May Update on the Federal Budget

The Treasurer presented the Australian Government budget on 3 May 2016. We’ve highlighted some key points for you here, in relation to welfare and jobs, tax and superannuation and health.

Welfare and jobs

  • Over the next three years, up to 90,000 people currently receiving the Disability Support Pension will be reassessed. It is not clear how these people will be selected.
  • The Government has proposed a Youth Jobs PaTH (Prepare-Trial-Hire) Programme to help young people find jobs and get work experience. PaTH involves preparing young people for work, helping them get work experience, and encouraging employers through paid incentives to hire the young person.
  • The Government is using a new $96.1 million ‘Try, Test and Learn Fund’ to fund programmes to identify groups at risk of being dependent on welfare for a long time and helping them move into employment.

Tax and Superannuation

  • People with incomes up to $37,000 will get a refund of up to $500 off the tax paid on their super contributions.
  • The Government will prevent people from moving into the second top tax bracket until 2019-20 by increasing the 32.5% tax threshold from $80,000 to $87,000.

Health

  • There will be $800,000 over two years dedicated to developing online support resources for perinatal depression.
  • There will be $1 million over four years to continue suicide awareness and prevention programs for veterans.
  • The Government continues to freeze the Medicare rebates to health care providers, which may reduce the incentive for doctors to bulk bill.
  • The Government will not continue to provide additional funding for community mental health services in drought affected areas. See Mental Health Australia’s analysis for more information
  • The Government will not be renewing the National Partnership Agreement on Supporting Mental Health Services. See Mental Health Australia’s analysis for more information

For more information about the budget and how it might affect you see www.budget.gov.au/#your-budget. The ABC has also provided an overview of the Budget ‘winners and losers’ and a ‘cheatsheet’ summary of the budget.

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