Budget 2017: how does it affect you?

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Today Treasurer Scott Morrison delivered his much-anticipated Budget 2017/18 and YourLifeChoices was in the Budget Media Lock Up to enable us to report on the changes that matter most for retirees.

As you can imagine, there’s quite a bit to digest so tomorrow we will share a detailed analysis of the measures that are most likely to affect affordability in retirement.

In the interim, here’s a wrap up of the items that we believe you need to know:

Age Pension

  • changes to Age Pension portability, which would have seen Age Pension payments subject to the Work Life Residency Rule six weeks after the recipient left the country, have been scrapped
  • Pension Concession Cards will be reinstated to those who lost their Age Pension eligibility as a result of the 1 January 2017 asset threshold changes
  • residency requirements will increase for those looking to claim an Age or Disability Support Pension

Medicare

  • a Medicare Guarantee Fund will be established from 1 July 2017 to ensure the ongoing funding of Medicare
  • the freeze to Medicare Benefits Schedule payments to GPs will be lifted from 1 July 2017 onwards
  • changes to the bulk billing incentives for pathology and diagnostic imaging have been scrapped, meaning patients should pay less for these services.
  • funding of new or amended listings on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme to give more affordable access to medicines


National Disability Insurance Scheme

  • introduction of a 0.5 per cent increase to the Medicare Levy from 1 July to ensure funding of the National Disability Insurance Scheme

Housing affordability

  • ability to salary sacrifice up to $30,000 into superannuation for first home buyers, which can be withdrawn to fund home deposit
  • encouragement for those over 65 years of age who downsize their home to make a non-concessional super contribution of $300,000 ($600,000 for couples)
  • incentives to fast-track building of new, affordable housing
  • incentives for investors in affordable housing

Banking

  • banks with liabilities greater than $100 billion to pay a levy that will be used to support budget repair

What do you think? Is this a Budget that will help ordinary retirees? Is there anything you think is important that has been overlooked?

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Written by Debbie McTaggart

227 Comments

Total Comments: 227
  1. 0
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    At first look it seems like a ‘going forward’ budget where the coalition have finally started to consider working Australians.

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      Do you really honestly think that. What about struggling working people who are forced into paying 2.5% medicare levy plus forced to be in a private health fund they are paying high taxes as well as the levy and private health, they cannot possibly be in front.

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      I read that people on $22,500 a year will cop a tax increase while those earning $1 million a year will get a tax cut. Doesn’t sound much like a ”going forward budget where the coalition have finally started to consider working Australians” to me.

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      Also the banks will pass their tax on to all of us.

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    I noted ongoing pressure on older (retired) home owners to ‘down-size’. The issue is this – a n older home owner may sell their existing property and then place up to $300k into their existing superannuation fund, which would perhaps net that person, at a 5% return, an extra $6000 a year, or (round figures) $231 a fortnight

    On the other hand a pensioner who invested $300k in a bank at a deemed rate of 5% (LMAO) would raise therefore extra income of (round figures) $231 a fortnight, which would mean that pensioner would lose around $30 a fortnight due to pension reduction = $201 a fortnight (approximately).

    Bureau of Second Class Retirees, put your hand up!

    So those ‘with’ once again get more than those ‘without’ – sick, sick, sick, and a blatant attempt to reduce the Social Security budget (discussed under the headline of ‘welfare’, but listed in expenditure as Social Security – eat it – read the definitions of these two different things)…

    Cut off people for not attending job interviews… well .. how does that give them money to attend job interviews? Cut them off for four weeks – how does that give them any incentive to go to an interview?

    What’s next – ‘showed up dressed in unsuitable attire’…. wot? On $253 a week unless it’s been chopped to save the Guv a few bucks, you expect me to show up in a suit with briefcase, or in full safety gear and uniform for a lolly pop man job on the highway?

    Point is – bring in a ‘rule’ and how long before it is extended? (not long)…

    Chop off pensions for those who caused it ENTIRELY by their own (mis) actions, such as drug or alcohol abuse…. hmmm… that leads us to the Orson Carte argument.. or was it the Carton Orse? Or is that the Chicken Anegg, or Eggan Chicken? (would you like fries with that?)….

    How many mentally disabled or disadvantaged people turn to drugs and/or alcohol?

    I note that at the same time as this is being set in place for non-service disabilities, the onus has been partially reverted away from that for Veterans and Ex-Service personnel… who now do not need to prove AS MUCH that the issues they are dealing with are solely service related … now I by no means criticise that last and indeed applaud it – but once again… hands up the Bureau Of Second Class Citizens…… please step forward and identify yourselves and then justify your position…..

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      Yes I thought the $600,000 into super sounded a bit hollow. The sums will be done on that in the next weeks I dare say. And remember that the big big national super nest egg is attracting governments of all persuasion and in time a government will nationalise this to gets its greedy hands on some of the loot. Who in their right mond would want more than a very few dollars in super. It’s a time bomb waiting to be set off.
      Not a real lot for retirees from what I could see. More smoke and mirrors for this group.

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      Nothing to suggest that extra $300,000 in super will be excluded from assets test, so what’s the benefit? You downsize and lose pension benefits or you retain your more costly home and get a higher pension.

  3. 0
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    so theres no more bulk billing pathology services ??

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      Bulk billing remains.GPS will be encouraged to bulk bill if they want to

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      Removing a ‘freeze’ is like Affirmative Action – one the ‘insiders’ have been set in place, this becomes ‘normal’ and so is impossible to remove without a major excision of the cancer….

      Same with the punishment handed out by the Libs for the refusal of the $7 co-payment – they froze the rebates, the doctors responded by charging full price in most cases, and now the docs will not go back.

      Why should they when they have become accustomed to ‘normal’ earnings and there will always remain the fear that they are being sucked in for another chop? Full fee is now ‘normal’ and without massive excision of this cancer, will kill the patients…

      THAT is always the problem with half-baked policy ideas…. they cause lasting harm to many with no measurable benefit apart from to a few.

    • 0
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      Everyone should be required to pay a co payment to stop all the unnecessary medical servicing. GP wanted me to see her recently but I said no nothing aches and why should she get paid $300 and I get to waste my time unpaid waiting to see her.

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      ‘unnecessary medical servicing’? What planet do you live on?

      You pay your GP $300? What planet do you live on?

      I’m on the verge of oesophagus and bowel inspection – no cost.

      Looking also at cardiac intervention for a faulty valve (maybe)… might end up as open heart…..

      It’ll take a while for the gougers to get $300 from me – but then – I suppose you feel that kind of medical attention is ‘unnecessary’….

      On the other side – what would you do without me to keep you on the straight and narrow?

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      Medicare pays my GP $300 A visit. I pay nothing. Check your mygov Medicare records and you will see how much your doctors are getting for your free treatment.

  4. 0
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    Am I missing something?
    Re
    “Place up to $300k into their existing superannuation fund, which would perhaps net that person, at a 5% return, an extra $6000 a year”” – 5% of $300K
    I thought that would be an extra $15000 a year ?

    • 0
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      Not Christmas yet John.

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      hehe NET. They want you to compound your savings to draw down on it in future years.

      They seem to forget that the home that has been so carefully preserved is the best inheritance we can give the next generation for their superannuation. That family home can mean the next generation is not begging for the government pennies in retirement.
      If you think our generation is short of super funds – wait for our kids reaching retirement. Poor guys, they will have next to nothing.

      It really just seems they want to be one step closer to throwing oldies out of their homes – no matter how humble to make way for “growth”.

      It reminds me of when the crofter’s homes were destroyed in Scotland and they were forcibly extracted from their land and sent to Australia. They just haven’t got anywhere to send us except 6 foot under.

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      Rosret the generations following you have theoretically put aside their super nest egg through years of hard work, I’m one of those. Plus people are now more portable in their work and don’t necessarily live in the same place for years. They also don’t necessarily want the burden of maintaining a home with a garden etc. You should enjoy the fruit of your labours, downsize and enjoy the rest of your life. I am sure children all over if they have worked hard and saved, would rather see you enjoy these years.

      The Government is looking at the wrong areas to recoup money. They should be looking at religious bodies who pay no taxes and the big businesses. Looking to make the vulnerable pay for the Governments cowardice is never a solution.

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      I agree with Ted Wards, downsizing is a good idea if you are not wanting to garden or otherwise use your quarter acre. You can start gifting your children money within the confines of the tax laws now, you don’t need to wait until you die to help your children out if that’s what you want to do.
      Now that SGC by employees is in place & your kids have the option to salary sacrifice (tax free) then if they manage things properly they will be fine. If your kids fritter away their opportunities then they will struggle – the choice is theirs.
      Go enjoy your retirement, you worked hard to get where you are, enjoy it.

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      Start gifting to your children, Trees? At the rate of a massive $30K over 5 years. And that even includes paying for a meal or buying the grandkids a Christmas and birthday gift. What a joke! Precisely how long is it since that limit was increased?

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      Just have the solicitor write cheques for the difference in the name of the kids. No money goes into your account and Centrelink doesn’t care if you swap one house for another. No gifting rules apply.

    • 0
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      Thank you, johnp, for pointing out my error.

      All that means is that a person on OAP will lose a hell of a lot more from pension by downsizing and putting cash into an account of any kind..

      Pretty obvious even to the casual observer what the true intent of this ‘policy thrust’ is….

      You’d have to be born yesterday to not see where this one leads…..

      Draw down every asset of the older person, until they have nothing, and draw them down so they cannot hand on any security to their future generations… while those with a heap will do that with ease.

      Would you like fries with that?

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      Ted – theory is a wonderul thing – but in view of the constant panicked changes to super so far by this insane lot – what guarantee do YOU offer that future generations, with massive and entrenched un- and under-employment as a way of life – will have any super at all?

      Sorry – I’m happy to pass on whatever I have to my beloved children and my beloved grand-children. If they have extra at the end of the day – that will not even remotely compare with what those who are designing this concept will have.

      You ever see one of those cats retire with nothing?

  5. 0
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    Time to buy a bigger country estate and sell the banks me thinks.

    • 0
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      I agree Bonny. Time to UPSIZE my home not DOWNSIZE and then i can draw the full pension.

    • 0
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      Yep! That’s what this IDIOTIC government is encouraging with their dumb assets test. At least they’ve addressed the pensioner concessions. Now they should wake up and reverse the assets test change, or better still introduce aged pensions for all and tax other income.

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      Rainey they need to either give the concession card to only those on the full OAP or to everyone over 65 to stop all this manipulation of assets just to get the card.

      As it stands a retiree with money invested well can earn a lot of money tax free if they have it invested well so they don’t need the OAP but will do anything to get that card.

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      Yes, those who CAN invest well can be well off and don’t need government help. Those who CAN’T invest well, because of early deprivation or mental incapacity, and those with very high needs, are being punished for saving and left to struggle.

      The system is WRONG. I agree all over 65 should get concessions. Also, all over 65 should get the same pension, or else the pension should be income-tested only, with extra concessions for those with special needs. It is wrong to punish people for saving if they suffer disadvantage and are unable to enjoy high investment returns.

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      Tell ‘ er she’s dreamin’….

  6. 0
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    I really don’t think there was anything in this budget for pensioners/part pensioners/retirees. Maybe a little bit, if you want to downsize your home and value, but then your pension gets a hit or you may lose it completely, depending on how much money you have. You would need to factor that in. THIS GOVERNMENT JUST DOES NOT GET IT.
    They are being dragged kicking and screaming, adopting diluted policies of the Labor Government, along with putting the boot into the young people of our country by putting up Tertiary costs and reducing the time for them to pay it back to try and try to get some street cred to scrape back into Government. More attacks on the Welfare recipients. All whilst investors get a free ride on negative gearing and the top end of town continues to get richer. The Banks will pass on their increased costs to their customers to ensure their profits remain obscene. Debt has increased under this Government and future plans to surplus are all just “pie in the sky” forecasts. I think they are an insult to the intelligence of Seniors. Sorry Malcolm and Scotmo…I don’t believe in Santa either!

    • 0
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      I agree, Chrissy. It certainly seems to me that gov’t will continue to support the wealthy and big businesses.

    • 0
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      Ditto.
      It’s amazing what electoral disaster will do to any party.
      They are going to have to offer a lot more to get older Australians to sell up and leave their established network for a smaller house, probably in the burbs. Good luck with that one.

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      What Government ever gets it when it comes to the aged pensioner, they sit in their office and look forward to their huge ongoing payouts when they leave parliament, never mind the old hard working pensioner that kept this country growing long before they entered office.

  7. 0
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    Well I would say that if the random drug testing of Job Seekers is because they are funded by the Tax Payer, the Dole, then maybe the other people whose jobs are also funded by the Tax Payer, namely the politicians, should also be subjected to random drug tests too.

    • 0
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      I agree, we don’t want drunken drugged pollies running the country. Maybe time they cut their alcohol budget.

    • 0
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      Certainly their entertaniment allowance if they get one.

    • 0
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      I think you drug test those who are well understood to be on drugs. Not sure pollies are in that category.

    • 0
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      If you deny a drug addict dole bludger subsistence money they are going to commit more crimes. More crimes will increase our insurance premiums.
      Is this really worth the cost??

      Oldies, the disabled, the injured, the sick are usually on a vast concoction of drugs – I wonder how that would work.

    • 0
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      Time to drug test all those on welfare including OAP. There would be very few not on some kind of prescription drugs which are no different than any other drug. All drugs including prescriptions ones are poisons and should be included in this testing.

    • 0
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      Exactly what O.G would say Bonny, its almost like he was on the site.

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      I remember a doctor at one of Perth’s major hospitals doing research into how much alcohol reduced the brain. Particularly in executives with their lunchtime meetings.
      She proved that it did diminished the brain, and she was going on to research at what point would the brain not rejuvenate. I retired long before that finished, so I don’t know the answer.
      However, the pollies enjoy cheap meals and cheap good wines in the parliamentary dining room. So what chance are we getting of good government from them after a session.
      About time they were tested for alcohol and drugs.

    • 0
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      I think people should be drug tested a lot more as there are way too many people on drugs that are a danger to every one else especially on our roads. Many people are also too tired to drive as well.

    • 0
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      Bonny that’s a slippery slope – drug test welfare recipients for prescriptions drugs – sure hope you aren’t on an poison prescription drugs they might start drug testing pensioners & then where would you be? Don’t know too many elderly people not on some sort of prescription drug to stay alive.

      I can’t believe you really want to waste more tax payers money on drug testing every beneficiary for prescription drugs.

    • 0
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      Why not as they are a danger on our roads especially if they drive? I have nearly run over lots of old people who have no idea where they are as they are so drugged up. Not to mention those idiots on mobility scooters because they are no longer able to drive. They do such stupid things. One was driving up a major highway in the middle lane and couldn’t see a thing as he had a frosted up rain shield over it as well. He was nothing but an accident waiting to happen. Pedestrian crossings are another problem as they just don’t stop or look before they drive their scooter out a about 10 times walking pace. The number of people run over by them in nursing homes is mind boggling too.

    • 0
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      What sort of a person are you Bonny to demand OAP be drug tested because they are on prescribed medicine?, you and OG were made in the same mould and I am wondering now if you are one and the same person, SHAME ON YOU. A few of the politicians themselves have said all workforce members should be drug and alcohol tested, pollies, Public Servants and even Journalists who go into Parliament House.

    • 0
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      Why not Old Geezer because then they have to find the money to do the drug testing & those poor elderly people have to go to a centre to be tested which means they are on the footpaths or on the road on their mobility scooters – a danger to you.
      You intolerant old geezer – did you ever stop to try & assist any of these elderly people you have witnessed as a danger to themselves?
      I would have as a guess you would be an arrogant driver, just voicing my opinion with no facts – as you seem to do continually.
      You on any prescription drugs old geezer? go have a drug test then & then you will be able to scream how you are being victimised.

    • 0
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      They can drug test me all they like I haven’t got a problem with it at all. I don’t take any of those poisons and I am much better off for it. If you think prescriptions prolong life then it’s not the pills but mind over matter.

      I’m too busy keeping out of the way of these people to stop and help them. If I stop they will run into me. I’ve lots count of the number of times I have had to take evasive action. If they are not allowed to drive a car then why are they allowed to drive these? Just accidents waiting to happen.

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      Good for you using mind over matter & no pills – all credit to you OG.

      Of course you are too busy to help other people, I can tell from your demeanor you are far to important & busy buzzing around in your car in the right hand lane to lend a hand to your fellow man.

      I hope when you get to the same point as “these people” & you need help, that someone with a heart will lend you a helping hand & no aim for you on the pedestrian crossing.

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      I’m more concerned about hurting myself when they do unpredictable things and cause me to fall off my push bike. Car is OK as they will come off a lot worse than me.

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      you are such a caring old bugger OG, of course its all about you

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      So many close calls O.G, are you quite sure it is everyone elses fault? Have you been tested and found competent lately? Maybe you are “one of those people”, they are often the last to know.

  8. 0
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    The part of budget that says all Australians will pay an increased Medicare levy. Again it seems to me that it will certainly apply to the ordinary workers who don’t have heaps of tax lurks and perks, but what about the very wealthy who have all those lurks and perks so that they legitimately minimise their taxable income. They will still not pay their fare share of the Medicare levy. What about those millionaires,we read about recently, who pay no tax and no Medicare levy.

    What about government taxing big corporations so they pay their fair share of taxes. As well ensure that big mining companies pay decent sized royalties and ensure they pay tax on their profits instead of avoiding it by their various schemes. If government were to ensure these businesses paid these taxes our country would have little or no problems at all.

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      The Govt won’t do any of the things you advocate here Alexi, they are the Coalitions biggest supporters so the Coalition won’t do anything to upset them will they.

    • 0
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      There was a provision for collecting tax from multinationals but this is a bit of a joke. Recently the ATO won a case against Google who was being charged 7% interest the parent company in the US loaned the Australian arm when Google was only actually paying 1.2%. The courts let them claim 4% on their tax. A better deal for our tax system but still a rort and I do not understand WHY the actual rate was not enforced.
      Multinationals seem to be a protected species and most will still use their offshore tax shelters to avoid paying tax. THAT IS THE ISSUE TO FIX.

    • 0
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      Not sure how you can avoid the 0.5 increase unless you don’t pay tax. Private insurance is crippling at the moment so its getting more expensive in all directions.

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      You can earn a lot of money in this country without paying any tax.

    • 0
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      If you are one of them OG , that is cheating, as bad as Dole Bludgers.

    • 0
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      Nice one Misty 🙂

  9. 0
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    If it’s true that Oz spends 15 billion bucks a year on aliens, stranded over here from different countries & are not permanent residents or refugee’s, SEND THE BASTARDS HOME & build more housing for Australians. & help aged pensioners.

    • 0
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      Putting Australians first has not been a high priority for governments in this country. The solution is to elect politicians who are not aligned with parties which behave like this.

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      AGREE, AGREE, AGREE, get them out of the country, an airfare ticket home would be much cheaper and save this country BILLIONS.

  10. 0
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    Sounds like a lot of Labor policy in that lot plus an election coming. Quite a turn around in 4 years and I guess the polls showing this government is terminal may have convinced this lot to pull their grubby little heads in. But tax cuts to the rich not touched and negative gearing, the honey pot for our wealthy citizens to prosper compliments of the taxpayer, untouched….which means housing shortages for genY will stay the same. It will be interesting to see what ‘incentives’ are offered for those who construct affordable housing.
    This appears to be a fair budget. Had this lot canned tax cuts for the top end this government may actually have gained the support to stop its demise.
    It will be interesting what happens from here on in. At the very least Joe Hockey will have chocked on his cigar as he leans on taxpayers for the big bucks for himself.

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      question to our masked labor patsy, micky boy, just wondering where is tornado in your picture?

    • 0
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      Come on, heemie – you can do better than that!

    • 0
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      What’s ”fair” about it Mick? Tax increases for everyone earning above $22,000 a year. Bank tax that will be passed on. Tax cuts for the very wealthy. Ridiculous nonsense pretending to address housing crisis by giving the well off the chance to put money into super if they downsize, but of course no benefit there for pensioners. And this garbage about workers drawing down from super for a house deposit, but only if they can save enough that they have absolutely no need to do so!
      I can’t find anything ”fair” in it at all. Not a single thing. Certainly nothing that would win my vote, and I was a devout LNP supporter until recently.

    • 0
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      And I forgot to mention bashing the unemployed and poor further. Drug testing? Yep. Address the SYMPTOMS, not the cause. Do these idiots ever stop to think WHY the poor resort to drugs and alcohol? Of course not. Because if they did they would have to admit that the cruelty of the privileged and gross social injustice is the problem they should be addressing – and the poor are not to blame for that. They are victims.

    • 0
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      Better way is give everyone on welfare a card eith restrictions instead of cash in their bank accounts. Cash is a big part of the problem. No cash no money for drugs.

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