Key Initiatives of the 2013-14 BUDGET
A strong economy and a path to surplus
- Australia’s economy continues to outperform most of the developed world.
- In response to difficult global conditions and the sustained high Australian dollar, this Budget charts a pathway to return to balance in 2015‑16 and to surplus by 2016‑17, improves the sustainability of Australia’s public finances and builds on Australia’s record of fiscal and economic strength.
- This Budget delivers $43 billion in savings to return the budget to surplus and fund key nation-building reforms.
Historic investment in Australian schooling
- $9.8 billion over six years in once‑in‑a‑generation school reforms to enhance Australia’s future productivity and wellbeing.
- Additional funding for students across the country to ensure every student in every school gets the help they need.
- Total investment in DisabilityCare Australia of $19.3 billion over seven years—Australia’s most fundamental social policy reform since Medicare.
- Raise the Medicare levy by half a percentage point to provide a strong and enduring funding stream for DisabilityCare Australia.
The next wave of Nation Building
- Committing to the next wave of vital infrastructure investment, bringing the Government’s total investment to around $60 billion from 2008‑09 to 2018‑19.
- New and innovative opportunities for private sector finance in public infrastructure.
Investing in key health services
- $226 million to improve cancer prevention, detection, treatment and research, and provide better patient care and support.
- $33.8 million further investment into the General Practice Rural Incentive program in 2013‑14 to encourage medical practitioners to move to regional and remote communities.
- $691 million over five years in new listings or amendments to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
Boosting productivity through innovation, education, skills and research
- $1 billion investment in boosting Australian innovation, productivity and competitiveness under A Plan for Australian Jobs.
- $135 million for 150 four‑year Future Fellowships to attract and retain the best Australian and international mid-career researchers in areas of crucial national importance.
- $97 million from 2014 to 2017 for additional Commonwealth-supported places for sub‑bachelor and postgraduate places.
- $68.8 million over four years to establish an Alternative Pathways Program to deliver more flexible pathways for 4000 Australians completing apprenticeships in a trade or technical qualification in high demand industries facing skills shortages.
Supporting stronger regions
- $330 million to support the historic Tasmanian Forests Agreement.
- $99.4 million investment in a new Farm Household Allowance to support farmers in hardship.
- Farm Finance: A package of measures to provide financial relief and build the ongoing financial resilience of farmers.
Making our retirement income system stronger and fairer
- Increasing the Superannuation Guarantee from 9 to 12 per cent from 1 July 2013 to 1 July 2019 to boost the retirement savings of 8.4 million Australians and increase the pool of superannuation savings by more than $500 billion by 2037.
- $112 million pilot to assist age pensioners to downsize their homes by providing a means test exemption of up to $200,000 for ten years.
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