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Cut to the chase: How the Federal Budget affects the Pinay budget

Hockey who? Budget what? Here's how proposed government changes announced in the Budget last night can affect your bank account.

Here are snippets from Treasurer Joe Hockey's speech to help you understand which parts of the Budget may affect you. 

Building on the move by the former Government to increase the pension age eligibility to 67 by 2023, this Government will gradually increase the age of eligibility to 70 by 2035. That is over two decades away.

Okay, this is a big deal. It may be 20 years away but the question is, will there will be jobs around for those who are 60-plus and above. More importantly, would you want to still be at work then? Does this mean you have to stay at home with your parents or your parents live with you until you are 70? You gotta start thinking about your savings.

The annual Seniors Supplement will be abolished from 1 July this year.

Hmm, cross that benefit off the list.

Current family assistance rates will be kept at the same level for two years.

Okay, phew.

Families will benefit from the abolition of the carbon tax, saving households, on average, around $550 next year alone. 

The spin is the savings of $550 per family next year. But if you believe the government should do more about climate change issues, this is a setback.

In addition, families will continue to receive the ongoing Energy Supplement to help with power costs.

Phew, utility bills are so expensive!

The Government has decided to reduce the growth in our foreign aid budget to save $7.9 billion over five years.

Australia was one of the most generous donors after Typhoon Haiyan. The reduction of foreign aid will mean it would be tighter in its selection of which country in crisis, at any given point, will get help. Not a good thing.

A smaller, less interfering Government won't need as many public servants. 16,500 staff will leave over the next three years without compromising frontline services.

Bonus points to the Government for aggressively addressing inefficiencies within the system. But bad news if you're one of those 16,500 staff.

From next year, unemployed people under 25 will get Youth Allowance, not Newstart.

Noted.

People under 30 will wait up to six months before getting unemployment benefits, and then will have to participate in Work for the Dole, to be eligible for income support.

Whoah. This is a tough one. Once again, the importance of savings in case you get the sack. This is great news if people just want to abuse the system and very bad news if you're genuinely down on your luck and struggle to find a job.

From July this year, the Government will also support those learning a trade by providing concessional Trade Support Loans of up to $20,000 over a four-year apprenticeship.

Great move. Time to explore apprenticeships!

[There will be] a payment of up to $10,000 to a business that employs an Australian over the age of 50 who has been on unemployment benefits or the Disability Support Pension for six months.

Is $10,000 really enough of a sweetener? We'll have to wait and see.

For the first time, the Commonwealth will provide direct financial assistance for all students studying diploma and sub-bachelor degree courses.

Yay! The Budget's push for better education for all is one of its saving grace.

The Government's $20 billion Medical Research Future Fund. This fund will, within six years, be the biggest medical research endowment fund in the world. From next year, funds will start flowing from the Medical Research Future Fund into new medical research.

Even better news. If it's properly executed. Let's hope it works!

The Budget deficit will fall from its current $49.9 billion to $29.8 billion next year. It will then fall to a deficit of $2.8 billion in 2017-18. Our decisions have contributed $36 billion towards this improvement.

In other words, the government hopes to take away $36 billion it is currently providing in welfare, healthcare, foreign aid, education and government jobs. That is a MAJOR OUCH!

In New South Wales construction on the $11 billion WestConnex project will start within 18 months. This means 10,000 new jobs. The $18 billion East West Link in Melbourne starts work before Christmas and will create 6,000 new jobs.

Blah-blah-blah. If you work in construction, this is great news. If you happen to be in the community around these new construction projects, it is okay news. Again, the proof is in the pudding. Let's see whether it does create all those new jobs (mainly for men, but not for women though.)

The Government is re-introducing fuel indexation...

Your petrol costs will go higher.

From 1 July this year and for just three years, we are asking higher-income earners to pay a Temporary Budget Repair Levy that in effect increases the top marginal tax rate by two percentage points, for people earning more than $180,000 a year.

Phew, okay, not a lot of Filipinos are under this salary bracket. In fact, less than 3% of the Australian population fall under this category. Move along.

In short, if you are young, brash and relatively well-placed in life, the Budget might hurt your daily living costs but it won't have too much of an impact. But broadly speaking, if you are old, sick, disabled, down-and-out, or a plain burden to society, you are royally screwed. There really is only one choice after the Budget: tighten your purse strings. Either way, there will be pain.

 

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