The start of May is always an annoying time for Australians. The second worst people on Facebook spend all of May 4 posting “may the fourth be with you,” and the worst people do the same but with a devious picture of Star Trek’s Spock under the text. And then it’s the budget.
As the real ragers know, this year’s budget is happening tomorrow and will be be delivered by the Treasurer Scott Morrison at 7:30 PM. And weirdly, we know very little about the budget's details because everyone in government has been as tight-lipped as literally every picture of Christopher Pyne. But here's some stuff we do know.
Scott Morrison is determined to not to let taxes rise above 23.9 percent of GDP. And because we don’t want to turn into the nightmare hellscape that is [checks notes] Sweden, that means taxes are going to have to come down.
So what can you expect to get back? Well, get ready to pop the chardy and chow down on some fish eggs, because you are certain to get billions and billions in tax cuts! That’s right, you! Sorry, I should have specified: I’m addressing big businesses and the banks here.
But if you’re a wage slave making less than $87,000 per year, you’re also likely to see a reduction in your overall tax bill. We don’t know how much for sure, but the Coalition has been teasing relief for low-to-middle income earners.
And that should hopefully take the sting out of watching the big banks—who, we’ve learned in recent weeks, have been screwing us in ways that exceeded our filthiest fantasies.
Why so generous?
Yeah, we should have mentioned this up front: this is the last budget before the election. These are traditionally the most generous budgets, where the government of the day tries to win back voters who are starting to consider the alternative: a drawing of a penis on a ballot paper.
Despite everyone eager to call time of death on the Coalition, they’re still in this fight and the next election is up for grabs. But with Turnbull insisting that the election won’t take place until 2019, it’s going to be hard for them to run on a budget from the previous May given the constant news cycle has left us with the memories of… no, it’s no good, I’ve already forgotten how this sentence begun. Let’s just move on.
What are we spending our pocket money on this year?
Given Morrison claimed that they’ll be paying for all these tax cuts with a reduction in spending, it’ll be interesting to hear what I’m Not a Grinch, Not Yet a Santa Morrison actually reserves for his applause lines.
We know there’s going to be a few hundred million spent in health, with $39.5 million to make whooping couch vaccinations for pregnant women (currently free in some states) made free across the country, $241 million to lower the cost of spinal muscular atrophy treatment, and $33.8 million in additional funding for Lifeline.
And are you a fan of the environment? You know, that place we live? Well, get ready to have all your expectations challenged, because the government is pledging half a billion to save the Great Barrier Reef! That’s a billion with the letter b, baby. Not bad, eh?
Of course, the Reef is estimated to be worth $56 billion to the economy. And secret Queensland government modeling estimated it would cost $16 billion to properly save the Reef. And that the government’s plan involved breeding “resistant coral” instead of stopping the thing that they need to be resisting, like the Adani coal mine, which the federal government is actively supporting. Well. Not so impressed with that half billion now, are we?
There’s also $80 million to lift an unfair tax on smaller breweries, which will make your fave wanky craft beer a few cents cheaper. There’s also $140 million to attract big film productions to Australia, which should mean more photos of The Rock holding a koala on all the tabloid sites you pretend not to read.
Oh, and there’s also a really important spend on a $50 million redevelopment of Botany Bay, which will include $3 million for a statue of Captain Cook, in what Morrison has called a “very inclusive project”. “Inclusive” here being a very natural and non-defensive word that in no way says: “yes, we know exactly what we’re doing here you fucking SJWs.” In the midst of a debate that has, culturally, effectively ended Australia Day, regardless of your own feelings about the holiday or date, this is an extraordinary priority for a federal government.
On the other hand, $3 million to fan the flames of a culture war is actually a bit of a bargain, so props to them on their use of props.
When the levy breaks
You know that thing when your doctor tells you have a tumor, but then says you don’t have a tumor, and he only told you that you had one so you’d know how great it feels to not have a tumor? Well, that’s what happened with Medicare. Also, I may need a new doctor.
Scott Morrison has destroyed the proposed increase in the Medicare levy put forth by his predecessor (checks notes again) Scott Morrison. Calling his defeat of Scott Morrison “a win for all,” the triumphant Morrison said that the tax increase—designed to fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme—was no longer needed, because the NDIS could now be funded through other means.
The short version? Maintaining the status quo counts as a win. Which would be a great re-election slogan for Turnbull. Somebody tweet him.
Will the government do anything to make housing more affordable?
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