This post provides a quick summary of the 2017/18 Budget to assist you in advocating for the key measures contained within it. In short, this Budget delivers on a number of key Young Liberal policies that we have advocated to the Government in the lead up to the Budget.

Context

This year, the Young Liberal Movement, for the first time in a decade, made a formal submission to the Government for the Budget. Our submission recommended the Government deal with the intergenerational debt burden, support aspirational Australians and abolish the Student Services and Amenities Fee. You can read our full submission here.

Ahead of the Budget, we also ran a highly successful campaign to Stop the ticking debt bomb which saw hundreds of young people from across Australia sign our petition to deal with the half a trillion dollar debt bomb.

How this Budget stacks up

This is a positive Budget for Young Liberals as the Government has delivered on a number of key areas in line with established Young Liberal policies which follows our formal and informal advocacy including:

  • Returning the Budget to surplus by 2020-21;
  • The Budget papers show the Government will no longer be borrowing to pay for our everyday expenses from 2018-19;
  • New measures to support aspirational Australians to buy their first home in line with Young Liberal policy;
  • A new welfare crackdown including drug testing of welfare recipients;
  • Small businesses with a turnover up to $10m can continue to immediately write off expenditure up to $20,000 for another year; and
  • A freeze on foreign aid.

But we still believe that the Parliament must do more to deal with the ticking debt bomb. While the Government has made $22 billion in savings since the election and ensured a more realistic surplus in 2020-21, we will continue to advocate for the need to deal with intergenerational debt as a top priority. We are disappointed that the Government has increased taxes and levies in defiance of our established policies.  

This Budget will support young, aspirational Australians:

  • Changes to super restrictions will free up money for a deposit for first home buyers  totalling $30,000 per person in total and $15,000 per year;
  • Providing $1.5bn over four years from the newly created Skilling Australians Fund, which is designed to support up to 300,000 people into apprenticeships and traineeships;
  • $75 billion in infrastructure funding and financing over the next ten years which will underpin job creation and economic growth; and
  • University reforms to make our universities more sustainable into the future.

At a glance – fast facts

The Government is focussed on boosting the economy and helping households, to ensure all Australians can benefit from the nation’s growth story. This Budget is based on the principles of fairness, security and opportunity. It builds on the strength of the 2016-17 Budget and seeks to create more opportunities for Australians and businesses, to guarantee essential services and create more and better paying jobs.

  • The Government is backing in small business and investing in future growth with funding for major infrastructure projects.
  • The Government is guaranteeing Medicare to ensure Australians can access timely and affordable health care, by establishing the Medicare Guarantee Fund.
  • The Government will ensure the National Disability Insurance Scheme is fully funded by increasing the Medicare levy by half a percentage point.
  • Building on the $1.2 billion provided in the 2016-17 Budget, the Government will provide an additional $18.6 billion in funding over a decade for schools.
  • The Government is reducing the cost of living by improving Australians’ access to secure and affordable housing across the housing spectrum.
  • Delivery of further investment in infrastructure across our cities and in our regions will ensure the benefits of Australia’s economic growth are shared broadly across the country.
  • Australian jobs are at the centre of the Government’s decision to abolish the subclass 457 visa. This visa will be replaced by a new temporary skilled visa restricted to critical skill shortages.

Together these measures will increase the economy’s performance that is vital to ensuring that we live within our means and are able to return the Budget to balance in 2020-21.

The Full Budget Overview – from the Treasurer

A generation of Australians has grown up without ever having known a recession, with the nation now in its 26th consecutive year of economic growth.

In recent years the growth has been hard won and not all Australians have shared in the growth. Many others remain frustrated. Wage growth has been slow, additional hours have been hard to come by, and small business owners have gone without to keep their businesses open and their employees in jobs.

This is putting increased pressure on Australians and their families but there are clear signs that the economy is moving towards better days.

This Budget is about making those right choices, to secure the better days ahead.

And the choices we have made are clear.

Stronger growth to deliver more and better paying jobs

We choose to focus on growing our economy, in particular by investing in infrastructure, to secure more and better paying jobs, and create an environment where people and businesses are enabled and empowered. Encouraging businesses to grow, and investing in key infrastructure will boost job creation and help deliver much needed pay rises for Australians.

Guaranteeing the essential services that Australians rely on

We choose to prioritise the essential services that Australians rely on, especially our most vulnerable, by funding our share of important services in health care, housing, disability support, education and employment. They are services that give Australians the security and confidence they need to grab a hold of opportunities when they arise.

In times of low wage growth, Australians are more focussed on the delivery of essential services such as Medicare. Australians can be assured, we will not only continue to deliver these services, but will strengthen them.

Tackling cost of living pressures

We choose to tackle cost of living pressures for Australians and their families, taking action to ease the strain in areas such as housing affordability, power prices and child care. The Government recognises that not all Australians have enjoyed the benefits of our nation’s growth, and with this Budget seeks to ease the burden on household budgets and make housing more affordable for prospective buyers and renters and to support people who are homeless.

Ensuring the Government lives within its means

We are taking practical action to arrest the deficit and the growth in our debt, and doing all we can to preserve our AAA credit rating. That is what Australians want, and that is what we are committed to, ensuring our future generations are not burdened with debt.

These four choices will be our foundation. They are not merely slogans or statements of good intention, they are the pillars that underpin everything we do as a Government moving forward, and our reference point for delivering good Government.

They are the right choices to secure the better days ahead.