Finance Federal Budget Quick facts you need to know about budget 2017

Quick facts you need to know about budget 2017

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In a rush? Get your quick budget fix. Photo: Getty
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Sick of the dense, word-heavy budget coverage that requires an economics degree to understand?

You’re in luck. We’ve condensed Treasurer Scott Morrison’s 2017 federal budget, handed down on Tuesday night, into easy-to-read factoids.

The political fight over this budget will rage for days, and it may have serious implications for your household budget, so it pays to be informed.

After reading this, you should be able to hold your own at the pub this weekend when the conversation strays onto ScoMo territory.


  • Very few experts are saying the budget’s housing affordability package will do anything to house prices
  • The government is sticking to its plan for tax cuts for big business, and admitted the plan will slash revenue by $65.4 billion between 2017-18 and 2027-28 (if it can get Parliament to vote for it all)
  • The government says it will stop adding to the national debt in 2020-21, but that relies on rosy predictions that economic growth (currently 2.4 per cent) will rise to 2.75 per cent in 2017-18 and then 3 per cent thereafter
  • National debt will hit $606 billion in 2020
  • Don’t expect a pay rise. Wages are growing at a very sluggish 2 per cent a year, and even the Treasurer’s rose-tinted glasses don’t see this improving to 2.5 per cent until 2018
  • The much-hyped “$75 billion over 10 years” the government promises to spend on infrastructure uses predictions far into the future (2021 and beyond), and includes projects already underway
  • The infrastructure spend is heavily skewed to roads, not trains
  • The $1.5 billion a year levy on the big banks looks like it’s designed to kill a royal commission, and the banks are threatening to jack up fees and rates to pay for it
  • A ‘deficit levy’ on high earners (extra 2 percentage points on income tax for earnings above $180,000) will be removed from June 30
  • Staffing at Department of Human Services will be cut by 4 per cent (from 29,835 to 28,647) and Department of Social Services by 2 per cent (from 1984 to 1942), despite high unemployment and hundreds of unanswered calls
  • Staffing at the Australian Bureau of Statistics will be cut by 14 per cent (from 2894 to 2486), despite the census debacle
  • University students will repay HELP debts when they earn $42,000 a year, not $54,869
  • From July 1 2019, the Medicare levy on our income will be lifted from 2 to 2.5 per cent to pay for the national disability scheme
  • Unemployment predicted to drop and wages to rise (a little), despite no protections for penalty rates, a bigger Medicare levy on low-income workers in 2018-19, and harsher university debt repayments
  • APRA, the bank regulator, gets new powers to “differentiate the application of loan controls by location”, which could be a hint at a crackdown on investors specific to Melbourne and Sydney

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