The Changes From Budget 2013 You'll Notice

While political obsessives argue over the potential electoral impact of Budget 2013, what the majority of people are immediately concerned with are the changes they'll see in their monthly pay packet or in the world around them. Here are the 10 items from the Federal budget you're most likely to care about.

Picture: Stefan Postles/Getty Images

While some of these decisions might well be reversed if the government changes in September, some almost certainly won't (the Opposition supports the rise in the Medicare levy, for instance). At any event, this is what we know ahead of the Wednesday night budget reply speech.

1. Increased Medicare levy

In the 2014-2015 tax year, the Medicare levy will rise by 0.5 per cent to help fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme. (Your employer should deduct this automatically.)

2. No more discounts for up-front university fees

Right now, if you pay university fees (HELP) up-front, you receive a 10 per cent discount, and if you make a voluntary payment of more than $500, you receive a five per bonus. Both options will be removed from 1 January 2014, so if you're keen to take advantage, you'll need to do so in the next six months.

3. No more not medical expenses tax offset

Currently, if you spend more than $2000 out of pocket on medical expenses (that is, after any health fund payments), you can claim 20 per cent of the total as an offset. That will be phased out gradually from next year, so 2012-2013 will be the last year you can claim it.

4. Lower education expense tax claims

Self-education expenses have long been claimable as a tax deduction, but from 1 July 2014 the rules will be stricter: the amount will be capped at $2000.

5. Increasing superannuation guarantee levels

Currently, employers have to pay 9 per cent of salaries as compulsory superannuation. That figure is scheduled to rise annually by 0.5 per cent, topping out at 12 per cent in 2019.

6. Higher Medicare Extended Safety Net thresholds

From 1 January 2015, the threshold for Medicare Safety Net payments (which help cover medical costs if you have an unusually large set of expenses) will rise from $1221.90 to $2000.

7. Cigarette prices to rise from March 2014

If you're unfortunate enough to be a smoker, your expensive habit is about to get ever-so-slightly more expensive: from March 2014, prices will rise by around seven cents a packet due to changes in how excise is calculated.

8. No more baby bonus

From 1 March 2014, the $5000 "baby bonus" payment will be scrapped. New parents will be eligible for an increased level of Family Tax Benefit-A ($2000 for the first child and $1000 for subsequent children), but the rules are tighter: qualification for FTB-A cuts out at around $112,000 in household income, while the baby bonus cuts off at $150,000. (Bear in mind that 90 per cent of taxpayers earn less than $105,000 a year.)

Budget 2013

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Comments

    3. No more not medical expenses tax offset
    should be 'no more NET medical expense tax offset'.

      Also..

      2. No More Discounts for Up-front University Fees

      This should be "If you pay university fees (HECS) up front..." HECS is the fee schedule, HELP is the loan plan. By definition, if you're paying up front, you're not taking out a loan.

        Well, what was/is happening is that persons are using the discount just to pay less in Uni fees, since the government is basically covering part of the cost, it was/is working out cheaper to get HELP/HECS, then paying off, getting the discount.

          Okay, not quite sure what you are talking about with the mixed tense, but the fact remains that the article was incorrect. Not a really big deal, but it's nice to be accurate. If what you mean is that people were applying for HELP (deferred payment) then paying lump sums to get the 5% discount, then maybe thay need to study a bit harder. They woudl get a 10% discount just for selecting the up-front option.

    'Here are ten items'

    Wayne, is that you?

    That last sentence in parentheses - you mention that FTB-A cuts out at household income, and then claim that 90% of individuals earn less than $105k. What % of households are under the threshold?

      According to this article 66% of Australian households earn less than $111,000. I think that's 2011/2012 figures, so no doubt the number has reduced slightly.

      http://mattcowgill.wordpress.com/2013/05/13/what-is-the-typical-australians-income-in-2013/

      ** Edited: Note that the figure I've used is from the table 'adjusted for household size' and is relevant for a family with 2 adults and 2 children. The actual "household" figures which don't take into account household size don't have a number near $112,000 so that may be why the figures weren't used in this article? The household only figures show that 80% of households get less than $130,000 per annum and 50% get less than $69,000. So $112,000 must be somewhere in between.

      Last edited 15/05/13 11:18 am

    I never thought I'd say it but as budgets go this one really isn't so bad. While there is money being taken out of our pockets it's not in a HUGE way. If this keeps us in jobs and keeps our economy stable then these cuts really are not that drastic. This boils down simply to user pay, and for most of these you have a choice. Don't want to pay excise - quit smoking, don't have the money up front for your uni degree - use the loan, can't live without being paid to have a kid - don't have one.

    > can't live without being paid to have a kid - don't have one

    +1

    I am so sick of my taxes paying for everyone elses kids.

      There is a simple wisdom. Every society needs kids. Because a society without kids will decline because we grow old every second daily non-stop eventually society will collapse, kaput! end of society, end of story. earth of no human only trees etc. (animals perhaps will rule?]

    no more baby bonus, how are the bogans gonna pay for their Bali holiday & big screen TV's???

      Not to mention the fantastic job they are doing at keeping our pokie venues alive. Its a sad day when our government hand outs cant be gambled away at will

    All of the govt. sponsored figures are spurious. Remember : if you have one foot in an ice bucket and the other in boiling water, then on the average you are comfortable..........

    However, there is real insanity in giving the Bogans cash.

    A friend of mine is totally exasperated with his daughter and granddaughter (long-term second-generation public-purse dippers).
    They both live in separate Public Housing and don't pay the rent. (They aren't required to let the Dole Office pay the Housing Authority directly, so they regularly spend it.)

    They get drunk/stoned on Thursdays and regularly "forget" to budget for food. They go get handouts.

    Aside: They are both heavily tattooed and look like a cross between a Maori warrior and a Russian Gaol inmate. Last tattoo on the grandaughter, she boastingly told me, cost $250.

    If the Government used a simple control technique on these socially retarded people, whose numbers are growing alarmingly, completely separately to actual deserving cases, society and its running costs could be reduced remarkably.

    Not to mention the anguish of parents and grandparents helplessly watching their kids being *financed* to run amok.

    SIMPLE SOLUTION
    1. Most are in public or subsidised housing.
    Social Security payments for rent, should be paid directly to the Housing Authority.

    2. Supervised dormitory type-facilities should be rapidly constructed along the lines of the mass-housing for migrants after the second world war. (A great incentive to move up).
    Also needed for the great influx of "refugees" to come.
    AND apply the same rules as below.

    3. Food Stamps. My parents were grateful to get them during/after WW2. Non-cashable, food only, 70% total Dole value.

    4. Balance of Dole in cashable Debit Cards with daily limit of $100.

    5. Back to Job search activities. Travel vouchers and postcard returnables from prospective employers. WITH commentary.
    Create thousands of jobs via the now deserted Centrelink facilities, themselves.
    Hire mature aged people with at least 20 years work experience to staff the rewakened Dole offices.

    There are jobs out there, but they aren't fun, don't pay as much as being on the dole and you can't sleep-in, the "morning after".

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