It’s another day in the grind for us simpletons. Meanwhile, in democracy land, it’s apparently the most thrilling day of the year. ScoMo and his tribe of airheads are frolicking around Parliament with greasy grins as the nation scrambles to find what the PM’s brain child, the 2019 budget, means for them.
Has ScoMo tightened his belt (again) in fear that providing average Aussies with a tax break could actually have widespread, positive effects? Or has ScoMo reclined from his desk, chuckling, as a pre-election cash-for-all sweetens us all up to the point that we return a ‘thanks’ via the ballot box on election day?
We’ve done some digging and offer you our take on what bits are probably the most important. Decide for yourself whether you owe ScoMo a ‘thanks’ or, alternatively, a backhand to the chops for screwing you over — no judgements for the latter. Also, it’s not technically ScoMo’s brain child, it’s treasurer Josh Frydenburg’s, but like, who’s he?
If, like me, you’ve missed many appointments/work shifts/uni lectures due to an overwhelming lack of car spaces at the train station then this year’s budget is your saviour. ScoMo’s chuckin’ 4 billion bucks into an Urban Congestion Fund that basically means you won’t be risking a ticket by parking your car in a random Macca’s carpark that quite clearly says ’10 Minute Parking’. Rules are made to be broken, kids, but ScoMo’s obviously done with it. Plus it means less cars on the road, less traffic, less pollution, etc etc — all the good stuff.
Huge Investments Into Mental Health
Alright kids, this part gives me all the fuzzies. Investment into mental health is a very overdue policy focus and whilst I’m scratching my head that it’s taken until 2019 to reach top priority, I’m glad it’s getting the cash it deserves. Here’s the breakdown:
- A whopping $230 million thrown into mental health over the next seven years, including eight mental health centres across the nation.
- $265 million in funding over the next year to improve access to youth mental health services.
- An additional $152 million for more headspace services and $111 million for 30 new headspace centres.
Tax Breaks For Some…
Unfortunately, this tax break situation doesn’t apply to my measly student income but it does have an impact for those who earn between 45k and 200k per year. Tax rates for these income brackets will be reduced by 2.5 percent and there will also be tax breaks for those earning over $200,000.
Honestly, the tax break for the filthy rich wasn’t necessary as they represent a tiny minority but this is what I mean, people — it’s a pre election cash-for-all splash and ScoMo hopes we all give him a thumbs up on election day. Don’t reap the benefits lightly, people. Be sceptical, question everything.
Cash Injections For More Robust Watchdogs
If ya got cash, this one’s important. ScoMo intends to inject $400 million in funding for ASIC (the independent regulator for big banks) and an additional $150 million for APRA (another independent watchdog). The Government is beefing up banking watchdogs in a bid to curb corruption and essentially, any kind of filthy business among the banks that compromises us and our money.
Clear Loser: NDIS
The National Disability Insurance Scheme has majorly lost out as the Government intends to slash spending by $1.6 billion due to a perceived lack of urgency. The emergency disaster relief fund will benefit from this enormous underspend but clearly, disability care is compromised. Additionally, the budget will see a number of households receiving once-off payments of cash to help with electricity bills — most probably at the cost of the NDIS. I’m screaming in anger that minorities are losing out here.
A Surprising Loser: Ants
Budget losers and winners are not just confined to the human population, I’ll have you know. There’s a pesky red fire ant that’s posing an enormous threat to Aussie ecosystems and ScoMo’s heading in with the Mortein. There’s gonna be $20 million in funding for pest response partnerships thrown into the budget.
Well, that’s it in a nutshell. There’s a lot of good PR floating about for ScoMo and the Libs, with this year’s budget seeing a “return to surplus” (i.e. we’re not in the red, apparently). But I’m skeptical about where the money’s coming from and where it’s going. Cash handouts at the cost of disadvantaged minorities is a dirty pre-election deed I do not approve of.
Anyway, ball’s in your court as to whether ScoMo’s sweetened you up enough or not.
Image Source: Giphy, IMDb, Unsplash.