Federal Budget 2015 Federal Budget In a rush: a brief guide to Budget 2015
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In a rush: a brief guide to Budget 2015

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After last year’s horrors, the Liberal Party is glowing at the much better reception this year’s budget has received.

Here is some of what you need to know to make up your own mind.

National security

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The Abbott govt seemed to want to make security a budget focus. Photo: AAP

One of the first lines in the Treasurer’s speech, after his opening remarks, was a reference to terrorism.

“We have stared down terrorist events in Sydney and Melbourne,” Mr Hockey said.

Prime Minister Abbott polls well in times of national adversity, and he seems to know it. His government made national security the theme of budget leaks immediately before its launch on Tuesday morning.

A total of $1.2 billion has been devoted to protecting the nation in the budget.

Tax reform

The so-called ‘Google Tax’ is here at last, as long as Parliament passes it into law.

The government has also flagged $127.6 million for a financial crime taskforce to prevent and punish, amongst other things, tax evasion, with expected revenue of $419.7 million over four years.

Families

Parents will receive an extra $3.2 billion in childcare subsidies over the next four years, on top of the already $7 billion price tag for existing assistance.

A simpler system will come into effect from July 2017, which will send payments directly to childcare centres instead of requiring parents to apply for rebates.

Families earning less than $185,000 will get up to $10,000 a year per child – $2,500 more than the current cap.

The budget also contained $843 million for preschools and $250 million for shift workers who need to employ nannies.

To fund these measures, the government wants to push through its cuts to family tax benefits.

Small business

‘Jobs!’ was the battle cry of this budget, and small business owners – those bastions of Liberal Party support – were the big winners.

Back in 2012, then-Treasurer Wayne Swan gave almost $4 billion in tax cuts to small business, but Mr Hockey has outdone even that with a $5.5 billion package.

Business people will be able to claim tax deductions for assets they purchase that cost less than $20,000. The government hopes this will spark a spending spree, thereby boosting the economy.

Unincorporated business – which include many small family enterprises – have also received a surprise 5 per cent tax discount (up to $1000 a year).

Young Australians

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Young Aussies have rallied against last year’s uni and welfare cuts. Photo: AAP

The government has reversed its deeply unpopular 6-month waiting period for welfare payments, which would have hurt unemployed Australians under the age of 30 if the Senate had ever passed it.

This delay for Newstart and Youth Allowance payments has been reduced to one month.

Instead of restricting payments, the government has pledged more than a billion dollars on various programs to get young Aussies into work.

Health and education

Both these portfolios saw little action in the budget papers.

The single biggest chunk of health spending ($1.6 billion) was for new drugs, while primary and high schools received an extra $4.1 billion in funding in education.

The university sector, which Mr Pyne has been trying to overhaul since last year, was largely ignored.

Foreign affairs

The budget confirmed a decision to cut foreign aid by 20 per cent from $5 billion to $4 billion next financial year.

Indonesia, which recently executed Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, suffered, its $605.3 million share almost halved to $366.4 million.

African aid was cut even more — by 70 per cent from $186.9 million to $93.9 million.

South East Asia also did not fare well, with a cut of 40 per cent.

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