Which means among other things, an extension of the 2013-14 indexation freeze on Medicare rebates paid to specialist doctors, GPs and allied health professionals in an attempt to force them to pass on the shortfall to patients as a co-payment. As well as the introduction on 1 July 2016 of upfront payments for x-ray, imaging and pathology services.
Eligibility for Family Tax Benefits will be tightened and government paid parental leave payment rules will be changed to exclude more mothers.
The regressive Good & Services Tax (GST) has also been broaden so that from 1 July 2016 goods purchased overseas via the Internet will attract this tax.
From September this year anyone 22 years and over applying for Newstart Allowance will receive payment at a lower rate - each fortnightly cash transfer for a single unemployed person (with no children) will be $8.80 less and for unemployed couples (with no children) it will be $15.80 less.
This means that a single person eligible to receive Newstart who applies in September will only have an est. $259.40 per week on which to live and look for work, while couples will only receive an est. $468.50 each week. With average rents in the Sydney metropolitan area ranging between $500-$530 at the beginning of this year, rental stress is likely to increase in unemployed households.
Indeed spatial demographics demonstrate the Coalition's further widening of social and economic division in this country.
While The Guardian on 7 May reported that, in the relatively lower socio-economic status regional electorate of Page on the NSW Far North Coast, 94.2% of taxpayers would miss out on that same cut in the tax rate because their taxable income was below $80,000 a year. Similarly, neighbouring Richmond and Cowper electorates would see 92.3% and 94.0% respectively missing out on the tax cut.
Parliamentary Budget Office, 10 March 2016:
Newstart Allowance payments have steadily decreased in relative terms over the past two decades to less than 40 per cent of the minimum wage……
Payment rates for Newstart Allowance…..