Welfare, the aged and child services are targets to help fix the budget hole

Sean Gallup/Getty Images

The government is seeking $2.8 billion in savings from welfare, health, aged care and child care to pay for already announced new spending.

Announced in conjunction with the budget update, spending cuts are needed to fund the 12,000 Syrian refugees, $1.1 billion for roads, changes to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and for the innovation agenda.

The cuts will bring savings over the next three to four years:

  • $441 million by making changes to child care subsidies on families with more than $250,000 a year in income.
  • $704 million by cracking down on welfare payments
  • $639 million from bulk billing changes to pathology and imaging services including MRI.
  • $595 million by cutting health work force programs
  • $472 million from aged care funding

Finance minister Mathias Cormann says there is a range of workforce-related programs across government in relation to health and the aged care.

“What we found is there is a level of duplication and inefficiency and our focus has been on removing duplication wherever we can, on making sure that all government spending, in particular and including this area, is as efficient and effective and targeted as possible,” he says.

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