Was it a good budget?

Treasurer Scott Morrison’s budget has met with a mixed reaction.

More than 92,000 pensioners will get their concessions back after losing their pensions or part-pensions from 1 January in the Age Pension assets test.

Up to 3.5 million people on the age and disability support pensions and parenting payment will also receive one-off cash payments to help cover their winter energy bills — $75 for singles and $125 for couples.

And a person aged 65 or over will be able to make a non-concessional contribution to superannuation of up to $300,000 from the proceeds of the sale of their home from 1 July 2018.

But the last measure falls short of the incentive advocated by National Seniors. It would have allowed older people to ‘rightsize’ without losing their pensions by quarantining $250,000 of their home sale proceeds from the Age Pension assets test.

Just how you view the budget depends on who you are…so was it good for you? 

Comments   43 Comments

If the government is going to allow seniors to put $300,000 into superannuation without taking into account the value of their pot plants, toasters and underwear, why can't Coalition politicians do what is fair and allow Centrelink pensioners to put $300,000 into their bank accounts and ignore the value of other assets?

I have no doubt that our government deliberately excluded quaranting the savings pensioners gained from downsizing from the aged pension assets test. It seems that they are determined to make cuts to pensions any way they can.

In a similar vein, they introduced the bank levy, with the full knowledge that most Australians don't have a high opinion of the banks, and many think their profits are too high. This is a win win for the government, as the decision to levy the banks will be applauded by the voters, and when the banks pass it on, as Turnbull says he is powerless to stop, they can blame the banks. The bottom line is the government gets ordinary mortgage holders and shareholders to pay the increased tax, and they point their fingers and yell "greedy banks"!

Rather than being good economic managers, this government is only interested in conniving it's way to another term. We just can't afford another three years of policy confusion, and thought bubbles.

NSA has more foresight than any of the Liberal Party's ministers who combined to produce this budget. Or not. Maybe the government was aware of NSAs plan for pensioners to rightsize with a quarantine amount exempt from the assets test. This way they get to announce this grand gesture of pensioners downsizing, then hit them with pension cuts due to the assets test.

The ink on the budget papers is hardly dry, and already the government has had to admit that the new bank tax won't raise the $6.4 billion promised. Apparently the banks are entitled to claim this tax as a deduction, meaning far less will be collected by the government. Morrison said he was aware of this. What the?

This budget has more holes in it than my collander. I cannot believe that this bunch of knowledge challenged ministers would think that this is a good budget. It fails the sniff test on so many levels and increases Australias burgeoning debt even further.

Instead of reducing energy costs, Turnbull accepts rising costs and pays pensioners a token to defray some of the increases. Defeat admitted.
Instead of making companies pay their fair share, Turnbull cuts welfare, health and education. Protect campaign donations.
Instead of just raising taxes to repair the budget, Turnbull imposes a bank levy, knowing that taxpayers will foot the bill, when the banks pass it on. Tax by stealth.
Instead of fully funding NDIS by increasing taxes, Turnbull increase the medicare levy, pretending that it is not a tax increase. Tax by stealth.
Instead of cutting all unnecessary spending, the government continues to subsidize the wealthy all with borrowed billions adding to record deficits. Confused priorities.
Only Turnbull, Morrison and the Liberals think this budget is any good. Not just incompetent, but delusional as well.


I wonder where you got the already quarantined $250,000 from. If that was the case the NSA approach would have sought an EXTRA $250,000 being quarantined. Maybe you confuse the assets test limit which far exceeds $250,000 with the extra being so quarantined. The assets within that limit contain the items you listed. A 'Seniors Moment' perhaps!!

This budget is the latest in a succession of poorly thought out financial policy documents.
The new savings plan to assist people with affordable housing is laughable. It provides minor benefits to savers, but does nothing to reduce the investors and foreign purchasers from forcing prices even higher.
The new bank levy is a tax by stealth. Even Turnbull admitted he can't stop the banks passing it on. He and Morrison knew this when they had this thought bubble. But this way they can increase taxes and blame the banks.
While the government admits it has a spending problem, it continues to borrow billions of dollars to give to rich people in the form of generous tax concessions. How is this justified?
While this government reduces pensions, health and education, it allows big business to export their profits to escape tax, just as PM Turnbull does. Good budget? Only if you are a rich Liberal support or big business!

There is something here that I don't quite understand, as follows.

"But the last measure falls short of the incentive advocated by National Seniors. It would have allowed older people to ‘rightsize’ without losing their pensions by quarantining $250,000 of their home sale proceeds from the Age Pension assets test."

I thought there was already legislation in place that quarantined $250,000 from the Age Pension assets test. However this included all assets (cash, jewellery, vehicles, resale value of home contents etc).

I wonder WEG, for those who don’t get your humour, what the NSA thinks about you using their (our) blog to repeat statistics that are dodgy, discredited, outdated or just made up? You know what I mean and I think you may (inadvertently of course) be breaching points 3 and 4 of the Members’ Forum Moderation Policy. Maybe you could let us know when you’re joking by putting a smiley face at the end of your messages. Just a thought (and surely this comment does not warrant censorship). BG.

Maggie H, I was looking at the macro picture regarding the bank levy. It is no use just looking at the government's reasoning, as this measure will not reduce the Budget Deficit at all if people are forced to put their money into superannuation because bank interest rates have gone down so far that there is no point having it in an Australian bank. Australian shareholders also have nothing to gain, so taxes collected are more likely to be reduced.

One would also hope that the latest posting by Anonymous has finally caused the penny to drop down WEG's narrow slot regarding the massive foreign debt racked up by both Labor/Greens and more recently, Coalition government.

Weg 19 May I honestly have no idea how any intelligent person could assert that Australia’s debt was diminishing due to Liberal policies. Talk about alternate truth and being separated from reality!
We are all aware that we have had budget deficits every year since the Liberal government was elected. Deficits are financed by borrowing, and this borrowing is added to debt. Everyone but Weg seems to understand the debt is ballooning not decreasing.
As someone already quoted, the Liberals inherited $185b as debt from Labor. Right now, the Treasurer is preparing legislation to increase the government borrowing limit above $500b. It was increased to this level in late 2015.
I put this question to Weg. If his government is reducing debt, why are they increasing our borrowing limits for the second time in two years? Got it now?

Featured Article