Budget backlash spreads

Protesters and state premiers call for a rethink on cuts.
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01.ANU experts crunch the missing numbers

2014 federal budget protesters image

An estimated 10,000 protesters took to the streets of Sydney over the weekend to express outrage over cuts to healthcare, education, family support and other funding reductions outlined in the Federal Budget

There were similar outpourings of anger in Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. The protests were mainly organised via social media. 

State premiers - both Liberal and Labor - also took action, convening a special meeting and calling on the government to immediately meet and discuss the Budget’s impact on federal funding for health and education. 

Tasmania Premier Will Hodgman, Victoria Premier Dennis Napthine, NSW Premier Mike Baird, Queensland Premier Campbell Newman and South Australia Premier Jay Weatherill appear to be aligned in their opposition to the budget measures.

Baird said the cuts to healthcare would threaten over 1000 hospital beds across Australia, while Napthine said Victoria would suffer a $200m funding shortfall as of 1 July despite the government’s promise that the states would not feel the budget’s effects for years. 

Meanwhile, public policy experts from the ANU recreated information normally included in the budget but withheld this time to clearly identify the biggest winners and losers

The analysis shows that high income earners are barely scathed compared to the impact on families and individuals who rely on government benefits. 

Among the ANU findings published in Fairfax media: 

  • An unemployed 23-year-old will suffer an 18.3% drop in income. 
  • A single parent on the government’s Newstart program with a child aged eight will see a 12.2% drop. 
  • A single parent who depends on the parenting payment with one child aged six will be 10.2% poorer. 
  • A worker earning three times the average wage will see their income slip by 0.9%. 
  • A childless couple earning $360,000 a year will see no loss of income as a result of the government’s Budget. 



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