What to expect in tonights Federal Budget.

Here Comes the Federal Budget: What to Expect

That’s right, it’s Federal Budget night. At 7:30pm the Turnbull Government will unveil its spending plans for the next four years, something that effects each and every one of us, some more than others.

It will also contain important economic forecasts, financial strategies, revenue methods and how they plan to manage government debt.

On top of this, it’s going to give us a good idea about Malcolm Turnbull’s intentions for economic leadership, so it’s safe to say the prime minister is probably feeling a little shaky right about now.

The government have already made some aspects very clear, others are still a little muddy, but here is a broad overview of what a to expect from the 2016 Federal Budget and why it matters to you.


University deregulation


While this one has been floating around for a little while, the Turnbull Government will be looking to introduce a modified version of deregulated university fees.

The basic idea is that the government will cut funding to save money, allowing universities to raise their own fees. The Labor Party argue that this will lead to profiteering among universities.

Massively unpopular from the get-go, rumours are saying that they will attempt to soften the blow by capping the size of what a degree will cost.

There have also been talks on lowering the repayment threshold, a move that would see graduates having to pay back their debt sooner.

Why should you care?

If you plan on getting a uni degree, it could end up putting you in way more debt than it would now. It’s also unfair to place such a large financial burden on students that have barely entered the real world, then expecting them to pay it back sooner.

You can get our editors complete rundown on HECS-HELP debt reform right here.


Tax cuts


Don’t get your hopes up, chances are you won’t get much out of this one.

Treasurer Scott Morrison has already confirmed tax cuts for businesses, likely focused on small and medium sized ventures. According to the Australian Financial Review, it will consist of small cut to their current 28.5 per cent tax rate. There are also talks on lowering the tax rate for bigger companies.

We’ll likely see some changes to income tax that will be tied to something called ‘bracket creep.’ We’ll delve into that a little further in our next budget article tonight.

Essentially, the income threshold at which your tax rate is bumped up to 37 per cent is currently $80,001. The proposal may be to move this up to $85,000, a move that will benefit about 300,000 Australians only.

Why should you care?

You probably won’t. Unless you earn between $80k and $85k, are looking at starting or already running your own business, there’s not much going on for you here.


Social matters


Malcolm Turnbull has already promised to spend around $100 million to combat domestic violence, so this is a safe bet. It includes funding for safe phones for victims, GPS trackers for scumbag offenders, as well as other security measures.

He is also committed to a four-year plan to tackle the ice epidemic, with $300 million to be spent on prevention strategies, rather than policing. Perhaps an acknowledgement of the failing war on drugs?

Why should you care? 

You should be able to feel safe in your community, whether it’s from drugs or violence of any kind, so government spending towards smart strategies to tackle these issues isn’t a bad thing.


Health


A new $5 billion subsidised dental scheme announced by Health Minister Sussan Ley will be replacing the current scheme. Dubbed the Child and Adult Public Dental Scheme, it will cover those under 18 years of age, as well as adults on low incomes with a Commonwealth concession card.

An extra $2.9 billion is expected to be put towards Australian hospitals between 2017 and 2020, as announced by Malcolm Turnbull this year. 100 new drugs are also expected to be added to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

Why should you care?

A healthy country is important, but unless you need one of those 100 drugs or make a trip to hospital in the next four years, it probably won’t have much bearing on you individually.


Infrastructure


Big spending has already been promised by the Turnbull Government on this front for NSW, VIC, WA and QLD. We’ll dive into this later tonight.

The most interesting is Mr Turnbull’s $50 million Smart Cities plan, which will be used to plan “30-minute cities,” aiming to spread out economic hubs and make travelling to employment centres from regional areas much faster, among other benefits.

I spoke to Professor Hal Pawson, Associate Director of UNSW’s City Futures Research Centre about his thoughts on whether this is an appropriate remedy to housing affordability, or simply a workaround.

“I think that it’s part of the solution, but it isn’t enough by itself,” he said.

“The government needs to intervene more directly to encourage the kind of supply that is useful to lower income earners in particular.”

Why should you care?

So far, this is the best stab at housing affordability we have seen, albeit, more of a workaround than anything else.

It could allow homebuyers to purchase cheaper property further away from their jobs, providing transport to CBD’s is improved or employment is made available nearer to those regional areas.


Anything else?


Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has already ruled out an increase to the GST, so that’s one thing you won’t have to worry about.

Whether there will be further strategies around housing affordability is yet to be seen, but it’s looking unlikely at this stage given they’ve already ruled out any changes to negative gearing. Professor Pawson says we shouldn’t hold our breath.

“There hasn’t been much indication of it, the latest statement that sort of has any relationship to housing affordability is what the Prime Minister said on Friday in his speech in Melbourne about the [Smart] Cities policy.”

If you’re a fiend for a ciggy, you could be faced with $40 for a single pack. Ouch.

There’s a proposed $15 million plan to give the menace carp population of the Murray Darling River herpes. Lol.

The government are also expected to announce a $150 million security package to help protect police by placing heavily armed guards around police buildings.

A $230 million cyber security strategy will probably make an appearance as part of a $1.4 billion boost to defence spending.

$73.6 billion is also expected to be spent on a new education package that will include school funding, supporting students and setting minimum standards for year 12 students wanting to continue to university.

Those earning more than $180,000 from superannuation are also looking at a tax hike from 15 per cent, to 30 per cent on their contributions.

Check in with us later tonight when we go through exactly what has been revealed and what matters to you.

Feature image: ABC

Sources: News.com.au, AFR