The Australian Federal Budget was handed down today Tuesday the 13th of May by the Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Australia, The Hon. Joe Hockey MP.
Below is a running summary of the key items that will be of interest to clients and subscribers to this site.
This is not meant to be a detailed or exhaustive analysis, rather a key summary of points of interest to key documents and initiatives.
I will also be providing a detailed review/summary [available for download by Clients] within the next 24 hours.
Total Expenditures 2014-2018
Budget Outlook Summary
- In 2014-15 the Australian economy is forecast to grow slightly below trend, with a large fall in resources investment partly offset by a boost from higher resources exports and the household sector’s response to low interest rates.
- The unemployment rate is forecast to reach 6 1⁄4 per cent by the June quarter 2015 and remain at this rate to the end of 2015-16.
- Nominal GDP growth is forecast to remain weak, growing by 3 per cent in 2014-15 and 4 3⁄4 per cent in 2015-16.
- The outlook for the global economy has improved gradually since the end of 2013, led by a pickup in activity in advanced economies, most notably the United States. While activity has moderated in emerging market economies, these economies are still expected to contribute nearly three quarters of global growth over the forecast period.
- The underlying cash deficit is expected to be $29.8 billion in 2014-15 (1.8 per cent of GDP), compared to a deficit of $33.9 billion projected in MYEFO. The deficit is expected to fall to $2.8 billion (0.2 per cent of GDP) in 2017-18. The underlying cash balance is expected to reach surplus around the end of the decade, and by 2023-24 the surplus will reach more than 1 per cent of GDP.
The economy is forecast to grow only slightly below trend [See Chart 1]
Higher Education – Media release
- More opportunity and competition in higher education– More than 80,000 students will benefit for the first time in Australian history from the expansion of Commonwealth support to all students as the Australian Government moves to create more opportunity through the higher education system
- Expanding opportunities for regional and rural students – Regional students and their communities will be among the big winners from the Abbott Government’s higher education reforms introduced in this year’s Budget.
- The Commonwealth will provide funding for the National Partnership on the Independent Public Schools initiative. The initiative will support increased autonomy in around 1,500 government schools across Australia, including through greater engagement of parents and local communities in school decision making and the provision of professional development for principals, school leaders and school communities.
- The Trade Training Centres in Schools Programme provides funding for Trade Skills Centres, funding for the programme will conclude on 30 June 2016.
- Note: Youth Connections, School Business Community Partnership Brokers and National Career Development funding for these programmes is due to conclude at the end of 2014.
Schools – Media release
- Keeping our commitments: Record funding for schools – The Abbott Government is honouring its commitments and investing record recurrent funding of $64.5 billion in government and non-government schools over the next four years.
- Keeping our commitments: Funding a National School Chaplaincy Programme – The Abbott Government is honouring its election commitment to continue the National School Chaplaincy Programme. This initiative will enable more than 2,900 schools across Australia to benefit from the services of a chaplain. The 2014-15 Budget delivers $243.8 million over four years to fund the programme.
- Keeping our commitments: $11.6 million investment in early years language education – Language learning is back at the top of the schools agenda with the Abbott Government announcing $11.6 million for two programmes designed to increase the number of students studying languages other than English.
- Putting Students First: Fast-tracking $6.8 million to help Indigenous school students – The Abbott Government will provide $6.8 million in the 2014-15 Budget to assist non-government schools who have large numbers of Indigenous boarders from remote areas.
Early Childhood – Media release
- Abbott Government committed to making child care more affordable, flexible and accessible – The Abbott Government is delivering $28.5 billion over four years to assist families to access child care via the Child Care Rebate (CCR) and Child Care Benefit (CCB) and is honouring its election commitment to restore $12.6 million in Occasional Care funding that was cut by the previous government.
- The Government will provide $14.9 million over two years to expand the Work for the Dole Programme and pilot Jobs Brokers in 18 of the 21 Priority Employment Areas.
- From 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015, Work for the Dole will be mandatory in these locations for all job seekers aged between 18 and 30 years old who are in the Work Experience Phase or the Compulsory Activity Phase of Job Services Australia (JSA), unless they are working part-time. Job seekers will be referred to individual Work for the Dole placements through their JSA provider.
- Under this measure, Jobs Brokers will identify and secure individual Work for the Dole Placements with Host Organisations (including not-for-profit and local, state or Commonwealth Government agencies) and connect the Host Organisations with the JSA provider. Each Jobs Broker will have access to an operating budget of $0.3 million to service the selected areas.
Social Services Portfolio
- Delivering on our commitments for Australians with disability and their carers
- Delivering on our commitment to build stronger relationships
- Providing better aged care for older Australians
- Delivering on our commitments to strengthen civil society
- Delivering our commitments to Australian seniors
- Long-term certainty and less red tape for social service providers
- Round 5 of flawed National Rental Affordability Scheme not proceeding
- Supporting parents through a sustainable, better targeted family payments system
- Expanding Disability Employment Services
- Attracting private sector investment
- Skilling Australia to grow industry
- Securing our key scientific assets
- Building a globally competitive economy.
- Budget 2014-2015 – Australian Federal Government
- Budget Overview
- Budget Paper No. 1 – Budget Strategy and Outlook
- Budget Paper No. 2 – Budget Measures
- Budget Paper No. 3 – Federal Financial Relations
- Budget Paper No. 4 – Agency Resourcing