Here's a list of the government programs cut in Australia's federal budget

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The federal budget has cut a raft of programs as part of the government’s drive to rein in spending and improve the nation’s bottom line.

With the cuts, the budget maintains a steady path to surplus. The deficit is forecast to fall to $6 billion in 2019-20, about 0.3% of GDP, from $37.1 billion in 2016-17, or about 2.2% of GDP.

The overall impact of policy decisions in the budget is an improvement to the bottom line of a modest $1.7 billion over the four years to 2019-20.

Here’s a look at some of the programs that Scott Morrison cut from this year’s fiscal policy, along with the notes from the budget papers which detail the government’s explanation for the cuts.

The modernisation of the public sector

The Government will achieve efficiencies in the operation of the Australian Public Service by increasing the 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.

Further, recognising that the transformation and modernisation of the public sector will be hastened through targeted investment, the Government will reinvest $500.0 million for specific initiatives to assist agencies to manage their transformation to a more modern public sector.

Net savings of $1.4 billion will be achieved over three years from this measure.

The Promotion of Excellence in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education program

The Government will achieve efficiencies of $20.9 million over four years from 2016‑17 by adjusting funding for the Promotion of Excellence in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education Program. Funding of $17.9 million over four years from 2016‑17 will remain available under the program.

The savings from this measure will be redirected by the Government to repair the Budget and fund policy priorities.

The Managing Farm Risk Programme

Photo: Lisa Maree Williams/ Getty Images.

The Government will achieve efficiencies of $9.2 million over four years from 2015‑16 in the Managing Farm Risk Programme (MFRP). A means test will be introduced to limit eligibility for the MFRP to farm businesses with annual revenue of less than $2.0 million.

The MFRP was announced in the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper (the White Paper), and provides rebates of up to $2,500 to help farm businesses with the costs of farm insurance advice and assessments to help them manage drought and other production and market risks. This programme is being delivered by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources instead of by the State governments, providing administrative savings. Consultation with industry suggests that demand at the time of the White Paper may have been over‑estimated. There are adequate funds available under the revised allocation to meet expected demand over the life of the programme.

The savings from this measure will be redirected by the Government to repair the Budget and fund policy priorities.

Further information can be found in the press release of 29 March 2016 issued by the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources.

The Industry Skills Fund

The Government will achieve savings of $247.2 million over five years from 2015‑16 by reducing the annual funding available under the Industry Skills Fund. Funding of $206.9 million over five years will continue to be provided to support the training needs of small and medium enterprises which cannot be readily met by the national training system.

The savings from this measure will be redirected by the Government to repair the Budget and fund policy priorities.

The Job Commitment Bonus

The Government will achieve efficiencies of $242.1 million over five years from 2015‑16 by ceasing the Job Commitment Bonus from 31 December 2016. Existing eligible job seekers will have up to 90 days from 31 December 2016 to apply for the Job Commitment Bonus, with up to an additional 90 days in special circumstances.

The savings from this measure will be redirected by the Government to repair the Budget and fund policy priorities.

The Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal

Photo: Cameron Spencer/ Getty Images.

The Government will abolish the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (the Tribunal). Funding of $15.6 million over four years from 2016‑17 that was previously allocated to the Tribunal will be redirected to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator to work with the states and territories to implement practical safety measures.

Further information can be found in the joint press release of 13 April 2016 issued by the Prime Minister, the Minister for Employment and the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport.

Reforming the Work for the Dole program

The Government will achieve efficiencies of $494.2 million over four years from 2016‑17 by reforming Work for the Dole to be better targeted and more cost effective.

From 1 October 2016, the most job ready job seekers (Stream A job seekers) will enter the Work for the Dole phase after 12 months of participation in jobactive, instead of the current six months. This will provide an opportunity for job seekers to focus on finding a job before moving to the Work for the Dole phase.

The savings from this measure will be redirected by the Government to repair the Budget and fund policy priorities.

Streamlining the Foreign Affairs and Trade Portfolio’s operations

The Government will achieve efficiencies of $74.5 million over five years (including $1.8 million in 2015—16) within the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade).

A range of efficiencies were identified following DFAT’s Functional and Efficiency Review, including:

  • streamlining business processes;
  • automating and centralising administrative functions;
  • changing overseas posting arrangements; and
  • removing consular assistance for dual nationals and permanent residents in the countries of which they are citizens.
  • The Government will also achieve efficiencies from Austrade through reductions in departmental costs and reduced funding for Match Australia.

    Provision for this funding has already been included in the forward estimates. The expenditure impact identified against DFAT reflects changes in the timing and nature of the efficiencies since the original saving was provisioned.

    The savings from this measure will be redirected by the Government to repair the Budget and fund policy priorities.

    The Rural General Practice Grants Program

    Photo: The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne via Getty Images.

    The Government will redesign the Rural and Regional Training Infrastructure Grants Program. The redesigned program, to be renamed the Rural General Practice Grants Program, will support the Government’s commitment to rural, regional and remote Australians by providing a broader range of infrastructure grants to increase opportunities to teach and train health practitioners in rural, regional and remote areas across Australia.

    Existing funding of $20.7 million from the Department of Health will be redirected for this purpose.

    Applying recommendations from the Medical Services Advisory Committee to the Medicare Benefits Schedule

    The Government will achieve efficiencies of $51.4 million over four years from 2016‑17 as a result of changes to the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) and Veterans’ Benefits for new and amended items which have been listed since the 2015‑16 MYEFO, following recommendations from the Medical Services Advisory Committee and reviews of clinical practice of the MBS.

    The amendments to the MBS include:

  • the consolidation of 57 skin service items;
  • streamlining existing skin patch testing items and adding new items to test for a greater number of allergens on one occasion; and
  • restricting the co‑claiming of specific items for the treatment of varicose veins where clinically appropriate.
  • Further information will be available in the summary of changes included in the MBS issued by the Department of Health when the amendments take effect.

    Removing obsolete services from the Medicare Benefits Schedule

    The Government will achieve efficiencies of $5.1 million over four years from 1 July 2016 by implementing the recommendations of the first stage of the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Review to remove or amend clinically obsolete items from the MBS.

    Further information will be available in the summary of changes included in the MBS issued by the Department of Health when the amendments take effect.

    The savings from this measure will be redirected by the Government to fund Health policy priorities.

    Resources and Energy Programs

    Photo: Ian Waldie/ Getty Images.

    The Government will achieve efficiencies of $27.4 million over two years from 2015‑16 from the Carbon Capture and Storage Flagships Programme and the National Low Emissions Coal Initiative.

    The savings from this measure will be redirected by the Government to repair the Budget and fund policy priorities.

    Redirecting funds from Indigenous Business Australia

    The Government will redirect $23.1 million in 2016‑17 from Indigenous Business Australia to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet to ensure the continuity of business support and capability development services to Indigenous entrepreneurs in 2016‑17.

    Services will include business planning and advice, and workshops and training for Indigenous entrepreneurs who wish to take advantage of opportunities to start up, acquire or grow a business.

    Removing administrative processes in the Department of Human Services

    The Government will achieve ongoing administrative efficiencies of $80.0 million over four years in the existing departmental funding of the Department of Human Services.

    The savings from this measure will be redirected by the Government to repair the Budget and fund policy priorities.

    Wage supplementation for Australian Disability Enterprises

    The Government will provide greater flexibility to Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs) as they transition to new wage arrangements for supported employees by amending the terms under which wage supplementation is paid to ADEs. The Government will allow the payment of wage supplementation to ADEs from the date of claim and the period over which ADEs may claim wage supplementation will be extended by three years from 31 December 2017 to 31 December 2020.

    Funding of $140.3 million was provided for wage supplementation as part of the 2015‑16 Budget measure titled Australian Disability Enterprises — additional support.

    The Infrastructure Investment Programme

    Photo: Ian Waldie/Getty Images.

    The Government will achieve efficiencies of $162.7 million over four years from 2016‑17 from uncommitted project contingency funding within the Infrastructure Investment Programme.

    Savings from this measure will be redirected by the Government to fund new policy priorities in the Infrastructure and Regional Development portfolio.

    The Asset Recycling Initiative

    The Government will return $853.6 million in unallocated funds from the Asset Recycling Initiative (ARI) to the budget for use on other policy priorities.

    The ARI has been operating since May 2014, and under the National Partnership Agreement on Asset Recycling, the States and Territories have until 30 June 2016 to agree final ARI schedules with the Commonwealth. The Government has reached agreement or is in the final stage of negotiating agreements with the States and Territories worth up to $3.3 billion, catalysing $23.0 billion in infrastructure investment. As no other agreements with the States and Territories are likely to be agreed before 30 June 2016, the Government has decided to reallocate the remaining uncommitted funding from ARI to other policy priorities.

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