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The 2019-20 Australian Federal Budget was released on 2 April 2019 by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, outlining how the government plans to spend and save in the years ahead.
Note: the measures outlined in the Budget are yet to be legislated. 

EDUCATION

Skills Training: An investment of $525 million over five years in the vocational education and training (VET) sector, to respond to skills shortages, driven by a yet-to-be established National Skills Commission. This will include:

  • $41.7 million over four years to pilot skills organisations in human services care and digital technologies.
  • $62.4 million for a national program of foundational skills training.
  • Pilot of foundational skills training in remote indigenous communities.
  • $42.4 million to set up a National Careers Institute to provide pathways to the VET sector.
  • $50.6 million to pilot ten Training Hubs in regional areas of high youth unemployment.

Apprenticeships: In addition to the VET funding creating 80,000 additional apprentices for key jobs, incentive payments will go to both apprentices and employers in key occupations with skills shortages.
 
STEM Education and Careers Training: $3.4 million will support improving gender equality in science, technology, engineering and maths fields. 

Student ID: $18.3 million over four years will go to developing Unique Student Identifier (USI) and centralised digital training record for tertiary education.

Schools: Federal funding for schools across public, independent and Catholic schools will be significantly increased, with $292 billion over ten years, taking annual funding to $32.4 billion by 2029.

School Reform: a new National School Reform Agreement will be created, working with states and territories to improve student outcomes. 

Preschool: $453 million will extend the National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education until the end of 2020, which gives access of 15 hours a week of preschool education in the year before starting school. 

Local Community Funds: Will allocate $30.2 million to spend on projects in their school communities.

Universities: $17.7 billion in the university sector in 2019, projected to grow to more than $20 billion by 2024.

Regional Study Incentives: $93.7 million over four years from 2019 20 will fund scholarships for students to study at a regional campus of a university or VET provider.

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HEALTHCARE

Key new investments:

Health Services Infrastructure: Funding for public hospitals will reach $89.5 billion over four years from 2019-20, including funding in key areas:

  • $100 million for the Children’s Cancer Centre in Sydney.
  • $80 million to establish a Centre of Excellence in Cellular Immunotherapy in Victoria.
  • $30 million for the construction of a new Brain and Spinal Ward in South Australia.

Mental Health: $111 million for 30 additional headspace services, and $230 million over 7 years for expanded mental health services. 

Medication benefits: $331 million will fund new and amended listings on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), including medicines to treat lung, bladder, kidney and skin cancer and acute leukaemia. 

Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS): The Medicare rebate freeze, which held rebates for GP services and increased out-of-pocket expenses, will continue to be lifted with medical procedures next in line in July, at a cost of $187 million. Key services including breast cancer diagnostic imaging will also be added to the schedule.
 
Support for GPs: $448 million of increased funding will support services provided by GPs working with hospitals for high needs and complex patients. 

Heart Disease: Heart Health checks will be added as a new MBS item (eligible for Medicare rebate) and additional funding is allocated in the budget for the Childhood Heart Disease National Action Plan.

MRI capability: $152 million will go to new MRI licences across the country.

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AGED CARE

Aged Care: $724.8 million has been allocated over five years to improve quality and access to aged care services, including:

  • 10,000 additional home care packages.
  • 13,500 residential care places.
  • $320 million in subsidies for residential aged care.

Phone Support: Funding of $18 million has also been announced to establish a national hotline to support senior Australians. 

More from the budget below:

Superannuation

  • Work test exemption for individuals aged 65 and 66.
  • Spouse contributions age limit increase from 69 to 74.
  • Eligibility age for non-concessional contribution bring-forward arrangements extended.

Taxation

  • Personal income tax cuts.
  • Medicare levy low-income thresholds increased.
  • Enhancements to the instant asset write-off.

If you’d like to know more about how the taxation and superannuation changes could affect you, our Senior Financial Planners can help. Arrange a consultation by calling 1300 654 193 or email finplan@bankfirst.com.au.

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