Budget 2014: Pain for Dubbo in treasurer's announcement

Dubbo's families, motorists, pensioners and students bore the brunt of treasurer Joe Hockey's announcement, which will make it more expensive to study, travel, receive healthcare and require people to work longer.

As expected, the government announced a $7 co-payment for GP visits and it will also increase the fuel excise, with twice yearly indexation being reintroduced for the first time since 2001. While both had been speculated in the media prior to being made official, they are sure to be two of the most unpopular with voters.

University fees have been deregulated, which has led to speculation that the cost of attending university will rise.

Mr Hockey defended the government's hard line stance, reverting to the party line that they had no choice because of the state of the economy after they came to power in September last year.

"The age of entitlement is over. It has to be replaced, not with an age of austerity, but with an age of opportunity," he said.

Visits to the doctor will now require a $7 payment for anyone who is bulk billed, and even those who aren't will end up paying an extra $5. The funds generated will go into the newly created Medical Research Future Fund.

The measure means $3.5 billion will be pumped into the medical research fund over five years.

Changes to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme mean users will have to pay another $150 before they are entitled to cheaper medicine.

Mr Hockey defended the changes.

"Australians are always prepared to make a reasonable contribution if their money is not wasted," he told parliament.

There is bad news for public servants with 16,000 jobs to be axed from across government departments while deep cuts have also been made to Aboriginal services, with a $500 million cut over five years, and almost $1 billion has also been removed from local councils over the next four years.

A deficit levy has also been incorporated, resulting in an extra two cents in the dollar for those who earn $180,000. However unlike other measures that will have worse and ongoing impacts for lower income earners, the levy will only exist for three years. Politicians have also had their pay frozen for 12 months and some gold card travel passes will be scaled back and cut.

One winner to emerge is businesses. Company tax has been cut by 1.5 per cent with the government arguing it will improve business opportunities. Red tape will also be cut and the carbon tax and mining tax will also be abolished.

Mr Hockey said the incoming fuel excise would go to increased infrastructure spending.

"A $1 billion National Stronger Regions Fund, together with $200 million of new Black Spot funding, and $350 million extra for Roads to Recovery will deliver jobs and better roads across regional and rural Australia.

"But these projects will do more than create construction jobs. They will inject money into communities, lower business costs and reduce congestion," he said.

Labor have said they will oppose the fuel excise and they have also previously stated they are opposed to the deficit levy.


Discuss "Budget 2014: Pain for Dubbo in treasurer's announcement"

Please note: All comments made or shown here are bound by the Online Discussion Terms & Conditions.