Federal Budget 2017-18: how it affects South Australians

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - MAY 09: Treasurer Scott Morrison speaks to the media prior to the release of the 2017 Budget on May 9, 2017 in Canberra, Australia. The treasurer will identify key areas including using pre-income tax to assist first home buyers, details on the Western Sydney Airport and funding to assist with schools. (Photo by Stefan Postles/Getty Images)
CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - MAY 09: Treasurer Scott Morrison speaks to the media prior to the release of the 2017 Budget on May 9, 2017 in Canberra, Australia. The treasurer will identify key areas including using pre-income tax to assist first home buyers, details on the Western Sydney Airport and funding to assist with schools. (Photo by Stefan Postles/Getty Images)

As Treasurer Scott Morrison prepares to hand down his second Federal budget on Tuesday afternoon (May 9), we take a look at how it may affect South Australians…

EDUCATION

Higher university fees - Students will be looking at paying higher fees for university courses and repaying debts more quickly when the payback threshold is dropped.

Recently Education Minister Simon Birmingham said uni fees will rise 1.8 per cent next year, with 1.8pc for each of the following three years. “Taxpayers, including those who have never attended university, will still fund the majority of university fees and costs - around 54 per cent of the cost on average, as well as significantly subsidising the student loan scheme,” he said.

School funding - The Federal Government want to ensure students with the same needs will get the same support regardless of where they live and attend school. The goal is to have all schools receiving the same share on a needs-base by 2027, an outcome which has been touted by David Gonski. This will come at a cost of $18.6 billion over the next 10 years.

Preschool - The government will seek to extend a national agreement with all states to ensure all four-year-old preschoolers will be able to access 15 hours of preschool each week which will total $428 million.

HOUSING

Housing finance - An affordable housing finance corporation to be established to loan government money to community housing associations at a lower rate to increase rental supplies.

Foreign investors - There is talk the Federal Government will be charging foreign home buyers significant fees if they leave their investment properties empty. How this be done? We will just have to wait and see if it is part of the housing plan.

Young home buyers - Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison has said there will be some help for young people and first home buyers get the chance to purchase a home earlier with assistance from the government, especially in areas where prices are high. Rural properties may not be eligible unless the criteria is lower than average rural house prices.

WELFARE

Pensioners - Treasurer Scott Morrison has confirmed pensioners will get a one-off payment to help ease their electricity bills during winter. For single pensioners there will be a $75 payment while couples will get $125 - both will be paid before June 30. Those getting aged pensioners, disability support pensioners and single parent payments will be eligible.

Veterans - More than $130 million will be made available to veterans who were exposed to radiation during nuclear bomb testing in South Australia and Western Australia.

There will be a $350 million boost to help veterans who are struggling with life after leaving the defence force.  The funding will be used for suicide prevention, mental health, transitional programs and non-liability mental health services.

Gambling -  The government is looking to ban gambling advertisements during live sports broadcasts which are shown before 8.30pm.

Immunisation - The anti-vaccination penalty in which parents lost $726 from their end-of-year supplement payments will be scrapped and a new penalty will be introduced. Parents who do not have their children immunised will lose $28 per fortnight in family payments which adds up to $728 per year.

HEALTH

South Australia’s cancer facility - There will be Federal Government funds of $68 million allocated to give the country its first cancer treatment facility which will house a proton beam therapy. The facility will be located at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute and will be used to help patients with cancer in the spinal column, skull, pelvis and tumours in infants and children.

Medicare freeze - It is expected the Medicare Rebate freeze which was introduced three years ago to hold down payments for health services until 2020, will be lifted. Whether this will be for all services or a range of services is yet to be known.

Generic medicine - There is a plan to make ‘generic’ medicines the default setting in medical software which will result in cutting supply to specific brands, therefore lowering the cost. About 70 per cent of prescriptions go to concession card holders who already pay a fixed fee for the supplied medicines.

CRIME

Terrorism, crime - Prime Minister Turnbull is aiming at elevating national security with an injection of $321 Million over four years  for use by the Federal Police to employ about 300 more staff and update equipment. The money will help target terrorists, criminal gangs, organised crime, drug cartels, fraud, cybercrime and anti-corruption.