Articles on Federal Budget 2014

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Will Treasurer Scott Morrison revive the Ghosts of Budgets Past in this year’s budget speech? AAP/Mick Tsikas

Where are they now? Tracking down the promises of budgets past

Having made a commitment to reduce spending, the federal government will have its work cut out with this year's budget, which may require revisiting policy ideas that have caused it pain in the past.
The issue came to a head last year when the federal budget ripped billions of dollars of hospital funding from the states. Shutterstock

Remind me again, what’s the problem with hospital funding?

State and territory leaders will meet in Sydney today to nut out solutions to health and education funding gaps. But what exactly is the problem they're hoping to address?
TERN operates a number of flux towers that measure energy, water and carbon dioxide fluxes and their drivers in the vast expanse of northern Australia.

Research infrastructure cuts would hit the Top End hard

The NCRIS-funded Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN) benefits pastoralists, business, tourism and Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory. Cutting it will hurt them all.
The Pre-election Fiscal and Economic Outlook is prepared by the Treasurer’s advisers, but the Intergenerational Report is the Treasurer’s document. Lukas Coch/AAP

Time to rethink the Charter of Budget Honesty

Forecasts released under the Charter of Budget Honesty are on the wrong time horizon and need greater transparency.
Facilities like the Australian Synchrotron are relied upon by scientists across the country, and could shut down if research infrastructure funding is withheld by the government. Sandra Morrow

Research infrastructure cuts harm science, the economy and the nation

Cutting vital research infrastructure funding because the higher education reforms are stuck in the Senate could end up costing the country dearly.
Education minister Christopher Pyne has maintained that the higher education reforms must be passed in order for science infrastructure funding to be released. AAP/Lukas Coch

Science infrastructure funding is being held hostage by government

Leading scientists warn that research facilities may close and jobs will be lost if the government doesn't free up promised science funding.
Selling reform to voters has proven challenging for the Prime Minister, but there are alternative options. Nikki Short/AAP

Governments paying price for ‘do it now or die’ approach to reform

The move to challenge the leadership of Prime Minister Tony Abbott, coming soon after the shock Queensland election outcome, has in some quarters been blamed on a lack of appetite for reform on the part…
The relationship between PM and treasurer can make or break a treasurer’s reign. Lukas Coch/AAP

Hockey-Abbott partnership looks shaky against treasurers past

For a number of reasons, now is not a good time to be Australia’s federal treasurer. The resources boom has lost its mojo, the economy is faltering and the dollar is falling along with the terms of trade…
To prevent future pain, the government can’t put off tough decisions on tax. Lukas Coch/AAP

Why it’s time to hike the GST and levy an inheritance tax

The government’s recent budget outlook (MYEFO) confirmed that the Australian government budget is rotten at the core. The government is hopelessly living beyond its means, with expenditure greater than…
This government is fond of comparing the economy to a household budget - but there is one really major difference. AAP/Lukas Koch

Why the federal budget is not like a household budget

Treasurer Joe Hockey is experiencing difficult times. Deteriorating terms of trade and an uncooperative senate mean that he cannot deliver the surplus when he said he would and he cannot continue to cut…
Treasurer Joe Hockey and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann say the government’s mid year outlook sets the path to budget recovery. AAP/Lukas Coch

Federal budget deficit climbs to $40.4bn: experts react

The federal budget deficit will blow out to A$40.4 billion in 2014-15, up from the $29.8 billion forecast in May’s budget, according to the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) released today…
Australia’s children and grandchildren will not enjoy the fruits of the country’s prosperity as much as their parents. Mate Marschalko/Flickr

Young Australians set to pay for government policy mistakes

Having enjoyed continuously increasing prosperity since the Second World War, Australians have come to expect that each generation will live a better life than the last. But this steady progress may be…
Mining magnate Andrew Forrest might be be down $2 billion, but the decline in commodity prices is just one of many factors hurting Tony Abbott’s budget bottom line. Nikki Short/AAP

Productivity could trump the iron ore price, but who’s counting?

In the wake of a falling iron ore price that has cut his personal fortune by more than A$2 billion, Andrew Forrest has remained unperturbed, saying: “I didn’t count on the way up, and I’m not counting…
Indigenous land management jobs have been a popular, growing area of employment in recent years. AAP Image/Peter Eve

Would you risk losing your home for a few weeks of work?

Tony Abbott is spending this week in North-East Arnhem Land, part of his long-held hope “to be not just the Prime Minister but the Prime Minister for Aboriginal Affairs”. We asked our experts: what stories…
Robert Menzies may be a Liberal hero for John Howard and his successors in the current government, but his budgets fit their definition of ‘disaster’. AAP/Alan Porritt

Menzies, a failure by today’s rules, ran a budget to build the nation

Robert Menzies left Australia in far worse financial shape than he found it, at least according to current treasurer Joe Hockey’s favourite debt and deficit benchmark. Having inherited budget surpluses…

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