Articles on Federal Budget 2015

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Since the NT Intervention a large body of evidence has built up showing that income management does not achieve its stated goals. So why does it continue? AAP/Dean Lewins

A $147m budget saving missed: income management has failed

Various studies, culminating in the final evaluation report of income management in the Northern Territory, have found such programs don't achieve the claimed benefits. Why did the budget extend them?
Older workers and retirees are fast becoming Australia’s most significant age group of voters – but future federal governments will struggle to pay for their retirement without serious reform. Dan Peled/AAP

The $100 billion question: can Australia afford our retirement bill as the ‘grey vote’ booms?

Within three years, Australians will face a $100 billion bill just to cover the age pension and super tax breaks. That bill is set to keep rising; by 2025, one in three of us will be 55-plus.
President Joko Widodo is not crying over cuts to Australian aid for Indonesia. AAP Image/Eka Nickmatulhuda

How will a 40% cut in Australian aid affect Indonesia?

Australia has cut aid to Indonesia by 40%. That may cause diplomatic displeasure, but the country has restructured its development programs in recent years to be less dependent on foreign money.
George Brandis shocked the arts sector – and particularly the Australia Council – with his overhaul of the allocation of arts funding. AAP Image/Dean Lewins

The arts minister has wrenched our culture away from the artists

The more the 2015 arts budget is examined the less sense it makes. The changes contribute little strategically or politically – they just make an entire sector nervous. And culturally, they will improve nothing.
More mines, more roads, as the government puts its drive towards economic development ahead of all else. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

There are no green shoots for sustainability in this Budget

Amid talk of paths to surplus and investing in infrastructure, both sides of politics seem to have forgotten Australia's longstanding responsibility to govern sustainably, and not just for the economy.
A swing and a miss: instead of taking its own advice to ‘have a go’ in its second budget, the government is like the captain who sends in a nightwatchman instead of himself. AAP/Tony Ashby

Budget week reveals an appetite for government but not to govern

Joe Hockey's second budget has two large deficits: the fiscal one, plus the lack of a coherent and creative plan for Australia. The Abbott government failed to 'have a go' at building the future.
Governments need to focus their counter-terrorism strategies on strengthening community relations and trust. . ..

Want a radical counter-terrorism strategy? Let’s strengthen trust

Despite significant budgetary constraints, the government announced in Tuesday's budget that a further A$450 million in counter-terrorism strategies. But something significant is lacking in its approach.
Cuts to funding in education and research shows a lack of planning for the future. from www.shutterstock.com.au

The education budget report card: ‘F’ for Fail

You could be forgiven for thinking that education was left largely untouched in Tuesday’s federal budget. But the tinkerings to last year's education budget still mean a "fail" for education funding.
Treasurer Joe Hockey’s failure to talk about basic measures of the economy in his second budget speech is telling. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Three missing letters say it all about Hockey’s budget pitch

A budget speech that fails to discuss basic measures of how the economy going is revealing in itself. Joe Hockey is the first treasurer since at least 1981 not to mention GDP.
Public sector workers using both employer and government-sponsored paid parental leave have been accused of “double dipping”. Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com

‘Double dipping’ public servants will lose out twice

The government's new paid parental leave could also have the effect of limiting conditions for public sector workers.
Given the increasing number of vaccines recommended for adolescents and adults in Australia, the newly announced initiatives are a very good idea. Wellcome Images/Flickr

New register shows importance of vaccination beyond childhood

Tucked away in the budget papers is an intitiative worthy of applause – the establishment of an adult immunisation register and the expansion of the childhood register to include adolescents.
Opposition leader Bill Shorten has unveiled $350 million of new planned spending under a Labor government. AAP/Lukas Coch

Small business tax should be cut by 5%: Shorten

Opposition leader Bill Shorten has called for a bipartisan push to reduce the company tax rate for small business from the budget's promised 28.5% to 25%.
New Greens leader Richard Di Natale has focussed on health, climate change and public transport in his budget reply. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Budget fails on climate change and renewables: Di Natale

Climate change should have been tackled and investment and jobs in the renewable energy sector protected in the budget, new Greens leader Richard Di Natale said in his budget reply.
The leaked measures would have benefited consumers and taxpayers, with small imposition on the lucrative bottom lines of pharmacists and the pharmaceutical industry. NVinacco/Flickr

Budget entrée disappoints but PBS reform still on the menu

Despite numerous leaks about impending changes to medicines policy, the budget showed savings of just $252.2 million over five years from adjusting the price of a small number of PBS-listed drugs.
The government taxation mantra of lower, simpler, fairer doesn’t seem to extend to indexing bracket creep. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Taxation by stealth: bracket creep and the budget

The government is counting on bracket creep to quietly add to its tax collections. But this is simply taxation by stealth.

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