Australian treasurer, Joe Hockey introduced the annual Australian Budget for 2014, stating that uncomfortable sacrifices may have to be made by all Australians for future benefits. Subjects addressed include:
Arts and Science
- A reduction of $87.1m will be made on the arts budget
- The Australia Council and Screen Australia will both have cuts in the budget.
- Cuts will be made on the budget for the Australian Nuclear Science and technology Organization, the Institute for Marine Science and the Australian Research Council.
- The Clean Technology Innovation program has also been removed
- Future Fellowships have however been provided with $140m for mid-career researchers
Budget Deficit levy
- Individuals with an annual income of more than $180,000 will pay a temporary levy.
- This levy will be on 2% of the annual income of the said individual
- This will raise $3.1bn over a period of four years to help reduce the national deficit
- A 1.5% point cut will be made on company tax rate.
- This benefits small businesses, but the effect is lost on large businesses, which face a 1.5% increase in point levy.
- Increased government spending in infrastructure, medical research and defence will largely benefit businesses in these industries.
Disability Support Pension
- People on the scheme under 35 who, after assessment, are deemed fit to work for more than eight hours per week must participate in compulsory work programs.
- Individuals who were assessed between 2008 and 2011 may have to be assessed again for eligibility.
- Also recipients of this pension may only leave Australia for a maximum of four weeks per year if they are to avoid a financial penalty
- Funding for university courses is to be reduced by 20%, increasing student loans.
- Higher interest rates are to be placed on these loans as well, and students would have to pay off the loans sooner than previously done. This aims to raise $3.2bn over the next four years to further reduce the deficit
- Courses in non-university providers as well as private colleges, however will be given funds and the Commonwealth Grant Scheme will also help subsidize courses at higher level (i.e. diploma, advanced diploma and associate degree)