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2013-14 Budget Comes In With $48.5 Billion Deficit

The 2013-14 Federal Budget finished with a deficit of $48.5 billion.

Hockey-Cormann

The Final Budget Outcome was announced today by the Treasurer, Joe Hockey, and the Minister for Finance, Senator Mathias Cormann. [Read more…]


Hockey And Cormann Hail Mining Tax Repeal As Best Possible Deal In The National Interest

Following today’s vote in the Senate to repeal the mining tax, the Treasurer, Joe Hockey, says the government has delivered on another of its election commitments.

Hockey

Hockey, speaking at a joint press conference with the Finance Minister, Senator Mathias Cormann, said the government had secured the best possible deal it could in the national interest. He attacked the Labor Party for dealing itself out of negotiations. The Palmer United Party was only relevant, Hockey said, because the ALP would not negotiate. [Read more…]


Mining Tax Abolished As Government Deals With Palmer

2.20pm – The federal government has struck a deal with Clive Palmer and the Senate has voted 36-33 to abolish the mining tax.

The agreement will see the Income Support Bonus continue until the end of 2016. The Schoolkids Bonus will also continue until the end of 2016 but will be means-tested and eligibility will cut out for family incomes above $100,000. The Low Income Super Contribution will continue in its existing form until June 30, 2017. The agreement will also see a slower increase in compulsory superannuation, with an increase to 10% from July 2021 and then by increments until it reaches 12% in 2025. [Read more…]


Abbott Government Does Deal With Palmer To Loosen Financial Advice Laws

The Abbott government has done a deal with Clive Palmer to ensure the passage of its financial advice laws which water-down changes made under the previous Labor government.

Palmer

The deal was announced shortly after the Senate voted against disallowing a series of government regulations. The Senate voted 31-34 against the disallowance move. [Read more…]


Treasurer Joe Hockey’s 2014-15 Federal Budget Speech; The Abbott Government Arrives

The Treasurer, Joe Hockey, has delivered the first Federal Budget of the Abbott government, increasing taxation on high income earners and re-introducing fuel excise indexation. Big cuts in foreign aid head a raft of spending reductions across most government departments with health, education, the young unemployed and seniors hit hard.

The government has earmarked $11.6 billion for infrastructure spending on road and rail projects, and will establish a $20 billion medical research fund from a new $7 co-payment for visits to the doctor.

The Budget forecasts a deficit in 2014-15 of $29.8 billion, down from the $49.9 billion deficit for 2013-14. It predicts an economic growth rate of 2.5%, a consumer price index increase of 2.25%, and a small increase in unemployment to 6.25%.

Hockey

As revealed over recent weeks, the Budget imposes a 2% levy on people earning over $180,000. This is expected to raise $3.1 billion over 4 years. Indexation of fuel excise is re-introduced and is expected to raise $2.2 billion over 4 years. Company tax will be cut from 30% to 28.5% in 2015. [Read more…]


Cormann Appears To Confirm Deficit Levy In Budget; Unease On Government Backbench

The Minister for Finance, Senator Mathias Cormann, has appeared to confirm that the federal government will introduce a deficit levy in next week’s Budget.

Cormann

Speaking at a press conference after a Cabinet meeting today, Cormann maintained the government’s line on what it says is a budget emergency. He said that people on high incomes had to play their part through what he termed “appropriately targeted measures”.

Cormann promoted a booklet titled “Labor’s Mess” that he said has been produced by Liberal backbencher Kelly O’Dwyer. In fact, the booklet is authorised by the Federal Director of the Liberal Party, Brian Loughnane. It appears on a Liberal Party website authorised by Loughnane. [Read more…]


Government Releases National Commission Of Audit Report

The federal government has released the report of the National Commission of Audit.

Hockey

The report makes 86 recommendations – 64 dealing with budget finances and 22 dealing with public sector performance and accountability as well as infrastructure.

The Commission says: “The recommendations offer savings estimated at $60 to $70 billion per year within ten years. On top of this with the reduction of debt there will be a significant annual saving in interest.”

Amongst other things, the report calls for the income taxing power to be returned to the states in order to address vertical fiscal imbalance and to allow the states to be 100% responsible for policies in areas such as education and health. [Read more…]


The Abbott Ministry – Revised List Following Sinodinos Departure

This is the revised Abbott Ministry, following the departure of Assistant Treasurer Senator Arthur Sinodinos.

Sinodinos stood aside yesterday in the face of pressure over the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption investigation into Australian Water Holdings.

Senator Mathias Cormann is listed as “Acting Assistant Treasurer”. [Read more…]


Government Appoints Sophie Mirabella To Submarine Corporation

The federal government has appointed the defeated member for Indi, Sophie Mirabella, to the board of ASC Pty Ltd, formerly known as the Australian Submarine Corporation.

MirabellaThe Minister for Finance, Senator Mathias Cormann, announced the appointment today. Mirabella is one of three appointments to the government-owned body.

On its website, ASC says it “has evolved into Australia’s largest specialised defence shipbuilding organisation, with naval design and engineering resources unparalleled within Australia’s defence industry”.

ASC says it employs “over 2,400 permanent personnel across our three facilities in South Australia and Western Australia”.

Mirabella, 45, was the Liberal member for Indi from 2001 until 2013. She was defeated at this year’s election by an independent candidate, Cathy McGowan, who waged an insurgent grassroots campaign to win the formerly safe Liberal seat by 439 votes. [Read more…]


MYEFO: Budget Deficit Rises To $47.6bn And $123bn Over Four Years; Debt To Hit $667bn In A Decade

The Treasurer, Joe Hockey, has released the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) which shows the federal budget deficit will increase by $17.5 billion to $47.6 billion this year, with total deficits of $123 billion over the next four years.

The MYEFO forecasts gross debt to reach $667 billion in a decade and be around 26% of GDP in 2023-24. Net debt is expected to peak at 16.2% in 2018-19, the highest since 1996-97.

Hockey

Hockey released the MYEFO in an address the National Press Club in Canberra. It forecasts a budget deficit for the fiscal year 2014-15 of $33.9 billion and $24 billion in 2015-16. Whereas both the Coalition and the ALP said they would deliver a budget surplus in 2016-17, MYEFO forecasts a deficit of $17.7 billion.

Unemployment, currently 5.8%, is predicted to be 6% in June, rising to 6.25% for the next three years, adding $3.7 billion to the welfare bill. A blowout of $11.3 billion is forecast for the welfare budget. [Read more…]