Budget leaks are a time-honoured tradition. This year, with a GFC-affected Budget, leaks to the press are being used to help people — especially higher income earners — adjust to the idea that it won’t just be bonuses and payouts.

We’re no Laurie Oakes, but here’s a Crikey list of leaks and speculation so far. Looks like there might not be much left to announce tomorrow night.

Paid parental leave for 2011. Slickly leaked to coincide with Mother’s Day, the government announced a paid parental scheme to be launched in 2011. The plan, rumoured to be worth $260 million annually, falls short of recommendations from the Productivity Commission report for paid parental leave which proposed $450 million worth of payments per year and two weeks’ paid paternity leave. — The Age, May 11.

Superannuation tax breaks rolled back. Salary sacrificing, the process in which income earners could sacrifice money — $50,000 for the under 50s and $100,000 for the over 50s — into their superannuation at the tax rate of just 15% will be halved. — The Age, May 10.

Childcare rebates to be means tested. Treasurer Wayne Swan has refused to deny rumours that the Budget will insist on childcare rebates being means tested. The rebates, which included 50% off the cost of childcare, were a key election promise in Rudd’s campaign. — The Australian, May 9.

Read the full list (21 leaks and counting) on the Crikey website.

Peter Fray

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