10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

We need a good lie down. Picture: Getty Images

Good morning. Here’s what happened.

The upshot of Scott Morrison’s first budget as Treasurer goes something a little like this:

Where the 2014 budget appeared to shock and disappoint the community with broken promises and tough measures, the 2016 budget unveiled by Morrison seems to be the very antithesis of its 2014 predecessor.

The 2014 budget saw consumer confidence collapse as a result of these tough measures, this 2016 document looks to deliver stimulus, and confidence in all the right places.

That’s our Greg McKenna kicking off his excellent analysis of what it all means for you, but more importantly, for your country.

There was a couple of notable misses. Morrison’s leader clearly wouldn’t tolerate any talk of cutting the Boomers’ precious negative gearing perks.

And there was a sweetener for the high-earners, with a tax cut for 500,000 Aussies set to move into the 37.2% tax rate as their wage and salary hit $80,000 this year.

But the silvertops also copped a bit of a hit with a reduction in their super benefits, while the unemployed now have a $750 million youth jobs program to get them into the workforce, albeit at a low hourly rate.

So, something for everyone. We’ll go into detail now, but if you don’t have time for all that here’s Chris Pash with everything that happened last night, and here’s the link to McKenna’s piece about what it all means.


2. Let’s start with this photo of the Coalition government applauding the delivery of the budget. See if you can spot the two kids doin’ their own thing:

3. The outrage. The nasty bits. From April 1 next year, Asutralians will start using the word “internship”. That’s American for “working for peanuts while gaining crucial pencil-sharpening and coffee run experience”. Morrison’s spin on it sells the Youth Jobs PaTH as helping people prepare for a job through “intensive pre-employment skills training”. Or, “real work for the dole”. If you’re a youngster who’s been on the dole for six months, you’re in, working 15 to 25 hours per week for an extra $4 an hour on top of your dole.

The outrage comes at the $4 per hour bit, in case you weren’t feeling it.

4. So how does Morrison plan to get us back to surplus? Cuts. Or, as the government prefers to call cuts, “efficiencies”. And yes, starting with the public sector, as per usual. If they want to keep their strange, ambiguous jobs, the shinybums in Canberra will have to increase their “standard annual efficiency dividend” by 1.5 per cent in 2017‑18, 1.0 per cent in 2018‑19 and 0.5 per cent in 2019‑20. That’s the big one – about $1.4 billion worth. Other efficiencyisation will see $500 million ripped from the Work for the Dole program, $75 million from DFAT and Austrade, and a whopping $853 mill returned from the Asset Recycling Initiative.

5. The lollies. Here are all the people who got a win last night:

Astronomers, asylum-seekers’ kids, people who hate carp, problem gamblers, anyone needing a prosthetic limb, people who read food labels, people having babies, sexually active Torres Strait islanders, people at risk of being smuggled, native tree-huggers, horses, and Senate crossbenchers. For the full list of 39 programs in the 2016 budget that might surprise you, Sarah Kimmorley’s all over it.

That’s enough Budget. Thanks for reading, because our team needs your support this morning. And coffee and an eye massage.

6. “The election will be called before the 11th of May and it’ll be on the 2nd of July.” So says Malcolm Turnbull, and he’s good for it. All it needs know is the green light from the G-G.

7. Markets went on amongst all of that, and reversed their reversal offshore. They’re down across the board because manufacturing PMIs continue to be rubbish. So the ASX open is looking a bit sick this morning with the SPI 200 down a substantial 63 points. Which is disappointing after yesterday’s 110-point rally on the ASX 200 physical. And the dollar. Oh, the dollar. It got slammed after the RBA’s cut and just took its biggest hit in nearly 5 years.

8. Be a deep ocean adventurer. Right now, by watching the live cam from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s ship Okeanos Explorer. It’s deep down in waters around the Marianas Trench and researchers are broadcasting the journey via livestream:

9. Rich people get to see movies in cinemas without going to cinemas. And you can too, as long as you’re willing to pay $US35,000 for a system from Prima Cinema. And another $500 to watch each movie. But Tom Cruise, Ben Affleck, and Quentin Tarantino do, and it’s actually based on a system from the 1930s. And here’s how Prima Cinema makes sure Cruise doesn’t stick it all on the Pirate Bay.

10. If you want to look as young and hot as Elle Macpherson does at 52, don’t follow her alkaline diet. It’s bunkum, says Canadian scientist Timothy Caulfield. Although, unless we’ve missed some huge changes in gene tech, his advice isn’t exactly helpful either:

The thing that’s really important to do if you want to age gracefully is to pick your parents and have good genetics.

Have a great day. Don’t spend it all at once.

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