Federal Budget 2017 - Is It Fair?

Treasurer Scott Morrison has just delivered his second budget (or the first 'real' budget by some counts). Here's a summary from ABC Winners & Losers (http://www.abc.net.au/news/story-streams/federal-budget-2017…)


  • Primary and Secondary school students
  • Older people
  • Sydney
  • Farmers
  • Western Australia
  • Traditional broadcasters
  • First home buyers
  • Pharmaceutical consumers
  • Patients
  • NDIS


  • Defense
  • Small business


  • Taxpayers
  • Big Banks
  • University students
  • Foreigners
  • Anti-vaxxers
  • Smokers
  • Welfare recipients
  • Superannuants
  • Foreign aid

I am interested to hear the opinion of my fellow ozbargainers. Do you think this is a fair budget or not, and why?

My initial thoughts:
Good: Banks getting charged a levy (although 0.06% is hardly groundbreaking), gonski funding, corporate tax rate decrease for small businesses (good in theory), NDIS fully funded, tobacco costs (any smoker in Australia can't call themselves a true ozbargainer, it's the worst value for money product in the country), banning advertising during live sports broadcasts

Bad: Using superannuation to put towards a housing deposit (this is absolutely crazy and will only increase the price of houses), University students to pay even more (already so expensive), cuts to foreign aid with simultaneous increases to defence

Poll Options

  • 5
    1. Very Fair
  • 160
    2. Fair
  • 43
    3. Neutral
  • 80
    4. Unfair
  • 38
    5. Very Unfair
  • 76
    6. Tax return should have option for coupon code

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  • +47

    Forgot to list politicians under "winners"

    • +15

      They were already "winners" haha, nothing to update here ;)

      That said.. I heard that politicians families won't be given free business class tickets to Canberra anymore and will be downgraded to economy. Where was the logic in the first place for them to fly business? Age of entitlement is well and truly alive

      • +12

        why exactly do we need to pay for politicians families to fly to Canberra anyway? I've had to travel for work before but my work never paid for my family to travel with me. i understand if pollies needs some conjugal visits but why are we also paying for their kids and pets to also fly up?

        • -4

          Because the government has the crazy notion that a right to a decent family life is important? I don't think the fact your employer seems not to care about yours is relevant.

        • +2


          We are their "employer" and we do not approve this

        • -2

          @vid_ghost: No you are not and no, you do not speak for the country.

          Though it wouldn't surprise me if you were correct. The public are incredibly ignorant and vindictive.

    • +1

      How was their financial position improved by the budget?

  • +22

    Biggest winners are people earning over $180,000 who no longer have to pay the budget repair levy (see for yourself www.taxcalc.com.au) and companies receiving a tax cut.

    Not much for the average Joe, and housing affordability is still a joke.

    • Yes, while I understand the companies receiving a tax cut for political reasons. Even US have had to negotiate to allow companies like Apple repatriate their cash for 10% tax. I don't understand getting rid of the budget repair levy. That was a fantastic source of income and arguably the best way to raise some cash for the economy from the true 1%.

        • +3

          Not sure what the actual figure is, but statistics is statistics. If only 1% of workers earn a taxable income of $180,000 or more, then yes you would be in the 1%.

          Obviously, 'taxable income' is the operative word here

        • +16

          Even just living in australia and earning an average wage puts you in the top 10-15% earners in the world.

        • +3

          Probably even higher to be honest!

        • +2

          No one would willingly clock a taxable income that high unless they really wanted to donate to the govt. Theres structures to bring that down several brackets

        • @Gozzhogger: that's the operative word all right…

          You can be a millionaire but your taxable income is close to zero:


        • @blaccdong: Quick Google found an SMH article that states that earning over $227k is the top 1% in Australia.


    • +7

      If I'm earning over $180k, I would just go from paying a massively unconscionable amount of tax to a largely unconscionable amount of tax. Meanwhile, the baby boomers with their negatively geared investment properties and the real 1% with their overpaid tax advisors continue to rort the system.

    • +10

      How can they be 'winners'?

      They were the prime losers as the only class of Australians being made to pay for a deficit they had the LEAST in creating. They don't get Welfare. They are more likely to be self funded for health as well.

      Furthermore the Levy was supposed to be applied for 2 years, 2 years is up.

      • +4

        Yeah this is one example where it shows you can never trust people to believe the word temporary. Give someone a clearly labelled one off extra bit of welfare? They'll scream and cry thief when it doesn't apply again. Temporary extra high income levy goes away as scheduled and that makes someone a winner?

        I don't object to them paying the levy again but I'm not going to falsely claim their getting some freebie special tax cut.

  • +9

    Get the popcorn folks!

  • -1

    - Taxpayers
    - Big Banks
    - University students
    - Foreigners
    - Anti-vaxxers
    - Smokers
    - Welfare recipients
    - Superannuants
    - Foreign aid

    we only have one con. so it looks like we're a winner.

    • +6

      Why are the big banks losers? Does anyone actually think they won't pass on the costs to the customers?

      • lol bingo was his name o

    • you are welcome.

      • -2


    • I lold

  • +2

    (profanity) me

    • which one?

        • Whether they own their own home or rent you can continue cohabiting with them.

  • +2

    Status Quo budget IMO.

    • +1

      Roll Over Lay Down?

      • +2

        When I got home that night early one morning…

  • +7

    Guess who's going to be paying the banks' bill … that's my problem with it. And sadly all the news commentators today seemed to make the concession without saying it that they will increases costs to keep increasing profits, even though they're at constant billion dollar highs.

    I'm also not a fan of the Medicare Levy Surcharge increase cos ultimately, if NDIS is anything like other health policy in this country I'm going to guilt-tripped to paying for insurance I will never benefit from. And before you think too far I'm all for paying tax (in a fundamental economic sense) to fund things for the greater good, but the whole Private health insurance ramble has been around long enough to tell me that no matter how much tax you pay, no matter how little you have otherwise used the health system, you're a stingy crook for preferring to not buy Private Health and wanting to use the public system like once a year.

    And yeah as expected their Housing Affordability policy is just going to make things worse.

    I do find the comments from schools and students a bit of a symbol of entitlement though; like proof that no matter who or what group you are, no one wants to give up something they are getting even if it is not right to begin with.

    • +30

      " if NDIS is anything like other health policy in this country I'm going to guilt-tripped to paying for insurance I will never benefit from"

      So do you think someone with cerebral palsy for example should pay for their own care?

      I have no problem paying more tax to look after people on NDIS and i do hope i never need to use NDIS. I do have a problem with my taxes being used to provide mining companies with a diesel fuel rebate, providing investors and speculators with tax breaks to invest in their 2nd, 3rd, 4th property. Plenty of other examples of taxpayers money being wasted

      • -1

        What about people fooling Medicare system after getting health cards and doing cash jobs? Not to forget some People on social welfare and housing for generations without doing anything constructive for the country or people around.

      • +1

        Well, I dunno to be honest, there comes a point where we need to ask ourselves where the money is coming from? Aussies are definitely nice people. Our GDP is only $1.34 trillion, yet we gave $3.8 billion in free foreign aid money in 2016. Compare that to China, whose GDP is 8x the size of ours (10.87 trillion USD), yet they only gave away $6.4 billion in foreign aid. People in China save a lot, we spend a lot. They come over here, buy properties, causing them to sky rocket. Younger kids end up renting for life.

        You can be as nice as you want, but unless the nation has a "savings" mindset versus that of "give, spend, spend, tax the rich", we will end up broke like Greece far in the future. Can you imagine a conversation today between a Greek senior and their kids? "Son, back in my day, the government provided free healthcare for everyone, we all retired at age 54 with full pensions and life was great. I'm sorry your generation is suffering from austerity and I'm sorry you will be reaping the debts from all the previous governments handouts, but I want you to know, it was the right thing to do back then, when our debt was low."

        • Any first world nation can support free and universal healthcare through taxes. Australia has for generations and at time been making a surplus.

        • +12

          How on earth can you compare China's foreign aid budget to ours? Comparing apples to cabbages there man.. China still has a lot of people living in severe poverty compared to us and still only a fairly newly industrialised country.

          According to the sustainable development goals, developed countries like Australia should be donating 0.6% of GDP each year. We are currently at 0.13% and it's going to decrease.

          Professor Jeffry Sachs (a highly influential economist of the modern times) came and talked at our university last year about the sustainable development goals. He said that if each developed country committed to the 0.6% goal, world hunger and child poverty would be completed eradicated. Just 0.6% of GDP is all it would take. European countries are already very close to that target, whereas greedy Australia and USA are going backwards from an already low starting point.

          Foreign aid reduces conflict lver food, water, and land. Reducing conflict reduces the cost of defence, security, and immigration around the world, leaving us more money to spend on more important things.

          Let's face it.. Australians don't give two shits what happens outside of the island. If we aren't willing to give up 0.6% to prevent the suffering felt by millions around the world, we are selfish and greedy. I would gladly give up that much of my income each year if I knew it was for a good cause.

          So please please don't think Australia is already 'generous', that statement is absolutely laughable.

        • +2

          @Gozzhogger: Most foreign aid money is used as bargaining chip sweeteners to allow multinationals to exploit the resources or forge partnerships in emerging countries. If you have a look at all the countries Australia has "aided" in the past, you will notice that many are now using plastic polymer notes. Securency, the company that was 50% owned by the RBA, and 50% owned by Innovia is now 100% privately owned. There are a lot of dodgy dealings behind the scenes, one example http://www.smh.com.au/national/investigations/heads-roll-at-…. Tax payers are basically subsidizing these deals so multinational firms can profit. We have sent $745,000,000 to Papua New Guinea and its surrounding islands in just the past year, all so the government has permission to create island prisons (aka Manus) to lock "boat" people and prevent them coming to Australia. Our politicians need to look strong, but is it worth the billions we wasted?

        • +1


          Oh I wholeheartedly agree - our foreign aid budget isn't even going to the right places. I am arguing for not only an increase in foreign aid, but a distribution that is actually morally justifiable, not just profiteering.

      • -3

        So do you think someone with cerebral palsy for example should pay for their own care?

        Why not? It's not my fault. The fact that someone else had a misfortune does not entitle you to take the fruits of my labour.

        • +2

          You're a scumbag

        • You say that now, but what if you had a child with a severe disability?

  • +4

    You forgot to add Tony Abbott to the losers category, he should be at the top cos this budget was created to make sure he's dead, buried and cremated

    • Meh, he was already a loser - no point flogging a dead horse

        • +10

          "How do people like you even get into this country"

          Same way I left it, with my Australian passport.

          Tony Abbott is an awful hatefilled man. His achievements are nothing to be proud of.

          Also, I'm free to insult him as much as I like. Free speech is great right :D

        • +7

          Also funny that you think I'm a 'foreigner' that shouldn't be allowed to get into 'our' country.

          My ancestors were all immigrants that's true - some of them even walked all the way from Africa can you believe it! 50,000 years ago no less.

        • -3

          @Gozzhogger: We actually don't have a right to free speech in Australia - that's the USA. What we have is the illusion it's ok to have big mouths, because you'll get gaoled if the wrong politically-correct nitwit notices what you're shouting about.

  • +7

    I think the Super to buy first home is actually sacrificing your salary to super where the amount can be used for a house deposit later on.

    Will barely cause a ripple in the market and max out at $30k which is nothing in terms of raising a deposit. Pointless and not too dissimilar to Labor's unpopular saving scheme which eventually got tossed in the bin. An absolute time waster.

    More interesting is the downsizing super contribution scheme for retirees, has a bit of a quirk to it and may put some extra houses on the market.

    • +1

      I think they know negative gearing is bound for change soon as more younger people can basically then vote, and older people want to finally cash in on their properties; so why not do the usual false strategy of injecting even more money into the market - an extra $30k per bidder is better than nothing … for the property flippers ofcourse.

      • +1

        I think they know negative gearing is bound for change soon as more younger people can basically then vote

        You get to vote when you're 18. Whether that is young or not is a matter of opinion I guess, but if by young you mean under 18, then they won't be young when they get to vote. Or are you forecasting a large decrease in the voting age?

      • Yes but that 30k wont happen overnight like if they were to say "use your superannuation upto 30k, go crazy". Where this will take time to come onto the market and likely for a lot of people not for a long time. Its a shame they barely touched negative gearing though

      • +1

        It's not an extra 30k per bidder. The FHB already (or will have) that 30k. The 'extra' is the tax concession on the 30k which is about 4-5k.

    • +2

      Exactly, won't have much affect at all. The "extra" money to buy a house is even lower than $30k - it's the difference between your personal tax rate and the 15% super contribution tax applied to your contribution (and to a much lesser extent the lower 15% tax on earnings, which would be capped at under 5% a year based on their odd formula). There's also a potential negative in the withdrawal tax (marginal tax rate - 30% offset). For the vast majority of people, the "extra" money for a house deposit would be a couple of thousand dollars. That's not a bad thing as giving people more money to buy housing in an overheated market is poor policy. This scheme will end up as popular as Labor's First Home Saver accounts and eventually also be closed.

    • With leveraged investment that 30k can become 300K if used for 10% deposit.

    • +2

      Super to buy first home… An absolute time waster.

      I think it will do exactly as intended - sound smart to people who don't know anything about it (i.e.: almost everyone).

      Remember "work for the dole"? A pointless failure of a program, but it won votes from people who thought it was some kind of program that would actually force bludgers to work for the dole. Same idea.

    • +2

      The problem with labors scheme was the banks who wanted to milk it. Apart from the government contribution (17 % initially) the bank offered between 0 and 1%..
      This was when a savings account paid 8%

    • -2

      super scheme is 30k per person per year, so 60K per couple max.

      Not a terrible idea. Not going to raise prices, just going to give a nice tax break to those who are trying to purchase their first home.

      Pretty sweet if you're in NSW or whichever other states have no stamp duty for first home buyers.

      In SA everyone still cops an absolute belting with stamp duty.

      • Where is the logic here? This statement is just wrong sorry.

        Simple economics will tell you that an increase in demand will increase the price of the good.

        Allowing people to access their super increases the spending power of those people. This translates to an increase in the quantity demanded for housing, which increases the price.

        Whether the increase in price will be significant relative to other drivers of demand, that is not sure. What is certain is that an increase in the purchasing power of home buyers in turn increases the price of houses.

    • +7

      I think you completely misunderstand how HECS works.

      The university gets their money straight away, whether from
      The student of from the federal government (through HECS). The money is outstanding to the federal government not the university, so the amount outstanding has absolutely no effect of uni fees.

      • +3

        I had the same response in my head when I read kallico's comment - but stopped short when I considered the long term effects of an increasing red mark on the govt's books = decreased funding either to 1) Universities or 2) Reduced subsidies to students (which results in lower affordability) or 3) a cut in spending elsewhere.

        We could just keep borrowing - it hasn't failed us just yet* :D

        @Kallico - HECS serves a noble purpose in that it offers Australians a chance to take on higher education and pay that back using the future income that education is suppose to generate (though on a different topic one might argue that this might be irrelevant once AI kicks us out of our jobs); it was designed to be a system with a slow payback - forcing everyone to pay back everything in one go will just kill spending and the rest of the economy.

        But oh yes, it does make sense to chase those who are trying to avoid it (overseas, understating income etc etc)

      • +3

        Good reason you aren't there to influence the law making or this country would be in shits.

      • +3

        Clearly an ozbargainer lacking tertiary education here.

      • +3

        Probably have no hospitals left, but damn it - there'd be no child living without eneloops!

    • +3

      they should start finding ways to claw back the HECS money from those who has moved overseas permanently.

      even if they couldn't get money out of them, at least bar these people from re-entering Australia or deny them any diplomatic assistance if they ever need it, until the debt is paid.

      being a migrant myself, I know plenty of people in my ethnic group (including my brother) who did their uni degree here, pissed off overseas to work, and only return to AU whenever they need our free health care, or wave their AU passport at the nearest Australian consulate/embassy if they ran into any kind of trouble overseas for whatever reason.

      if these people are not contributing to the AU economy, then f@#k them.

  • Is the bank levy on profits or is it a FID throughput/churn tax?

  • +5

    government is doing a wonderful job sarcasm at creating a bigger gap between rich and the poor.

    soon it will be like some asian countries, there will be no middle class.

    you will either have money or be broke AF

    pretty sure if the govt actually targeted big multinational companies that pay no tax in this country our countries economic problems would be resolved.

    but what do i know i'm just a poor worker?

    • so what in this budget is so bad or are you just doing your duty and adding to the lefty whiner stereotype that just bags any liberal budget?

      • +8

        I negged you for the second half of this comment, not the first.

        There is nothing truly awful about this budget. For a conservative government, it is an unusually fair and progressive budget. I am not a conservative person, but I can appreciate when policy reaches some kind of compromise rather than sticking to ideology.

        'Lefty whiner stereotype' is just a poor way of communicating to your fellow Australians and only continues to exacerbate an already growing political divide.

        How about trying to understand the other side of the political view and appreciate its merits rather than calling people whingers? Progressive voters may seem like they are complaining a lot, but you have to remember they are living in quite a conservative society. Most of my life has been governed by a conservative federal government. It's natural to voice your opinion loudly when you feel like your point of view isn't being heard - that's democracy, not 'whining'.

  • +1

    I would have liked to have seen something on Value Capture to finance infrastructure, but like many other things, it is too hard for Govt, and they go for easy targets. Why should investors in land around infrastructure be the biggest beneficiaries and get a 'free' ride?

  • +2

    Either way,we are all losers.
    The banks and government are here to take from us.
    hence we are all on Ozbargain,looking to save a few bucks
    Sigh,a tough deal for us all !

  • +5

    I have a novel idea
    Instead of whining about 'this-n-that', vote with your brains, not with your wallet.

    Both of my Grandfathers died in WWI (lucky for me, they had children before going off to War). They died protecting the AUSTRALIAN way of life, and Aussie values.
    Now we have our country's values slowly (or not so slowly), being eroded by idiotic, or, knee-jerk decisions made by those in power.

    As for the statement 'those in power'. Politician's think that this means them…
    Sorry dumb-asses, the People are the Power Players. We are the ones that make the decisions, by voting.
    But… How many times do politicians promise to do this-or-that, prior to an election, only to back-flip once they get elected.

    This is why we think all politician's are LIARS.
    They NEED to be held accountable. A promise from a pollie, means absolutely NOTHING.
    But we accept this… WHY???

    Next time around, remember all of the previous lies, (write 'em down if you have to), and take the list with you to the voting booth, to see if it's the same old 8ull5hit.

    Vote with your brains, not your wallet.

    • +7

      The problem with that is none of the politicians actually meet my needs! ;-)

      • -7

        Just vote for Pauline Hanson and that will do

      • Exactly…. so the only way is for you to get into the government and get rid of those money mongering politicians and fight for us little guys. (man this sounds like a union speech) anyway, it's a win, win, win, Win.

        1. Win 4 getting a higher paying job
        2. Win 4 helping to change the system
        3. I win for coming up with this idea
        4. Win for successfully mitigating a conflict resolution.
  • Serious question: was there any changes to any Centrelink or Medicare stuff or information?

    • random drug tests for those on the dole. another ill-thought out non-solution that will cost more to implement than it saves.

      and a pathetic show of 'unfreezing medicare' whilst doing practically nothing. our rebate for seeing a gp will go up roughly 50 whole cents AFTER july 2018 (12 months away) whilst the govt can pat themselves on the back for 'saving medicare'

  • +7

    You forgot "young people" in the losers category.

    Just sayin'

    The super scheme for a first home buyer is a joke. The comment from the treasurer about being able to save for a home "30%" faster is very misleading. The cap being $30,000. Living in Sydney, you will need 4 times that for your deposit. A couple would need double. Ends up truly only being around 8% faster for a single person or 16% faster for a couple. 30% faster is BS.

    Last year in Sydney, housing prices grew faster than this…

    The damage is already done. Too little too late.

    On top of this, tax will increase due to the MCL eventually increasing to fund NDIS and HECS will need to be paid off sooner. Less money for young people to save for that million dollar cardboard box on the side of the road.

    It's getting to the point where many you g people are seriously considering that living in Sydney is simply not worth it. Depending on life goals (home ownership, kids), it is a very serious option living regional to earn less, to pay less taxes, to still afford buying a home and having kids. The work is not there, but people are going to do it. We are disincentivizing moving to cities for work.

    What are we really telling young people? Work harder! Stop complaining! Get a job! But btw, you'll never afford a home, it will take you hours to get to work, you're going to pay more taxes, that uni degree that is worth less than ever, you'll need to pay off sooner, and youth unemployment is high so you might not get a job anyway.

    Government living on borrowed time.

    • +1

      Government living on borrowed time.

      I actually think "society on borrowed time" is more apt these days. We can't compete globally on wages, but no one ofcourse wants a pay cut (pollies taking on won't make a difference to local manufacturing). Vested interests may set the rules on housing but it's still all the BBs and investors doing all the loaning and leveraging. All this is not sustainable as it is (which you prob agree with already) but changing Govt alone won't do much.

      • +1

        There are many high wage countries across the world that are doing fine. They have governments that are a lot more visionary than our duds eg Norway

        • Yeah I re-read my wording and realised it might sound like they don't make a difference. But they do and I def want a change (bloody negative gearing).

          One that uses tax money for projects without botching them up would be nice …
          Like what LNP did to the NBN project was pretty bad, but wouldn't be a problem if it wasn't so botched when it was first being done in the first place too. But that's government and big business for ya …

    • His quote said you can accelerate savings by 30%. This is misleading due to (1) there is no cap mentioned and (2) it doesn't mention the hoops you have to jump through.

      But he didn't say you can save for a home 30% faster. That is misleading.

      • My quotation was only for "30%" - My words are indeed the interpretation due to the absence of caveats mentioned. Hence no quotation. Which is my point. Thank you for proving it.

  • So if banks are part of the losers because of the levy, doesn't that mean they will be passing the costs onto us?
    Therefore making us losers x2??

    I wish it worked the other way too, if the banks were given a tax cut, would WE have the savings passed on to us?
    NO WAY!!

    • It's a trapezoid scheme where the inheriting Gen X will just screw Gen Snowflake + 1 even more, and so on until it collapses. The people paying the piper are generations away from being in control.

        • -1

          Neither party is beneficial to this country so whats the point of voting ?

          it's like asking me which foot i'd rather get shot in.

        • @sshazam: Then vote for someone else. Maybe if they had registered to vote they would see there are more than 2 options on the piece of paper.

          I mean they're typically also the loudest about equality - they should embrace the fact an electoral vote is one of the most equal things that exist.

        • @dufflover:

          I do vote but many people do donkey votes so getting people registered to vote and having them do a donkey vote is still useless.

          There's not many options in the lower house. Either labour or liberal. Neither party I agree with. I don't think either party let alone many politicians don't believe in benefiting this country and want to just screw over the tax payers.

        • @Gerbil:

          I do vote but my point is if you're like me and don't like labour or liberal you're probably going to chuck a donkey vote. So to say everyone should be registered to vote is not always beneficial if your not going to make your vote count.

          There's pro and cons for each party but I personally think we need more parties which can be elected.

  • Yeah it looks like I'll have to get health-cover but because of how much of a rort it is I'll end up using the public system anyway. As anyone / any story I hear about people that are 'covered' end up paying thousnads out of pocket because X,Y,Z isn't covered, safer to go public. So I will be a burden on the public syste, while paying a private company money for NOTHING to avoid paying 2% medicare levy. What a mess.

    • +1

      Everyone pays the levy. It's the surcharge you are avoiding ;p

      • FML.

  • where the NBN and climate change in the loser bracket? The FTTN is rubbish.

  • +2

    If you break it down and look at the actual figures, unlike what the Liberals profess, it is INDEED favouring the rich. If you earn 180k+ you pay less tax whilst everyone else pays more.. whoops i guess no one actually read the details!!!

    • If you're earning exactly 180k, you'd be paying an extra $900 still due to the fact the debt levy only kicked in from there, but the medicare increase applies to your first dollar earned.

      You'd need to be on 225k to break even. So, you need to be filthy rich to be better off, not just rich.

    • Taking off a debt levy is hardly "better off".
      How would you like to hear from your employer it's tough times so they suspend bonuses or "inflation adjustments" for a couple years like many did with the GFC, then after it they start handing them out to you again and saying "see we're nice, you are better off".

      I'm not in that bracket btw … I wish!

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