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Infographic: Hockey’s mounting budget black hole

Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey is facing the prospect of a budget blowout, thanks largely to a hostile Senate. Lukas Coch/AAP

The Conversation has undertaken a stocktake of the major budget savings measures opposed, at risk, or yet to be legislated. According to our analysis, which has been verified by Grattan Institute chief executive officer John Daley, this amounts to $38.6 billion of at-risk savings.

The Australian government is facing billions of dollars of lost savings and revenue as a result of the divided Senate, which last week moved to block several measures the government had been relying on to improve the budget bottom line. Several other measures are yet to be debated or legislated.

“Many of the specific budget measures - both the sensible and not so sensible - are under threat,” said Grattan Institute chief executive officer John Daley, who has reviewed the at-risk measures calculated by The Conversation.

But it’s not all bad news, said Daley, with the largest contribution to budget repair - bracket creep - remaining intact. “Whether the creeping increase in tax rates for Australia’s middle class will be politically sustainable for the entire four years is another question,” Daley said.

“In the longer term, the proposals to lift the pension age have attracted relatively little public opposition. But even if these are passed, the government will ultimately have to start tackling the other big reforms: pension eligibility; superannuation tax concessions; and capital gains tax concessions.

"They will all be difficult - but they will have a much bigger impact on the budget bottom line than many of the failing proposals that are sucking dry the government’s stock of political capital.”

Measures including the paid parental leave scheme, the company tax cut and the large company levy have not been included due to the way they have been accounted for in the budget, but all would have an impact on the budget bottom line.

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