Joe Hockey told the people of Australia the 2014 Federal Budget was going to be tough and everyone would have to contribute to help return our economy to a generous surplus by 2024-25.
Last night the Treasurer handed down the Coalition’s first budget saying, “The age of entitlement is over. It has to be replaced, not with an age of austerity, but with an age of opportunity.” As a result, small businesses, medical researchers and exporters are among the groups expected to gain from the package measures, while high income earners, families, pensioners and the under 30s will bear the brunt of spending cuts and tax increases which will reap $37 billion over the next four years.
Here’s a quick guide to see how the Budget will affect you:
From 1 July 2015, visits to the doctor will cost everybody $7 with the introduction of a Medicare co-payment. The co-payment will be waved for children and those on concessions only after 10 visits a year. You’ll also have to pay $7 when you visit out-of-hospital pathology and imaging services, such as getting an X-Ray or an MRI.
Need a prescription? From 1 July 2015, you will have to pay a $5 prescription fee that applies to any prescription subsidised by the government’s Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
Petrol prices are set to jump. The government will reintroduce the twice annual indexation of fuel excise to the Consumer Price Index from August 1 this year.
From 1 July 2016, graduates will begin paying HECS once they start earning over an estimated $53,345. This is lower than the expected cut-off for 2014-15 which is $53,345.
Interest rates charged on HECS debts will rise. Currently students are only charged indexation linked to the consumer price index.
Jobs are on the line with dozens of government agencies to be axed or merged. Over four years, 16,500 people will their jobs.
HIGH INCOME EARNERS
A 2 per cent ‘temporary budget repair levy’ will apply to taxable incomes over $180,000 for three years
Born after 1965? You will not be able to receive the pension until you turn 70.
UNEMPLOYED AND UNDER 30
It’s about to get a whole lot harder to collect unemployment benefits. New rules mean you’re on a six month waiting period for Newstart from 2015, and 25 hours a week of work for the Dole.
Family tax payment will be tightened with families and sole incomes who currently receive family tax benefit part B to be hit hardest. The new income threshold test for recipients if FTB part B will be reduced to $100,000 and these families will be cut from the payment when their youngest child turns six, a drastic change from the current situation where it stops when the youngest child turns 16.
Working mothers will receive six months paid parental leave from July 2015, capped at incomes of $100,000 a year.
On a positive note, savings from health cuts will be diverted to a Medical Research Future Fund, estimated to have capital of $20 billion by 2020- the largest of its kind in the world.
There you have it – the latest budget will affect all individuals in one way or another. For any questions or advice on the Budget, or for any tax or accounting related matters the accountants at The Quinn Group can help. Call us on 02 9223 9166 or submit an online enquiry.