2017 budget crunch

All working Australians

  • The government has finally settled on a plan it hopes will make it easier for people to save for a first home deposit.
  • Jobseekers over 30 are going to have to do more to prove they deserve their benefits, and there will be a trial of welfare quarantining for people who fail drug tests.
  • The government is introducing a three-strikes system for people on job search benefits who don't do as they're told.
  • The Medicare levy will rise 0.5 percentage points to 2.5 percent of taxable income from July 1, 2019.


  • Support for needs-based schools funding, aiming for a fairer distribution of Commonwealth funds within ten years.
  • Child Care Subsidy to take effect next year.
  • No cuts to the Family Tax Benefit (except those who refused vaccinations).
  • Pre-schools funded for another year to the tune of $428 million.


  • $18.6 billion for needs-based school funding over the next ten years.
  • Cuts to universities, with students made to contribute to more of their tuition fees.
  • A $1.5 billion Skilling Australians Fund will be established to promote vocational education as an alternative to a university education. 
  • Student debts will have to be paid back quicker, with a lower income threshold for starting repayments.

Housing affordability

  • A plan to allow first home buyers to use their superannuation as a low-tax savings account to save for a deposit. 
  • Salary sacrifice for first home savers.
  • Super incentive for empty nesters to downsize.
  • Commonwealth loans for community housing. 
  • National standard leases on the horizon. 
  • "Ghost house tax" and other restrictions on foreign investors.


  • Unfreezing of Medicare rebates.
  • Increase in the Medicare Levy to pay for fully funding NDIS.
  • Cheaper medicines, and more of them. 

Back to main article: Budget 2017: Winners and losers.

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