Wayne Swan Slashes Baby Bonus, Raises Insurance Costs
Treasurer Wayne Swan’s plan to balance the budget in the face of a struggling global economy takes aim at Australian families, private health insurance holders and job training programs, among other sectors.
Beginning on 1 July 2013, the $5000 baby bonus awarded to families planning for more than one child will be reduced to $3000 taking $461 million from the national family fund, News.com.au reported.
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Private health insurance costs are also expected to rise, and $277 million will be slashed from the apprenticeship training programs budget.
Other money-saving schemes include:
- Companies will begin paying monthly taxes, rather than quarterly, saving the government $8.3 billion over four years;
- Superannuation accounts holding under $2000 and inactive for over 12 months will be taxed, delivering $738 million to the government;
- University researching funding will be cut by $500 million over four years and government grants will be halted, saving $324 million
- To fund health reform, $254 million – or $1.5 billion over four years – will be spent to prepare hospitals for future patient use and lower equipment costs.
In total, the Treasurer aims to save $4 billion this year and $16.4 million over a four-year period.