014
    8:47pm
    I commend you on your comment KCI. You do not mind paying your fair share to bring what our current government thinks we are heading for, bankruptcy. You think you will be still comfortable after paying for extras and reduced overall income to spend. To still though see that there are many people that will be adversely effected by the disproportional application of these measures. It is disturbing that a loot of people are affect buy 10% or more of their income whereas it is stated that the upper echelons are only affect .5%. This is a disproportional atrocity. If it was to be fair everyone should be effected the same percentage after all the upper echelons are really going to be the ones who are also going to benefit more in the long run as well. So if the lower echelons are affected by 10% the so should the upper. 10% of $200,000 dollars is $20,000 not the $1000 currently. After all fairs fair.
    Jilly B
    20th May 2014
    7:51pm
    KCI Did you ask yourself how the wealthy got wealthy!! Why should they pay excessively more because they studied hard, work long hours, and make investments that benefit them and perhaps their family? Some people have a dream run and get inheritances or businesses bought for them for most people do not. Everybody has a change to improve their status by hard work and prudent monetary measures. Some simply do it better than others.
    Wstaton
    20th May 2014
    8:59pm
    Jilly B. You have done well in the way you decided to combat adversities in your life. Unfortunately all people are not the same (thank goodness or we would all be clones)

    You should read a previous comment about graduates not being able to find a job in their areas of expertise and in their commendation are working in jobs outside of their expertise, waitering an such. I went to a graduation of one young man what cannot get a job after graduating and is currently virtually digging ditches. It worries me that this young man after striving to keep off the dole and inadvertantly through no fault of his own loses his job will then be expected to live on nothing for six months while trying to find another one.

    This government arrogantly assumes that anyone without a job is automatically assumed a bludger. True there are some who are. But their perception is the same as assuming everyone is a criminal because there are criminals out their.
    MacI
    21st May 2014
    3:55pm
    Jilly B. I'm not sure what your point is. I'm all for hard work and prudence. For some the reward for this is material and monetary wealth. For others not so. For many their lack of wealth is due to no fault of their own, certainly not the lack of hard work or prudence - perhaps they fell on hard times due to an accident or they have some disability or they are not gifted intellectually. I could list a hundred good reasons. My son will never be wealthy materially because his choice of career is to work with intellectually disabled adults but I can tell you that he is abundantly wealthy in other ways.

    Rather than ask the question how do the wealthy get wealthy I'd rather ask the question what to do with that wealth. As is often quoted the measure of a society is how it looks after the weak and vulnerable. I fear that the hard nosed approach of the current government will lead us down the path to increased inequality and division.
    Kathleen
    20th May 2014
    8:28pm
    I have come to the conclusion that a few on here just like to argue and interestingly they argue on the side Abbott and Hockey. Most people across the sites I have been reading are knocking the budget because of inequality it will cause. People who voted for the Liberal government are regretting their vote and some back benchers are not siding with the government. Homelessness, poverty and class inequality are not the Australian way of life. Overseas aid needs to go where children are undernourished. If we become mean spirited we will just create a very sad world. We all know where the money should come from and they would hardly blink at its loss!
    *Imagine*
    20th May 2014
    8:32pm
    As I said KCI you will not convince some people, they just don’t get it!

    Jilly B says she went overseas for seven years because there were no jobs in teaching. In SA that is still the same, so why penalise the students who were led to believe that there were positions for them? Sure some high value businesses and individuals do pay their share of tax but I know people in business who avoid paying tax by using trusts and other legitimate tax minimisation schemes.

    Some I know have employed their children as part time labourers and their business then puts them through their tertiary education at no cost to the child or parent. The business then claims the training as a tax deduction and the tax payer is the loser. Is that acceptable? They think so because they see it as getting back what they paid in.

    You don’t hear much whinging about the petrol tax because it hits everyone. Increase the GST if you have to, it will affect everyone - even then it is known that those on low and fixed income will fair the worst as a percentage of income. However, please do not pretend that this budget is equitable. IT IS NOT.
    Mar
    20th May 2014
    9:59pm
    I am concerned that Abbott and Hockey don't know what they really are doing. They seem confused. Hockey says he will look at Superannuation now. Abbott says not during this term. Mr. Abbott seems to contradict and look vague. I have the feeling they are flying by the seat of their pants.I have no confidence in their ability. We need a leader with strength,confidence, clear direction, open communication and compassion. Then I will believe.
    Jilly B
    21st May 2014
    5:10am
    Mar,

    No such person that you describe exists. I you take/make hard decisions because the lot before you made a huge financial mess then you are uncompassionate, if you give out money like water to everyone for everything then you have debt like we have. Could you please give us the benefit of your wisdom and explain how we are going to get back to a small amount of debt without cutting back on handouts etc. we could rob the rich but that is not possible as they have mostly worked hard for their money and use everything available to reduce their tax. The poor just keep moaning, and the middle class get slugged the most. I agree it is hard work looking for a job and that the sort of training that is often given is not effective but there are jobs in places but some people do not want to move out of their comfort zone.
    retroy
    21st May 2014
    10:36am
    You are right Jilly but while I agree the richer people as individuals do the heavy lifting already.(see my earlier post trying to explain to those who do not want to open their eyes)
    It is another thing to try and rip off the poorer people, even though they may be poor by choice (having been to the pub and smoking every night, and then to the TAB on week ends)
    Where is your compassion ?
    Ny19
    22nd May 2014
    9:59pm
    Mar I feel the same way you do. I have no faith in their capability.
    Ruthie
    21st May 2014
    10:35am
    Hockey's personal age of entitlement is most certainly not over and never will be.

    Why is it that the elderly pay such a heavy price? Looking at my own situation, an extra $172 per year in prescription costs, extra for fuel; about an extra $20 per year, loss of concessions usually funded by the Federal Government about $450 and probably more per year, the slowing and effective reduction of aged pension rates and the co-payments an extra $70 per year. That amounts to $712 over one year!

    This budget is so unfair. The wealthy get off so lightly and the 2% tax will be like a sniff in the wind for them.

    What about taxing the miners who make obscene profits while digging up our wealth? The Coalition made sure while in opposition their rich mates would not have to pay the mineral resource rent tax. The wealthy millionaire superannuates, who have funneled huge amounts into superannuation get enormous tax concessions. Addressing that, would reap the government $34 billion.

    As for Tony Abbott's gold plated PPL scheme - what can one say? If you are married to a millionaire and you earn $100000 Abbott the fool of a PM will hand these people the princely sum of $50000 and pay all their superannuation payments!! Where is the fairness and equity in this stupid costly scheme.

    Peter Costello was right when he described Tony Abbott as an economic simpleton and at least one psychiatrist has described him as a psychopath!

    Now we have Ministers bleating about the so-called economic crisis. Australia is now heading for what happened in Greece, where the wealthy avoid paying tax and huge cuts were made to welfare, dragging the country down into the depths of recession.

    The foul-mouthed Christopher Pyne last night said Labor is lying about the cuts and how they will affect ordinary households and people will flock back to supporting of the Coalition. What a lying fool he is. He lied in Parliament last week, when he called Opposition Leader Bill Shorten a c*** and then later denied he had said such a filthy, obscene word - claimed the word was 'grub'. Thousand s have seen and heard the footage. At the time he was speaking into a microphone and the offending word was clearly audible. He was not even censored by Madam Speaker ( the worst we have ever had), who just commented: "The Minister will address people by their correct titles." Compare that to when Julie Collins Labor from Tasmania, was thrown out for laughing about the reintroduction of knights and dames. Another was thrown out for simply saying "Madam Speaker".

    Don't blame me, I didn't vote for Tony Abbott!
    stuie52
    21st May 2014
    4:43pm
    What happened in Europe when they brought in their austerity measures in I worry this will happen here if this government carries on with it's behavior, who can trust Abbot/Hockey now very dangerous times me thinks
    Grateful
    22nd May 2014
    4:49pm
    And we have been harangued for months/years that we are in a "budget crisis" necessitating this horror budget, yet, just yesterday, the very person who has spread all of this fear saying that it will be at least 10 years before we can get things under control, comes out and says that he "might" introduce TAX CUTS in the next parliament!!! Sure he can start saying that now because he will have to make some more very big promises (to break) to even get close to being re-elected in 2017 (if he is still the leader!!!)
    MacI
    21st May 2014
    5:01pm
    In a previous post I've ventured my opinion on the budget. This comment relates to the state of politics in our country. I am driven to despair by the predictability of our politicians. If one side says something is black inevitably the other side says it is white. One side hypes up the perilous state of our nation's finances while the other side down plays the situation - some adjustments need to be made but sometime in the future.

    It got me to thinking that maybe we get what we deserve. What if the Coalition told us what they were going to do before the election. Do you think they would have been voted in? I don't think so.

    Take the GST as an example. It stands to reason that if we want better education and a health system that can cope with an aging population more tax revenue needs to be raised. I can almost guarantee that if one party adopts a policy of increasing or broadening the GST the other party will oppose it to gain a political advantage.
    Radish
    25th May 2014
    4:13pm
    I believe the GST should be raised. Other countries are all higher so understand.

    As I have said before on here ; why on earth would the Liberals make themselves so unpopular and risk losing the next election if these steps do not need to be taken.??
    Stop and think about it everyone!

    Surely it would be much easier to just let the status quo stand and stay in government.

    Just does not make sense to me that Abbott and Hockey would do this for no reason.
    Jilly B
    22nd May 2014
    10:46pm
    When reading these comments I came to question what has happened to all the GST money that the states were supposed to get from this initiative?? Many People complain about both the Health and education system and the major roads so where is the accountability of what they collect at present?
    LawrieA
    23rd May 2014
    10:22am
    Wouldn't it be great if all the whingers focused on the big picture instead of themselves. I reckon the budget is harsh but firm in its application. I will cope quite well. I'm a new pensioner who has stuff all assets. But I've got my life to live in the greatest country on earth.SUCK IT UP!!

    23rd May 2014
    2:45pm
    You whingers are so funny...the way you go on...LITTLE MINDS THINKING OF YOURSELVES

    23rd May 2014
    2:46pm
    The PATRIOTS of AUSTRALIA will do their bit...the TRAITORS will complain

    23rd May 2014
    3:11pm
    Reading some Comments in social media regarding the budget it seems the atheists as usual in their double standards; take offence that church groups are tax exempt. I do not know all details but churches are charitable organisations, indeed many so called religious groups; the Salvos, Vinnie’s and a range of other groups who do good works. Now if the anti - religious folks want such groups to pay tax, then we better include all secular charitable organisations also. Such as Volunteer Rural Fire brigades which are registered as charitable institutions, Rotary, Care Australia, etc. How about any registered Atheist organisations who do charity works, they better start coughing up tax too, boom, boom.
    Radish
    23rd May 2014
    3:21pm
    I repeat, I want to see Shorten's answer as to how he would handle things if he was in power. All fluff and no substance so far.
    Anonymous
    25th May 2014
    8:29am
    I think Shorten might be a bit short on what he would do.....he does not answer the question...ALL he has to say is...OK I will do this to fix that, and do that to fix this....what's so hard about answering.... HIM speak with forked tongue

    Anyway I'm off soon to renew my drivers licence for 5 years...it's free for pensioners.
    Kato
    27th Jul 2014
    1:05pm
    Lisa Owen began by asking him how much trouble the Australian economy was in given his drastic measures in the recent Budget.

    Joe Hockey: The Australian economy is not in trouble. We’ve had 23 years of consecutive economic growth.


    Read more: http://www.3news.co.nz/Interview-Joe-Hockey/tabid/1348/articleID/354234/Default.aspx#ixzz38dLvSp61