Lifters, not leaners? Joe Hockey and the 2014 Budget David May 13, 2014 Assets, Business Opportunities, Financial News Echoing Kennedy’s ‘Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country, Treasurer Joe Hockey revealed a tough budget tonight. The budget’s focus was squarely on reducing the deficit. Over the next three years the Treasurer hopes to nearly bring the country out of the red and back into the black. And he hopes to do this by incentives. To this end he is implementing an ‘earn or learn’ tough-love approach to those on welfare. The mining tax is gone, the carbon tax is gone. High earners will be taking a three-year tax hike hit. Politicians will be taking a one-year wage freeze. Unemployed people under the age of 30 will now have to wait six months before receiving their first payment – even then they will be working for their handouts. And the retirement age will be incrementally lifted over the next ten years. The big winners are: The medical industry, with the creation of a multi-billion dollar research fund. Business is getting tepid support with an easing of financial regulations and a ten thousand dollar grant for hiring older (over 50) unemployed. Universities will have their fees deregulated and now be able to charge tuition fees according to the market. The mining industry, who Joe Hockey claimed had, for the last three years, done all the heavy lifting in this economy. And the defense forces, having funding channeled into more urgent themes (are there really that many people-smuggling boats coming to Australia?). In short, the thrust of Joe Hockey’s budget is an attempt to incentivise people to work, work harder, and work smarter, and work longer. Let’s see if it does what it sets out to do.