The Federal Budget is pretty much my favourite time of the political calendar bar a double dissolution election, so as you can imagine I’m having a ball in Australia’s current political landscape.
It’s so much better than any drama the Logies try to convince I should care about. So with all that being said, how did this year’s national budget affect me and potentially other students nationwide?

Positives:

Low-Income earners up to $37,000 annually will receive a refund of up to $500 into their super account to the amount of tax paid on their super contributions. Don’t think that this government was lending low-income earners a hand, though, as this is deceptively the same as Labor’s $500 super contribution scheme which the government failed to get repealed in the Senate. Sneaky Libs.

The Youth Jobs Path program looks to provide people under 25, and currently on employment benefits, training to enter the workplace. By providing $752 million in this year’s budget for what is essentially a national internship programme, the government looks to get job seekers hands-on work experience. The programme looks to provide about 30,000 new internship opportunities a year where they will look to acquire 15-25 hours of work experience a week and receive an extra $200 a fortnight on top of their regular welfare benefits. This appears to be a contentious policy among Australia’s youth as there are concerns among young people of being taken advantage of during their internships, however if the work you are being taken advantage of is worthy of a standard wage, then that is valuable experience going forward.
I do not see this as a policy issue anyway since there are already so many unpaid internships, so if this was really a widespread problem then it’s not the policy that would be broken, but the system. Did I mention how great it is here at Speaker TV??

Smokers look to take another hit with another four annual rises of 12.5% in the tobacco excise. The government looks to earn $4 billion over the forward estimates and the obvious reduction in health costs in the future it is really a societal positive for everyone.

The Government is also looking to implement a Tobacco Strike Team, aside from being a great name for a cringe teenage-angst punk band, looks to target the illegal importation of tobacco.

Negatives:

The government is looking to cut around $2 billion from higher education, and so far haven’t told us how they are going to achieve that figure. This is compacted onto cuts made over the last few years during the Abbott government. Yay for education.

I have a pretty good feeling that students everywhere will be affected by the government’s extended four annual rises of 12.5% in the tobacco excise. Even if you’re sitting there thinking, ‘I’m only a social smoker, or after a few drinks’ aside from lying to yourself, you’ll eventually have to make a decision between smoking and that extra vodka sunrise. There looks to be no stopping the increase in the tobacco excise however so best to save your money now and order up another round for the crew.

Pursuing forward with a botched and second rate NBN and not a single mention for Climate Change. W.T.F.

Really there is not much to be excited about for Australia’s youth as it is quite clear that the current government has no intention of looking passed 2025 for Australia’s future. We have a second rate NBN that was originally meant to cost around $29.5 million and is now looking to cost possibly up to $56 billion.  Not to mention the abysmal 25Mbps by 2016 won’t be here till 2020 at the earliest  , when by probably 2025 it will be outdated and Australia is being left by the wayside on the global stage as this is essentially the future of our national infrastructure.
It’s not about being able to download Game Of Thrones in 10 seconds, although that would be awesome, it’s about remote businesses uploading and communicating faster, increasing our level of production for Australia’s growth. Ugh. My disdain for this policy could continue another couple thousand words but you’ve heard it all before and I don’t think I will ever get over how Australia got so easily blindsided by such a clear cut dangerous policy for Australia’s future.

How was there not a single mention of Climate Change in a 2016 national budget? What future is there for us if we won’t even be around to appreciate it? I’m almost impressed by the clear lack of consideration for Australian’s youth with the poor NBN rollout, no changes being made to negative gearing making it harder for first home buyers, and cuts to higher education, you would think that we don’t exist?

Well, to be honest on the political stage we don’t. Too often do you hear of young Australian’s donkey voting because they “don’t know” or “don’t care” and in some cases even being almost proud of their ignorance. My favourite is those that haven’t even registered to vote. When time comes that young Australian’s inevitably complain about how they got so severely overlooked, then make sure you sit there and have a valid claim to be pissed off – because if you voted, you cared.

In other news, did everyone watch the latest episode of Game of Thrones?