This evening Catalyst dissects the federal budget.
Editors Andrei Ghoukassian, Dragana Mrkaja and Nathan Stanogias were part of today’s lock-up. Tonight they’ll be filing stories about how the budget will affect you. Check out the live blog below for the latest updates:
Political commentator, Michelle Grattan on The Conversation says “the budget expects virtually no improvement in the bottom line between this financial year and the next. After the previous record, who knows whether these figures will be anything near the mark,” she said.
8.40pm Penny Wong speaking to ABC News 24. Oh, Penny!
Key points: There is no surplus. Sadface. The budget outlines a series of cuts to government spending such as the Baby Bonus and Family Benefit Part A (if you aren’t a power couple or a mother – no worries). $43 million has been put aside for the Royal Commission into sex abuse. The government has abandoned its plans for an internet filter. Tobacco smokers will lose out following an increase in the tobacco levy. A ten year plan to fund Disability Care Aust and Gonski outlined in budget.
“The Gillard Government has committed $3 billion to the Melbourne Metro project as part of the Nation Building Program’s next phase in a bid to reduce commuter congestion and boost productivity.
“The Government has proposed four new rail lines and five new train stations in the CBD which are said to add 19 train services per hour, providing an increase in passenger capacity of around 20, 000.”
“A near $1 million shortfall in the Federal Budget will prevent community-based radio stations from securing a digital future. “Community broadcasters believed they needed $3.6 million to fully prepare facilities for digital broadcast.”
“The Government will provide $2.7million over four years to help community stations upgrade their radio transmission equipment.”
8.19pm Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey says the budget deficit of $19b is no surprise on ABC’s 7.30 program.
“The numbers produced tonight are unreal. The deficit challenge is substantially large. And I’ll tell you why.”
He cited the mining tax as one of the reasons the government failed to reach surplus.
“We’ve been proven right the government is dishonest. And tonight is no different”.
Hands up if you’re surprised by Joe Hockey’s statements. Anyone? Anyone at all?
“The national disability insurance scheme will gain additional funding from a 0.5 per cent increase to the Medicare levy next year.”
The increase is expected to raise $20.5 billion between 2014-15 and 2018-19.
“Australian States and Territories are also expected to contribute $9.7 billion over ten years to help sustain long-term funding for the scheme.”
The Treasurer is on his way to ABC’s 7.30 studio. Can we swap places with you, Swanny? We love Leigh Sales. We want to be Leigh Sales. We are Leigh Sales. 7.58pm
We’ve chosen to give every child a world‑class education, and to make sure no Australian is left behind #Budget#Budget2013 — Wayne Swan (@SwannyDPM) May 14, 2013
7.56pm However, not everyone wins:
$2bn taken from regional infrastructure is a blow for regional communities #Budget2013 — Christine Milne (@senatormilne) May 14, 2013
7.54pm $5 million dollars for community radio. Hooray!
Editor Andrei Ghoukassian publishes an article on the Catalyst website. Here’s an excerpt: “Would-be parents, students, and foreign aid take a large hit with Government savings totalling $7.2 billion.
Two-and-a-half billion dollars would be saved by abolishing the Baby Bonus and replacing it with an increase to Family Tax Benefit Part A (FTB-A), while cuts to the universty sector of $2.8 billion were announced in April.”
Latika Burke s back. And better at Twitter than you.
Medicare Levy increase by 0.5% to 2% pay for disabilities – $11.4b over four years and $20.4 until 2018/19 #budget — Latika Bourke(@latikambourke) May 14, 2013
Australia’s total revenue is $60 billion dollars over four years. Can I has some of this?
Wayne Swan announces a $19.4 billion dollar deficient in 2012/13. This number has been highly anticipated in recent months. In the past, Mr Swan was committed to a $1.1 billion surplus. In his speech, he also announced the forecast is to remain in deficit for the next two years. 7.33pm Wayne Swan is currently delivering the 2013 budget to parliament. Coalition laughs when he says this:
Labor chooses a stronger, smarter, and fairer Australia #Budget — Wayne Swan (@SwannyDPM) May 14, 2013
Leigh Sales asks: how big is the deficit? What will it mean for you? How many rhetorical questions can I ask? 7.29pm Aaaaaaan it begins.
– Someone at Ten News is gonna get smacked with a stenographer’s notebook. Either that, or they’ll get promoted. Apparently, instead of a $5000 payment for the first child, a means tested payment of $2000 will replace it. – Wayne Swan also told the media that tonight’s budget is “about the future”. Well, um, duh. – A surplus is on the horizon. Hooray! According to Sky News, Treasurer Wayne Swan has said a pathway to a balanced budget is due in 2015/16. – 7 News Yahoo! reports that Former PM John Howard says Australia’s economy is in good shape. Wut. Who even is that guy.
– Mr Swan’s budget will lay out a 10-year plan to fund the government’s big ticket reforms in education and disability care.
– Joe Hockey, the shadow treasurer, said Mr Swan’s budgets in the last 12 months had been dishonest. Mr Hockey also said the budget was about politics instead of fixing the economy.
– Independent MP Tony Windsor told media he thinks Wayne Swan won’t oversee another budget and there will be a change of government after the September election.
What even is the federal budget?
The budget is a document that outlines the Australian government’s plans for the following financial year. It is also used as evidence of the government’s economic performance, particularly through the announcement of either a surplus or a deficit. Everyone is 99.99 per cent sure that this year’s budget will be a deficit, because spending be totes cray. Unless it’s all a hoax: maybe Wayne Swan will jump out from behind his desk at 7.30pm and shout: “Surprise!”
Broede Carmody and Allison Worrall
Catalyst has been the student publication of RMIT University since 1944. We may be older than your parents but we’re still going strong!