The budget shuffles many bureaucratic deck chairs, tosses some overboard, but in the main the good ship HMAS Australia Government has come through the first Hockey budget relatively unscathed.
Those hoping the budget might see a fundamental change in the size, shape and delivery of government will be disappointed. In dollars, the net savings from what Finance Minister Mathias Cormann calls “smaller, more rational government” is about $500 million over the next four years. Net, the new budget will cause 2000 public servants to lose their job, on top of the 14,500 already slated to go from the previous government’s decisions. Comparing this financial year with next, the federal payroll will be cut by 4591 jobs, a 1.8% cut.