Labor releases full budget modelling after Question Time debate

Labor has caved to government pressure, releasing modelling on the Abbott Government’s second budget in full.


A small part of the modelling – commissioned by Labor and completed by the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM) – was released to media on Monday, sparking fierce debate in Question Time.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the modelling could not be taken seriously until it was released.

“If members opposite want to vindicate the work of NATSEM, release it,” he said.

“Just release it. Why is it that this work of NATSEM needs to be hidden?”

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Following numerous appeals in Question Time, Treasurer Joe Hockey again requested its release during an appearance on the ABC’s Q&A program on Monday.

“We haven’t seen it,” he said.

“You are asking me about something I haven’t seen, the government hasn’t seen and most of the media haven’t seen.”

The impact of proposed budget measures are expected to be significantly larger for low and middle income families with children, according to the modelling.

NATSEM researcher Ben Phillips took 25 budget measures and other government changes into account, including the removal of the carbon tax, tightening of FTB payments and changes to the pension.

“In percentage terms, the impact is felt by the lowest income families more than high income families.”

Mr Phillips said the budget impact on families was expected to fall most heavily on low and middle income families with children, while wealthier families faced smaller losses.

“In percentage terms, the impact is clearly felt by the lowest income families more than high income families,” he said.

Case studies prepared by NATSEM also outlined gloomy predictions for low income families.

A single parent with two children – one in primary school, one in high school – earning around $55,000 annually is set to lose almost seven per cent of their income in the coming financial year. Those losses are set to total $20,647 over a four year period.

But a two-parent household with a combined income of $120,000 and two children – both in high school – is set to lose $11,575 over the same four year period.

natsem modelling | Create infographics


Mr Phillips said while there were gains relating to the removal of the carbon tax, there were many negatives.

“The largest impacts in the negative relate to losses from Family Tax Benefits A and B, pension losses and for a small fraction of families the loss of the child care subsidy due to the new work test arrangement,” he said.

“The major gains will relate to the removal of the carbon price and for some families the child care package providing a larger subsidy.”

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Read the modelling in full here:

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