Federal Budget 2015/16 summary

So, what does the 2015/16 Federal Budget mean for you? Here’s a snapshot of what will change over the next two-three years

Age Pension

  • Age Pension indexation changes proposed in 2014/15 Budget have been dumped.
  • The three-year freeze in indexation of income thresholds and deeming thresholds has also been scrapped.
  • The Low Income Supplement, which can amount to $324 per annum, will cease to be paid from 1 July 2017
  • Changes to asset thresholds will increase pension payments for those with lower levels of assets, and will remove pension eligibility for those with higher levels.
  • A doubling of the pension taper rate, from $1.50 to $3 for every $1000 over the asset free threshold.

Health and aged care

  • A reversal of planned GP co-payment and $5 reduction in rebates for GP consultations
  • The establishment of a taskforce to review the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS)
  • $1.6 billion for new and amended items on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)
  • Provision of one year of funding to support public dental health services
  • From 1 January 2016, the rental income exemption for those in aged care, who pay their accommodation costs periodically while renting out their former home, will be removed
  • From 1 February 2017, funding will be allocated to the consumer based on their aged care needs.


Growing jobs and business

  • A cut in the small company tax rate by 1.5 per cent
  • A small business tax deduction for assets under $20,000 to take effect from 7.30pm tonight
  • A reinvigorated Restart wage subsidy of $10,000 (increase of $3500) paid to small businesses that employ older workers.


  • A simplified Child Care Subsidy to be implemented from 1 July 2017, based on family income
  • An additional Child Care Subsidy for children who are at risk of abuse or for families experiencing temporary financial hardship
  • From 1 January 2016, ‘No jab, no pay’ rule will stop access to child care payments and Family Tax Benefit Part A for those who do not vaccinate their children
  • Nannies Trial to commence from 1 January 2016, providing care for approximately 10,000 children by 4000 nannies.

Multinational tax avoidance

  • Introduction of a Multinational Anti-Avoidance Law to ensure business don’t escape paying tax in Australia
  • Charging GST on digital products and services imported by consumers
  • Increased penalties for tax avoidance by large multinational companies.

Fairer tax system

  • Capping to $5000 salary sacrificing of fringe benefits for employees of not-for-profit organisations
  • Additional funding to the ATO to extend the GST compliance program
  • Creation of a task force to fight serious financial crime and tax evasion.

Foreign investment

  • Additional and stricter penalties to ensure foreign investors do not profit from breaking the rules
  • Increased scrutiny and transparency around foreign investment in agriculture, lowering of screening thresholds and implementing a comprehensive register of foreign ownership of land.

Welfare system

  • An upgrade of the Department of Human Services’ information technology to meet the demands of today’s digital world
  • A return of $1.5 billion to the budget by increase DHS capacity to investigate and determine welfare fraud and non-compliance
  • Recovery of HELP debt from Australians who move and work overseas
  • Access to the paid Parental Leave Scheme to be limited to those whose employer does not provide parental leave entitlements.


  • $1.2 billion to be invested in national security, which includes $450 million in new intelligence measures to protect Australia and Australians, and $131 million to assist the telecommunications industry to upgrade its systems to implement the metadata retention policy

Written by Debbie McTaggart