The furore surrounding the 2014 Federal Budget is exceeded only by the misinformation. Some Doctor’s surgeries have already reported a significant drop-off in patient numbers because of the $7 co-payment fee – even though that will not be brought in for quite a while yet. Student groups are howling that cuts to education will mean tertiary studies will now only be available to the rich. And groups representing families on government subsidies warn of increases in crime as families do what they must to survive in the face of Dickensian underclass conditions.

health insuranceFinance Friend has decided to explore some of the actual cuts made by the 2014 Federal Budget and separate the wheat from the chaff:

Outlandish charges that Peppa the Pig would no longer be able to be broadcast by the ABC are ridiculous. The Government intends to finish its contract with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, not close th ABC. In doing so the Government expects to save itself $196.8 million over nine (read it: NINE) years.

The Thin Blue Line will be getting thinner when the government chops $42.5 million from its funding over four years.

Much in the news are the cuts to broadcasting and the Medical Research Future Fund. But science, in form of CSIRO, will be cutting 500 jobs and losing $146.8 million dollars over 4 years.

ANSTO, Australia’s nuclear science body and the Institute of Marine Science also face multi-million dollar budget squeezes.

Because of its unexpected popularity the government has elected to cut the co-contribution scheme for the First Home Save Account, saving $123.3 million over five years. What this actually means is that new accounts will not be eligible for concessions or co-contributions from 1st July 2014. And the income and asset test exemptions for these accounts will cease from 1st July 2015.

Say good bye to the Clean Energy Supplement rising with inflation. It will be replaced by a flat payment that ought to save government spending$500 million over five years.

The Commonwealth Human Rights Education Program will be cut from July this year. Doing so will save the government $1.8 million over four years.

However …

Our national debt should reduce to a mere $389 billion within a decade. A lot less than the $666 it was forecast to be.

$220 million will be available for a National Highway Upgrade Program, $200 million for the Black spot Program, and $350 million for the Roads Recover Program

The big winner, however, is $20 billion for a medical Research Future Fund.

The government is offering a payment of $10,000 to businesses who employ workers over the age of 50 who have been on disability unemployment benefits for six months or longer

January 1st will see the introduction of a revamped Medicare safety Net with lower thresholds.

And higher education providers will have to direct 20% of the revenue generated from increases in student fee deregulation to scholarships schemes for disadvantaged students.

So the sky isn’t falling. Yes, there are winners and there are losers from this budget. Yes, the way money is to be apportioned will change what and how things get done within the Australian economy. Will this budget be ushering in a new under-class? Only time will tell.

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