Budget Night 2015 - The Winners and Losers

Nic Crowther
Wed 20 May

Tonight is the night where the inner sanctum of the Federal Government spruik their plans for the next 12 months and beyond. Meanwhile, the bars and restaurants across town fill to the brim with tired journos, staffers and lobbyists who have spent the last 72 hours eother trying to discover the story, or spin it to suit the broader narrative.

We’ve been drip-fed most of the details to be showcased this evening (as opposed to the usual couple of ‘leaks’). So, who are the winners and losers of this year’s Budget (apart from the top 10 restaurants in The Good Food Guide)?

Image: Sydney Morning Herald


Canberrans, again, might be the losers. Once the visiting hordes retreat from The Hill, the local economy will cop another kick in the guts through more public service cuts. Sure, Senator Mathias Cormann was trying to dampen the flames on ABC Radio yesterday morning, indicating the desire for “using the current resources in a more efficient manner,” but that doesn’t really mean that a reduction in staffing levels isn’t being considered.

No wonder ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr is furious. He was promised at COAG that the hard yards had been done.



For the winners, it seems everyone who had a bone to pick with last year’s budget will be smiling. GP Co-payment? Dead. Changed indexation of the pension? Dead. Defence pay freeze? Dead as well.

For those involved in small business, there is a definite win. The reduction of company tax by 1.5 percentage points will be welcomed, but all we need to know is the threshold the Government will adopt to define ‘small business’. With interest rates at a record low, the Government wants you to go out and invest in your business to stimulate the economy, build jobs and increase productivity.

Image: Sydney Morning Herald

Building buildings and building families

There might be a couple of surprises yet. We’ve been amazed at how little has been said about infrastructure so far. Given it was a centrepiece of their 2013 election promises, and has been a great part of the dealing with the states through asset recycling, surely there must be something left in the kitty for tonight when the Treasurer steps to the dispatch box.

The other curiosity is the much-vaunted Jobs for Families policy released by Social Services Minister Scott Morrison on Sunday morning. In alignment with Hockey’s Budget speech in 2014 where he declared us “a nation of lifters, not leaners,” we are now apparently no longer double dippers when it comes to paid parental leave.

Volumes have been written about The Prime Minister’s rolled-gold signature PPL policy that was about as popular as a skunk at a dinner party. It’s now out in the bin  - pretty much where it deserves to be given its expense and absolute unfairness, but if this was so important to the Minister for Women, may well be left wandering where his intentions truly lie.