With a federal election potentially just six weeks away, last night’s Budget was always going to be more of a political document than usual.
And while the Budget appears to have been reasonably well received, will it be enough to sway the opinions of the voters the Coalition so desperately needs?
7.30 spoke to three families from across the country to get their response.
‘Definitely going to benefit’
Single mother of two Rebecca Panshin is exactly the kind of voter the Coalition needs to win over with last night’s Budget.
She lives in Logan, south of Brisbane, which is in the ultra-marginal seat of Forde — which will be a key battleground in May.
Ms Panshin thinks this Budget is a “really big deal”.
What Budget 2019 means for you:
“I definitely think that it’s going to help a lot of people in similar situations to me, single working parents, we’re definitely going to benefit from it,” Ms Panshin told 7.30.
“I’m on a pretty average income, and it looks like I’m going to get about an extra $1,000 a year starting this year, which is a massive difference.
“That’s car payments, that’s rent, that’s electricity. That’s treats for the kids.”
Ms Panshin earns $60,000 a year working three days a week as a bar manager and also receives a Centrelink parenting payment, which makes her eligible for the Government’s $75 energy rebate.
While that is welcome, she thinks more should be done about high electricity prices.
“On my very, very small electricity budget it means about a 4 per cent discount, so I think it could be better, and I think it could be written in as a permanent discount rather than a one-off payment,” she said.
“Seventy-five dollars doesn’t go very far.”
She said she was disappointed there was nothing in the Budget that would help make child care more affordable, which she said was the single biggest disincentive to her working more than three days a week.
“[It is] the single biggest expense that I have,” Ms Panshin said.
“It would have been nice to know that that’s going to come down a little bit for somebody who wants to work, and somebody who’s trying really hard to work and do my bit to be a taxpayer rather than a tax receiver.
“It would have helped to have that little bit of assistance in looking after the kids while I’m doing that.”
Despite being a regular Labor voter, she said this Budget was making her rethink.
“It’s definitely making me consider what I do by default,” she said.
“I can’t say my mind’s made up just yet. But I wouldn’t say that it’s set in stone anymore, either.”
Tax cuts ‘very handy’
Khin Cameron caught up with the Budget details on Wednesday morning because she worked late on Tuesday night as a pharmacy assistant.
“It’s great news, very positive for us,” Ms Cameron said.
“We’ll be getting roughly $1,400 between the two of us, me and my husband. That will be very handy for us.”
Ms Cameron and her husband, Zac, live in Mernda on Melbourne’s outer northern fringe.
They have a combined income of about $100,000.
The tax cuts will provide some welcome financial relief.
“Trying to repay the mortgage as quickly as possible,” Ms Cameron said.
“Everyday living is expensive, so this money will be very helpful.
They won’t be eligible for the electricity bill rebate, but Ms Cameron is not too concerned.
“I don’t think what they’re offering is much, and it won’t make much difference in the long term,” she said.
With a two-year-old son, Ms Cameron was disappointed that child care didn’t rate a mention.
“Child care is a very important aspect of family life, because if you want to go back to work you need to make sure that your child in a safe environment, someone’s going to look after them,” she said.
“It needs to be affordable so that we can afford to put our children in child care.”
As far as the election was concerned, Ms Cameron’s vote was still up for grabs.
She said she had voted Liberal in the past but was still weighing up her options.
“I’m undecided at the moment,” she said.
“I didn’t vote for Liberal last time but, yeah, we’ll wait and see how it plays out.
“This Budget has got lots of merits and very positive. So, that would come into factor when I decide.”
‘Not much impact’
For Tanya and Simon Vulinovic the Budget was welcome, but they acknowledged it wouldn’t significantly change their lives.
“Overall thoughts is it’s pretty positive. I think it’ll have not a huge impact on our household but a positive impact nonetheless,” Ms Vulinovic told 7.30.
“We’re pretty fortunate that we’re in good health … we’re both working, so that that extra money will go towards, I think, some holidays and savings,” Mr Vulinovic said.
“It’s good to see a surplus delivered for the first time in over a decade.”
Whether that forecast surplus actually happens depends on the Coalition winning government, but Mr Vulinovic is keen for both sides to show restraint to deliver on the Budget promise.
“Obviously being an election year there’s probably going to be a tendency for the Government and the Opposition in the reply to throw a lot of money around but hopefully we don’t see too much reckless spending,” he said.
The Vulinovics live in Carlisle, in inner Perth, with their two children.
They have a combined income of about $220,000 and won’t be eligible to receive the one-off energy rebate.
“Giving it to the people that most need it, I’m quite happy with that,” Mr Vulinovic said.
But he said he thought it was a short-term fix.
“It is a one-off payment. It doesn’t address, you know, the rising cost of energy process in the longer term,” he said.
They were both pleased that with the redistribution of GST, which would see Western Australia receive a greater share.
“I think it’s finally recognition for the contribution and the sacrifices by many Western Australian families that did contribute to the overall success of the resource industry in WA,” Ms Vulinovic said.
“So, I think that as one subject has been a really positive outcome recently for Western Australians.”
They said the budget had only reinforced their political views and would not change the way they would vote.
“We are Liberal voters and will vote Liberal again in the upcoming election, which I understand maybe called sometime this week,” Ms Vulinovic said.
Topics: government-and-politics, budget, federal-government, federal-parliament, liberals, alp, liberal-national-party, australia, logan-central-4114, perth-6000, melbourne-3000
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