Budget 2016: A Punter’s Guide To The Big Changes


BUDGET 2016: Ben Eltham and Max Chalmers bring you a simple rundown of the big ticket items from budget 2016.

Super and Tax

  • $1.6 million superannuation transfer balance cap to raise $2 billion over forward estimates
  • $180,000 annual non-concessional contribution cap swapped for $500,000 lifetime non-concessional contribution cap. Expected to bring in $550 million over forward estimates
  • Up to $500 tax offset for super funds of income up to $37,000
  • Removal of anti-detriment provision, saving $350 million over forward estimates
  • Removal of super tax exemption on earnings of assets, bringing in $640 million over forward estimates
  • Individuals up to 75 able to claim income tax deduction for personal super contributions, costing $1 billion over forward estimates
  • Multinational tax avoidance measures to bring in $200 million over forward estimates
  • Tax Avoidance Taskforce established under ATO, increase in revenue of $3.7 billion over forward estimates
  • Small business entity turnover threshold increased from $2 million to $10 million, at a cost of $2.2 billion over forward estimates
  • Reducing company tax rate to 25 per cent over 10 years, cost of $2.7 billion over forward estimates
  • Increase 32.5 per cent person income tax threshold from $80,000 to $87,000 at a cost of $4 billion over forward estimates
  • $127.2m extra funding for ASIC
  • $21.8m funding cut to the ATO


Higher Education

  • $152m savings by efficiencies in the Higher Education Participation Program
  • Abandon fee deregulation
  • Keep the 20 per cent cut in government funding, implemented from 2018. All up, a $1.5b cut to university funding
  • $247m cut to industry skills training



  • Delay implementation of the Child Care Subsidy package, saving $1.15b



  • $1.2b over four years for the 2018-20 school years, in return for “improving literacy and numeracy, teaching and school leadership, and accountability, to lift student outcomes.”


Youth Employment Package

  • $88.6m over the forward estimates for NEIS
  • $751.7m over the forward estimates to establish a “Jobs PaTH” program for internships, work experience and youth bonus wage subsidies
  • Offset by $494.2m cut to Work for the Dole programs



  • $29.9b over ten years from 2016-17 to deliver the plans outlined in the Defence White Paper


Communications and the Arts

  • $163.6m over the forward estimates in license fee reductions for television and radio broadcasters



  • Retain the CEFC and ARENA, “and refocus part of their activities towards the Government’s innovation agenda.” No extra funding, as there is already $1b allocated
  • $171m for the Reef Trust and Reef 2050 plan – taken from the budget of Landcare


Foreign Affairs

  • $42.3m for a consulate in Lae (Papua New Guinea)
  • $74.5m efficiency cuts



  • $2.9b for public hospitals 2017-20 (again, a cut when compared to Labor’s planned public hospital funding for the period)
  • $1.2b cuts to aged care, through “efficiencies” to the Aged Care Funding Instrument, plus a cut in indexation to the Complex Health Care component
  • perhaps to deal with the blow-back, $136.6m to support the My Aged Call call centre
  • Cuts to the Child Dental Benefits Schedule, to be rebadged as the “Child and Adult Public Dental Scheme”, delivered by the states
  • $182.2m in yet more cuts to the Flexible Funds, which provide crucial public and primary health services. Comes on top of more than half a billion in cuts to the Flexible Funds in the last two Coalition budgets
  • $66.2m savings by cracking down on doctors over-charging Medicare
  • $51.4m in cuts to veterans’ benefits through Medicare
  • $925m in health cuts in 2018-20 through continuing the “pause” to Medicare Benefits Schedule indexation


Immigration and Border Protection

  • $39.8m extra spending on “eligible non-Illegal Maritime Arrivals”
  • $68.2m savings by closing Perth, Maribyrnong and Blaxland immigration jails
  • $55.4m extra spending on regional cooperation with Indonesia and $61.5m for regional processing


Innovation and Science

  • $12.6m for the Australian Astronomical Society
  • $43.8m for the NT Infrastructure Facility
  • $15m for carp control
  • Savings of $27.4m from Carbon Capture and Storage Flagship and the National Low Emissions Coal Initiative



  • $2.9b for new infrastructure projects, including the Western Ring Road and Monash Freeway in Melbourne, the Perth Freight Link, the Ipswich Motorway, and the continuation of Roads to Recovery regional highway funding
  • $115m for the Western Sydney Airport at Badgery’s Creek
  • $490m for Forrestfield Airport Link in WA
  • $593.7m for inland rail
  • But there are savings of $853m from the Asset Recycling Initiative meant to be paid to the states for infrastructure, but which the government says it could not reach agreement with the states and territories over



  • $230m Cyber Security Strategy, with the bulk of the funding for cyber security teams in the Defence and Attorney-Generals’ departments


Social Services

  • “More flexibility” for wage supplementation for Australian Disability Enterprises
  • A third trial site for the Cashless Debit Card
  • $80m cut over the forward estimates to the Human Services Department
  • $100m new funding over the forward estimates for family violence, in addition to the $101m announced in 2015
  • $96.1m over the forward estimates for the “Try, Test and Learn” fund to address welfare dependency
  • NDIS “Special Savings Fund” which will be funded through savings in other parts of the Social Services portfolio, including $1.3b over 5 years from savings from cuts to welfare and $1.4b in savings from closing carbon tax compensation payments to new welfare recipients


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