The Budget looks set to cut Australia's debt and deficit levels.
The Budget looks set to cut Australia's debt and deficit levels.

Govt dumps plan to force young to wait six months for dole

TONY Abbott government is backing down on its controversial plan to make younger people seeking the dole wait up to six months before receiving welfare.

Instead of asking people under 30 to wait six months before receiving the dole, the Coalition will now seek to extend the existing one-week waiting period to four weeks for people aged under 25, Fairfax reported.

Under a $330 million "Back to Work" plan to be unveiled when the budget is released on Tuesday night, the Coalition will target young people experiencing difficulty getting into work.

The plan will involve:

  • $106 million for "intensive support trials" for young migrants and young people with mental illnesses finding it difficult to enter the workforce
  • $212 million for a new "transition" program helping young people who have abandoned their studies or employment and deemed at risk of being on long-term welfare, find work
  • $14 million for teenagers who leave school before Year 12 find a job


Federal Budget 2015: Deficit could drop to $41 billion

A 1.5% tax cut for small businesses, a $400 million boost to national security and the data retention scheme and a potentially lower deficit than forecast will be key parts of Treasurer Joe Hockey's second budget.

Mr Hockey on Tuesday morning did the traditional walk-by of the media scrum, telling reporters in Canberra the budget deficit could be cut to "around $40 billion to $41 billion", on the back of potential jobs growth and a recovery in the iron ore price.

The recovery has beaten earlier forecasts of up to $45 billion in deficit from Deloitte Access Economics, after a $10 billion deterioration in the budget's bottom line last year, which brought it to $40.1 billion in the mid-year economic and fiscal outlook.

For families, a $3.5 billion child care package is on the cards, with Prime Minister Tony Abbott already prepared to talk through the details with crossbenchers, given Labor's outright opposition to cuts to the Family Tax benefit part B, which would fund the measure.

Up to 1.7 million small businesses will get a boost, with a 1.5% tax cut for incorporated small businesses to be extended to unincorporated small businesses, but the full details of other measures for the sector will not be released until the budget is tonight.

After dedicating $630 million to national security measures last year, Mr Abbott also announced this morning a further $450 million boost, including about $130 million for the telecommunications industry to upgrade systems to prepare for the controversial data retention scheme.

Of the total $450 million, some $296 million would go towards updating information technology systems, with $22 million to counter violent extremism and "combat terrorism propaganda".

Mr Hockey will give a public speech in parliament tonight at 7.30pm to announced the budget, as the details emerge from the media "budget lock-up".

Join APN Newsdesk's team for all the online updates from 7.30pm on how tonight's Federal Budget will affect taxpayers and our regions, with comprehensive coverage in print on Wednesday morning.

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