Your vote might just be worth something after all
News.com.au have published an excellent and timely article, Federal Election promises, cuts and what they mean for you by Sarah Michael, which briefly examines Kevin Rudd’s and Tony Abbott’s election promises and how they would affect the average voter. The article deserves exposure. It doesn’t appear to be receiving a great deal by the looks of the Most Read Stories section of news.com where it hasn’t even entered the Top Ten even though it was published some seven hours ago. It is doubtful too, that hundreds of thousands of social media users will know the article exists because of the huge (and justified) anti-Murdoch sentiment: people – again justifiably – are deserting his tabloids in their droves.
Subsequently, for those thousands of readers of this site, I have reproduced the bulk of the article below. Here is what you will get with your vote:
If you have school-aged children…
Under Labor, you would receive the Schoolkids Bonus of $410 a year for each child in primary school and $820 a year for each child in secondary school. But your family would only be eligible for these payments if you receive benefits such as Family Tax Benefit Part A.
Labor would also introduce 137 new trade training centres to 225 schools across Australia.
Labor would also spend $8 million on programs to tackle homophobic bullying in schools.
The Coalition would axe the Schoolkids Bonus. But it would match Labor school funding dollar-for-dollar over the next four years.
If you have children in after-school care…
Labor would give $450 million in extra funding to up to 500 schools, so they can introduce or expand on after-school care services.
If you’re a TAFE student…
Labor would seek an agreement from the states and territories guaranteeing no further TAFE cuts. If the states refused to guarantee funding for TAFE, the Commonwealth would fund TAFEs directly.
If you want to go to university…
And you are from a disadvantaged background, Labor would give $50 million in funding to 17 higher education institutions to boost participation.
If you’re an apprentice…
Labor would boost the completion payment under the Tools For Your Trade initiative from $1500 to $2000. But Labor has already scrapped $3000 full-time and $1500 part-time incentives for employers of workers who undertake a ‘nonpriority’ qualification. The incentives remain in place if the qualifications lead to occupations on the National Skills Needs List or in the aged, child or disability care sectors, or if they are enrolled nurses.
The Coalition would maintain the scrapping of these incentives. The Coalition would also provide apprentices with a Trade Support Loan of up to $20,000 over four years during your apprenticeship. It will be repayable at the same income threshold for university students who receive FEE-HELP loans (currently $51,309).
If you’re a low-income earner…
And you earn less than $19,400, from 2015-16 you would not need to file a tax return because Labor intends to increase the tax-free threshold.
The Coalition would abolish the low-income super contribution, which pays people who earn $37,000 or less per year up to $500 each financial year to help save for their retirement.
If you’re unemployed…
Labor would spend $35 million over three years to provide about 8900 disadvantaged jobseekers with simulated work experience and training in employability skills such as language, literacy and numeracy.
The Coalition would give people who have been unemployed for 12 months or more and are on Newstart or Youth Allowance a $2500 Job Commitment Bonus if they get a job and remain off welfare for one year. People would receive a further $4000 if they remain off welfare for two years.
The Coalition will also provide up to $6000 for long-term unemployed job seekers if they moved to a regional area for a job, or $3000 if they moved to a metropolitan area.
If you work in the public service…
Labor would increase the public service efficiency dividend from 1.25 to 2.25 percent for three years, a move unions say could cost more than 5000 jobs. The dividend is an annual funding reduction for Commonwealth government agencies, designed to reduce operating costs and lift efficiency.
The Coalition would reduce jobs by 12,000. It says the jobs would be lost through natural attrition.
If you’re applying for a 457 visa…
From next month fees will rise to more than $1000. The cost for a family of four applying to the scheme will go from $450 to $5050.
Both Labor and the Coalition would do this.
If you’re a small-business owner…
Labor says it would cut the red tape by administering paid parental leave through Centrelink for businesses with fewer than 20 employees.
Labor would give an upfront tax deduction for small businesses when they buy equipment and assets worth up to $10,000.
Labor would also reduce GST reporting requirements from four times a year to just once a year for businesses with a turnover of less than $20 million a year.
Labor would also extend the free small business superannuation clearing house to businesses with less than 100 employees from July 1, 2014.
The Coalition would spend $6 million to create a Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman. It would also spend $3 million to improve access for small businesses to Commonwealth contracts. It would also spend $1 billion to cut red tape including changing superannuation payment methods.
The Coalition would also spend $1 million to extend unfair contract protections so they cover small businesses as well as consumers.
But the Coalition would axe a $6500 instant asset write off for small businesses with turnover less than $2 million.
It would also axe a tax-loss carry-forward scheme, which allows businesses to claim losses of up to $1 million against tax they have paid in the previous two years.
If you work in manufacturing…
Labor would invest $35.6 million to assist about 6800 new and existing manufacturing workers in upskilling for hi-tech manufacturing.
The Coalition would introduce a $50 million manufacturing transition grant program over two years. Grants would be available to communities, business and stakeholders to help them transition to competitive industries.
It would also restore funding to Export Market Development Grants starting with an initial $50 million boost.
If you work in health or community services…
Labor would spend $30.6 million to support more than 5800 workers to be upskilled in sectors such as disability services, aged care and childhood education.
If you work in the car industry…
Labor would give a $500 million boost to the car industry funding to the end of the decade and $300 million a year beyond 2020. If you work for Toyota, Labor would contribute $23.6 million towards Toyota’s $123 million investment in its local manufacturing operations. The government would also pay $1 million this financial year and $1.4 million per year from 2014 to 2017 in assistance to Ford Australia workers.
The Coalition would cut $500 million from the Automotive Transformation Scheme and would launch a Productivity Commission review into public funding for the Australian car industry.
If you’re working and studying…
Labor would defer and review the introduction of a $2000 cap on tax deductions for self-education expenses.
The Coalition has called on Labor to scrap the cap completely but has not committed to doing the same thing.
If you work for defence…
Labor would introduce measures so all families of Australian Defence Force personnel would be able to receive reimbursement for gap expenses when visiting a general practitioner.
The Coalition would also reimburse ADF families for out of pocket GP expenses. The Coalition would return defence spending to 2 percent of GDP from the current level of 1.59 percent within a decade.
If you don’t like the carbon tax…
Labor would terminate a fixed carbon price from next July. Families would save an average of $380 in the first year, plus the household assistance package linked to the carbon tax would remain in place. Labor would instead introduce an emissions trading scheme with a floating carbon price of about $6 a tonne.
The Coalition would axe the carbon tax. It would instead establish an Emissions Reduction Fund of $3 billion to allocate money in response to emission reduction tenders to projects designed to reduce carbon emissions.
If you’re in a same-sex relationship…
And want to get married, Labor would introduce a Bill into the Parliament to legalise same-sex marriage within 100 days of being re-elected.
If you use the internet…
Labor would roll out the National Broadband Network which aims for speeds of 1000 megabits per second by 2021.
The Coalition broadband would aim for at least 25-100 Mbps by 2016 and 50-100 Mbps by 2019.
If you’re planning on having a baby…
You are eligible to receive Labor’s current paid parental leave. This is 18 weeks’ pay at the rate of the national minimum wage.
The Coalition would give mothers who give birth after July 2015 six months’ leave on full pay, capped at $75,000.
If you are a victim of terrorism…
The Coalition would provide assistance to Australians and their families who have been victims of terrorism overseas since September 10, 2001, up to a maximum of $75,000. Currently, this assistance would be available for future victims but is not available for existing victims.
If you are an Indigenous Australian…
Labor promises a large number of measures under its Closing the Gap policy, including
$777 million over three years to continue the National Partnership Agreement for health and
$1.5 billion to provide job seekers in remote communities with local support.
The Coalition would spend $10 million to fund four trial sites for jobs training for Indigenous Australians.
It would also provide up to $45 million to support the GenerationOne employment model, creating job opportunities for up to 5000 indigenous Australians. The Coalition would also establish a Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council.
If you plan on buying a car…
Labor would axe the fringe benefits tax break employees receive for buying cars through salary sacrifice.
The Coalition would abandon these planned changes.
If you have a disability…
Labor would invest more than $14 billion for disability services over seven years for DisabilityCare.
The Coalition has also committed to implementing the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
If you require aged care…
Labor would invest $3.7 billion in aged care reform over five years, including more than 40,000 extra home care packages.
If you’re a victim of assault…
… that is sexual assault or domestic violence related, Labor would spend $31.2 million to support victims.
If you have health issues…
Labor would spend $50 million to improve care for stroke sufferers, $10.5 million on emergency asthma training, $3.2 million funding for Arthritis Australia, $21 million for family mental health services and $30 million for STI and blood borne virus prevention.
The Coalition would increase mental health spending by $430 million, spend $35 million to help find a cure for type 1 diabetes and provide a further $200 million over five years for dementia research.
If you have private health insurance…
The Coalition would “fully restore” the private health insurance rebate. The 30 percent rebate is currently means-tested for individuals earning more than $83,000 and families earning more than $166,000. Singles earning more than $129,000 and families earning over $258,000 receive no rebate.
The Coalition would also scrap the means test but has not said when they would do this.
If you’re a senior…
The Coalition would index eligibility for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card. This would allow more self-funded retirees to access the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card and medicines listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme at the concessional rate.
If you run a company…
The Coalition would cut the company tax rate by 1.5 percent from 1 July 2015. But if you run one of the 3200 biggest companies in Australia, the Coalition would impose a 1.5 percent levy to pay for part of its Paid Parental Leave Scheme.
If you’re a smoker…
Labor would increase the smoking tax so a pack of 20 cigarettes would cost you an extra $5.25 by the end of 2016.
The Coalition would increase the smoking tax by the same amount.
If you pay super…
The Coalition will delay increases to the super guarantee. This means it will be frozen at its current rate of 9.25 percent until July 1, 2016, when it will increase to 9.5 percent.
If you’re anything like me, after reading that you’re probably picking yourself up from the floor! A Murdoch article that actually makes Labor look good! Now we just have to get the message across.
Your vote might just be worth something after all.
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