The federal budget axes a raft of government programs in the government’s drive to rein in spending and improve the nation’s bottom line.
Some of the programs will be far-reaching, such as the increase in the fuel levy that will hit every single motorist in the country. Families will also be affected by a reduction in the income tax thresholds to $100,000 combined income for family benefit payments.
There are, in total, a staggering $80 billion in spending reductions in health and education over the next decade. These are outlined in more detail here.
But the totality of the savings comes from a broad range of cuts to public spending that affect all sorts of walks of life. Here are some that are for the chop along with the notes from the Budget papers with the government’s explanation for the cuts.
Exotic Disease Preparedness Programme
The Government will achieve savings of $1.8 million over four years by ceasing payments to the States for the Exotic Diseases Preparedness Programme on 1 July 2014.
Live Animal Exports — Business Assistance Supply Chain and Official Development Assistance (Improved Animal Welfare Programme)
Effectively an animal welfare program, the Government will achieve savings of $2.3 million in 2014-15 by ceasing it one year early on 30 June 2014.
Australian Federal Police officers
The Government will achieve savings of $42.5 million over four years from the remaining unspent funding for the increases in numbers of Sworn Australian Federal Police officers retention and a retention and recruitment programme announced in the 2008 09 Budget.
The AFP received funding for these measures to operate for five years which has now ceased. The AFP will cease recruitment of additional sworn officers at the end of the 2013 14 financial year.
Australian Interactive Games Fund
Saves $10.0 million in 2014 15 by ceasing the Australian Interactive Games Fund from 1 July this year.
Get Reading! Programme
The Government will achieve savings of $6.4 million over four years by ending the Get Reading! Programme which it says duplicates activity in the media and publishing sector. The programme will cease from July this year.
Human Rights Education
The Government will save $1.8 million over four years by ceasing the Commonwealth Human Rights Education Programme from July this year.
A Sustainable Higher Education Loan Programme — HECS HELP benefit
The Government will continue to make available Higher Education Loan Programme (HELP) loans so that eligible students do not have to pay their fees up front. However, the HECS HELP benefit, which was intended to provide an incentive for graduates of particular courses to take up related occupations or work in specified locations will end from 2015-16. This measure will achieve savings of $87.1 million over three years.
Centre for Quality Teaching and Learning
The Government will achieve savings of $21.0 million over five years by not proceeding with funding for the Better Schools — National Plan for School Improvement — Centre for Quality Teaching and Learning measure published in the 2013 Economic Statement.
Online Diagnostic Tools
The Government will achieve savings of $38.4 million over five years from 2013 14 by ceasing the Online Diagnostic Tools Programme, a resource for teachers.
Connection Interviews and Job Seeker Workshops
The Government will achieve savings of $4.4 million in 2014-15 by ceasing funding for Building Australia’s Future Workforce — Connection Interviews and Job Seeker Workshops, on 30 June 2014. Both programmes were scheduled to cease on 30 June 2015.
Experience+ Career Advice
The Government will achieve savings of $3.9 million over two years from 1 July 2014 by ceasing funding for the Experience+ Career Advice initiative. Employment assistance for mature age job seekers will remain available through Job Services Australia.
Office of Water Science research programme.
The Government will achieve savings of $10.0 million over five years from the Office of Water Science research programme, with the programme terminating on 30 June 2016.
Smaller Government — National Water Commission
The Government will achieve savings of $20.9 million over four years by closing the National Water Commission in December 2014. The key statutory functions of the Commission will continue to be undertaken by existing government bodies.
Australia Network — Termination of the ABC Contract
The Government will achieve savings of $196.8 million over nine years by terminating the Australia Network contract with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Medicare Benefits Schedule — reduced optometry rebates removal of charging cap
The Government will save $89.6 million over four years by reducing the Medicare Benefits Schedule rebate for all optometry services from 85 per cent to 80 per cent commencing from 1 January 2015. This measure will also remove the charging cap that currently applies to optometrists accessing the Medicare Benefits Schedule, enabling them, in the future, to set their own fees in a similar manner to other health providers.
National Partnership Agreement on Improving Public Hospital Services
The Government will achieve savings of $201.0 million over three years from 2015-16 by ceasing reward funding to States and Territories under the National Partnership Agreement on Improving Public Hospital Services.
Smaller Government — Australian National Preventive Health Agency
The Government will achieve savings of $6.4 million over five years from 2013 14 by abolishing the Australian National Preventive Health Agency and integrating ongoing functions into the Department of Health, including the administration of social marketing activities and the provision of grants to third parties for preventive health activities.
Displaced Persons Programme
The Government will achieve savings of $38.4 million over five years by ceasing the Displaced Persons Programme from 2013-14.
Outreach Officer Programme
The Government will achieve savings of $11.2 million over four years by ceasing the Outreach Officer Programme from 1 July 2014.
Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Programme — Tools For Your Trade
The Government will achieve savings of $914.6 million over four years by ceasing Tools For Your Trade payments from 1 July 2014. Financial assistance to help apprentices will instead be provided through the Trade Support Loans Programme.
Ethanol Production Grants Programme
The Government will achieve net savings of $120.0 million over six years from 2015 16 (including $24.0 million in 2018-19, $32.0 million in 2019-20 and $40.0 million in 2020-21) by ceasing the Ethanol Production Grants Programme on 30 June 2015. The fuel excise on domestically produced ethanol will be reduced to zero from 1 July 2015 and then increased by 2.5 cents per litre per year for five years from 1 July 2016 until it reaches 12.5 cents per litre, which represents 50 per cent of the energy content equivalent rate. The excise equivalent customs duty for ethanol will be retained at 38.143 cents per litre.
Holden — next generation vehicles
The Government will achieve savings of $215.0 million over four years from 2013-14 by not proceeding with funding for the General Motors Holden next generation vehicles project following Holden’s decision not to proceed with the project and to cease vehicle manufacturing in Australia by the end of 2017.
Aged Care Payroll Tax Supplement
The Government will achieve savings of $652.7 million over four years by ceasing Payroll Tax Supplement payments to currently eligible residential aged care providers from 1 January 2015.
First Home Saver Accounts scheme
The Government will achieve savings of $134.3 million over five years by abolishing the First Home Saver Accounts scheme due to lower than forecast take up rates. New accounts opened from Budget night will not be eligible for concessions, with the Government co contribution to cease from 1 July 2014 and tax concessions and the income and asset test exemptions for government benefits associated with these accounts to cease from 1 July 2015. In underlying cash terms, the saving is $113.3 million over the forward estimates period due to the timing of the claims, including $54.3 million in departmental resourcing.
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