CANBERRA – It is sometimes hard to see the impact of federal budget savings - AKA budget cuts - as they are often scheduled a few years into the future. Any improvement to the bottom line and likely pain is delayed, but still on the way.
So a good graph or two is the way to go. And the hard working and thoroughly independent folks at the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) have made a series of visual summaries of key drivers of the mid-year budget update, the 2016-17 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO), which was released last month.
Here's a few mind-boggling columns - we are talking billions - based on the current federal budget deficit ($36.5 billion) and the Turnbull Government's plan to return to either balance or a paper thin surplus in 2020-21 with welfare cheats and students the subject of major savings measures.
December's MYEFO revealed the budget deficit of $37.1 billion narrowed by $600 million since May to $36.5 billion.
But, the budget update charted a slower attack on the deficit over the next four years to a deficit of $10 billion in 2019-20 rather than the forecast $6 billion in the May budget - overall, Australia's budget will be $10.4 billion worse off over four years.
Company tax revenue is worse than expected, largely due to weaker profits in the non-mining sector. Revenue from the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is also expected to be $5.1 billion lower than expected over four years, due different expectations of household consumption growth.
So savings are needed and the path to surplus involves a new $1.5 billion cut over four years to welfare for job seekers.
Remember, these are measures to enhance the "integrity of social welfare payments", including expanding and extending data matching activities with the Australian Taxation Office. But young people under 25 years are also being asked, under yet to be passed legislation, to wait four weeks to get the dole.
And here's the cut to income support for carers.
Changes, well a complete overall of the vocational education and training (VET) system is expected to save the government $25 billion over the next 10 years.
You can't see the full 10 year impact in PBO graph form. There will be caps on student loans that will save $7 billion over forward estimates.
But here is the $0.3 billion saving over four years when the government replaces the failed and thoroughly rorted VET-FEE HELP loans scheme with a new VET Student Loans scheme.
There's no graph for Tony Abbott's Green Army. It is just gone saving $224.7 over four years.
You can see the latest work of the PBO here.
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