01.States revolt against Federal Budget
The heads of state and territory governments are in revolt against the federal government’s $80bn Budget cuts to schools and hospitals over the next decade.
Tuesday night's budget outlined cuts which would result in Labor’s Gonski school funding plans being axed from 2017, saving $30bn. Hospital funding to the tune of $50bn over eight years, is also being cut.
Queensland’s Premier Campbell Newman, said the cuts are “not acceptable” and believes the cuts are an attempt to make the states push for an increase in the GST. And he’s not alone in his thinking.
Newman said he has spoken with a number of other heads of states and territories such as NSW Premier Mike Baird, Victorian Premier Denis Napthine, the Northern Territory Chief Minister, Adam Giles and South Australian Premier, Jay Weatherill. He said “we’re all in agreement that what the government is doing in relation to health and education is not acceptable”. Other state and territory heads have also spoken out.
As the chairman of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), Newman has called an emergency COAG meeting with Prime Minister Tony Abbott to talk about the cuts.
Opposition leader, Bill Shorten is due to make his budget reply speech tonight.
First Home Saver Accounts axed under federal budget
In other budget news, First Home Saver Accounts
have been axed as part of the federal government’s 2014 Budget.
The abolishment of the accounts is due to “lower than forecast take-up rates”, according to the government’s budget papers and is expected to make $134.3m worth of savings for the government over the next five years.
People saving for their first home with the First Home Saver Accounts were able to receive a government co-contribution of 17% on the first $6000 deposited each year - an extra $1020.
Those already with accounts will finish receiving the government’s co-contribution at the end of this financial year and their money will be accessible from 1 July 2015. However, no new accounts will now be created. Tax and welfare concessions associated with the account will continue for another year, ceasing from 1 July 2015.