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Superannuation and smokes to fund election budget

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From the migrant perspective, the news from the budget is generally good

A day after the budget, PM Malcolm Turnbull all but confirmed 2 July as the date for the next federal election. All that needs to be done is the drive down to the Governor General’s office to formally notify him to issue the writs and then the unofficial election campaign of the past few weeks becomes legit.
budget.indian link
Knowing that this will be happening, there was intense pressure on the PM and the Treasurer to deliver a budget which would excite and yet be fiscally responsible.
At first overview, they seem to have done that with a budget that takes away from the wealthy but largely does not disenfranchise the poor. Middle Australia does get some loving but not to the extent small businesses do.
Cigarette taxes will help raise funds, overseas firms which have been rorting the system will have to pay their taxes, and superannuation investors will have some of their benefits and entitlements cut.
Monies will flow towards business tax cuts, helping smooth out superannuation contributions and taxes for middle income families and help young, unemployed people train and get work.
A small amount will also go towards paying down debt, but the budget emergency as identified in the Abbott-Hockey budget has now been downgraded to warning levels only.
budget.indian link
From the migrant perspective, the news is generally good. While few will be affected by the loss in superannuation entitlements, more will benefit from the add-ons which the government is offering to low and middle income earners in superannuation and carry forward entitlements.
The bad news is that the government is capping the $37 Medicare rebate for doctors’ visits which over time will force the doctors to seek co-payment from the patients for their visits.
Also, the Government’s child care reforms will be deferred by one year to a starting date of 1 July, 2018 due to the Family Tax Benefit reforms required to fund the child care package not being passed by the Senate. This will put pressure on women from migrant backgrounds who are in casual employment.
budget.indian link
As has been observed, over the past decade or so, migrants from the sub-continent have moved more into self-employment than any other time in the history of Indian migration to Australia. To these entrepreneurs, the sweeteners of lower tax and immediate tax deductibility for asset purchases costing less than $20,000 until 30 June, 2017 will be welcomed.
In this budget, there is a provision of $814.2 million for SBS over three years from 2016-17, good to have this support for the multicultural broadcaster. But interesting to note that it is actually the new CEO of the ABC Michelle Guthrie who wants more diversity on ABC and we have not heard a word from the multicultural broadcaster SBS on this topic.
All in all, a budget which the current government feels that it can prosecute well during the inevitable election campaign. But, in a few days’ time, when the election is called, both Labor and the Coalition will fire their initial salvos from their traditional positions of strength.
Labor will talk about the lack of funding for schools and hospitals in this budget, the Coalition will talk about how their economic management is the best way forward for Australia. The budget will be praised and pilloried – depending which side of politics you are on.

Pawan Luthra
Pawan Luthra
Pawan is the publisher of Indian Link and is one of Indian Link's founders. He writes the Editorial section.

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