Scott Morrison reckons that Australians have “moved on” from thinking about the Federal Budget in terms of ‘winners’ and ‘losers’. I’m sure he thinks that’s the case. I’m sure he believes we’re not furiously posting online about how those bloody fatcats in Government have screwed us again.

But I digress. There’s a lot going on in the Turnbull government’s first budget – much more modest in comparison to the fiery Coalition rhetoric in the past on the looming and catastrophic budget emergency that we were facing. It is an election year, after all.

So, P.TV readers. How’s this affect you? Well, there’s a few things in the tin that might hit you guys directly and are worth talking about before the election.

Durry tax! Durry tax! 

As we’ve reported on before, you’re getting slugged at the tobacco bowser – a 12.5% tax increase every year, actually. That’ll mean you’ll be putting down as much as $40 a pack. So you’re going to have to start telling your idiot mate that he can’t keep bumming smokes or you’ll have to start invoicing him.

Unpacking The Most Important Budget 2016 Question: “How Does It Affect Me?”

Slugging smokers is a classic revenue-raising method because who gives a shit about ’em, right? Well, it’s not totally sustainable. If people stop buying ciggies because they’re too exxy, you won’t be getting that tax revenue anymore. Not to mention the fact its massively regressive – the poor will feel that one hardest.

You can’t escape this one anyway. Labor also supports a jacked-up tobacco tax.

There’ll be GST on online purchases now.

ScoMo didn’t mention this one in much detail in the budget speech, because people would hate it with a burning passion. Basically, your 10% GST is applied to online purchases now – so jumping online to Amazon to buy your books, for example, won’t be a cheeky tax-free affair any longer.

This comes in conjunction with the multinational tax avoidance strategy – called the Google tax by some – which wants to ensure that international corporations are paying the full tax rate.

Government-sponsored internships will be a thing, and they’re… a bit cooked, tbh.

The Government thinks that the number of young Australians growing up in jobless households is a problem. Cool. Their solution is an internship sponsorship program named PaTH (Prepare, Trial, Hire, because someone couldn’t think of a buzzword starting with ‘A’).

The idea, in brief, is to help business to offer young Australians internship opportunities. Lovely stuff, right? Depends how you define it. The idea is to offer them $100 a week on top of Newstart to work 15 – 25 hours a week. That’s fairly meagre. Possibly as low as $4 an hour, actually.

Look forward to this being very contentious, and the unions will have a lot to say about it. If you’re a business wanting to hire someone, are you gonna go for the qualified worker being paid a salary, or a young person being paid $4 an hour?

University deregulation and those $100,000 degrees? Not just yet.

There was a big and very effective campaign from Labor after the 2014 budget rejecting the Coalition’s attempts to deregulate university fees. Looks like they’ve put that on hold for now. Whatever that means in practice, it looks like a fight they’re not keen to have at the moment.

Unpacking The Most Important Budget 2016 Question: “How Does It Affect Me?”

Tax breaks if you’re flush with $$$ – or if you’ve got a small business.

If you earn over $80,000 a year, you’re getting tax relief. Earn under that? Nnnnnope. 

But if you have a small business, you’re laughing. Your tax rate is being cut to 27.5%. And if you’re saying “Wait a minute, Pedestrian. I don’t have a small business. I have an $8 million business!” then calm your socks. The threshold to receive that 27.5% rate has been lifted from $2M to $10M. 

So if you’re reeling from the durry tax but inexplicably have a multimillion dollar small business, then… good on you, I guess.

Negative gearing is here to stay.

Negative gearing has been the main yarn for a few weeks now, with many people alleging that it’s at least partially responsible for Australia’s astronomical house prices. Labor and the Greens have policy to reform it, but the Coalition are pretty forcefully rejecting those calls.

Actually, Morrison seemed most passionate in his speech when he was shooting down those hopes. It’s just too poisonous for the Coalition base, so if you were keen for something in that space, it’s not happening. Actually, there’s not a whole lot here for young people thinking about housing affordability.

Nothing on climate change.

Care about climate change? Sorry fella. There’s nothing for you in Scott Morrison’s speech, and it is clearly not much of a focus. So while the earth cooks under our feet, be glad for small business tax cuts.

Unpacking The Most Important Budget 2016 Question: “How Does It Affect Me?”

That’s a rough intro for you. You’ll be hearing a lot about all of them over the coming weeks and leading up to the election. Batten down the hatches. It’s an election budget, baby!

Photo: Black Books.