Half of voters belief they will be worse off under federal budget, according to Fairfax-Ipsos poll

Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison speaking at a budget breakfast at Palladium Crown Casino. Picture: Justin McManus
Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison speaking at a budget breakfast at Palladium Crown Casino. Picture: Justin McManus

Western Sydney residents have tentatively welcomed the federal budget, with much of the government’s dramatic cost-cutting measures from 2014 scrapped in favour of Treasurer Scott Morrison’s “fair” cuts.

A Fairfax-Ipsos poll revealed half of voters believed they would be worse off under the budget, but also supported most of the major announcements.

The Gonski-style school funding announcement had 86 per cent support, although Blacktown MP John Robertson said local schools would be thousands of dollars worse off than they would under a Labor government.

Chifley MP Ed Husic said TAFE and vocational education is set to lose $600 million over the next four years.

“We know how important it is for students in our area to be able to take up a trade and meet the high demand for those skills,” Mr Husic said.

The $6.2 billion tax on the ‘big four’ banks had 68 per cent support from voters.

Chifley MP Ed Husic during question time at Parliament House in October 2016. Picture: Alex Ellinghausen

Chifley MP Ed Husic during question time at Parliament House in October 2016. Picture: Alex Ellinghausen

The planned cuts to Medicare have also been put on hold for at least three years.

Among the unpopular measures was the increase on tax for the average family, while millionaires received a tax cut.

A family making $65,000 will pay $325 more in tax in two years’ time, according to Mr Husic. Axing the energy supplement would also cost pensioners $14 a week.

At the other end of the age spectrum, university students will be expected to pay more for their degrees, and start paying back their HELP debt sooner.

The government has focused on construction for addressing housing affordability, as well as a small fee for foreign investors whose homes are not occupied for at least six months a year.

The budget introduced a salary-sacrifice scheme to help first home buyers save for a deposit. The new scheme would allow individuals to contribute an extra $30,000 to their superannuation – but Mr Husic said the measures were not enough.

“The budget hasn’t helped the people wondering if they’ll ever get into the Sydney housing market,” he said. “Instead they’re asking people to use their retirement savings – superannuation accounts – to pay for house deposits. This Turnbull Government doesn’t understand how tough some people find it to buy their first home.”