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Everything Millennials Need To Know About The Budget Update

Tl;dr get a good job that pays good money… 'cause the government ain't helping you out.

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Unemployed young people and students are being hit with more than $9 billion in cuts so the government can get the budget back to surplus.

Lukas Coch / AAPIMAGE

Treasurer Scott Morrison and finance minister Mathias Cormann handed down the 292-page Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) - aka political nerd Christmas - on Monday. Australia's deficit has been revised down by $600 million from $37.1 billion to to $36.5 billion, but is actually expected to increase by more than $10.4 billion over the next four years.

1. $3.7 billion will be saved by cracking down on welfare payments and making young people wait four weeks to get the dole.

Tracey Nearmy / AAPIMAGE

The government aims to save $3.7 billion over the next four years by expanding its welfare crackdown to include fraud prevention and debt recovery.

This includes forcing people under the age of 25 to wait one month before they can access any form of financial welfare, in the hope they will find a job and not need to quality for Newstart. This legislation has been introduced but not yet passed parliament.

The government wants to cut the payments of young people who don't turn up to Centrelink job search appointments or training programs.

MYEFO also sets aside $1.6 million for a "black economy taskforce" to police tax avoidance and welfare fraud.

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2. RIP the Green Army.

Green Army / Via Facebook: GreenArmyGov

As speculated, Tony Abbott's Green Army has been axed, saving $224.7 over four years.

The saved money will be going to Landcare ($100m), the Great Barrier Reef Marine Authority ($34.1m) and constructing new facilities at the Macquarie Island Research Station ($27.2m)

3. Fewer cash incentives for employers to hire unemployed people over 25, to fund the PaTH internship program.

Australian government / Via employment.gov.au

The government will save $329.5 million over four years by capping wage subsidies. The government currently pays employers incentives up to $10,000 to hire unemployed people over 25.

The savings from wage subsidies have been reinvented as the Youth Jobs PaTH program, which offers businesses $1000 to hire interns for four to 12 weeks.

4. Changes to vocational education and training (VET) will save the government $25 billion over the next 10 years.

Under the government’s VET crackdown, TAFEs and private colleges will only qualify to receive taxpayer-funded student loans if the training provider has a pass rate of 50 per cent or more, and the course has a high likelihood of leading to employment opportunities.

There will also be caps on loans that will save $7 billion over forward estimates.

It is also axing Labor's Industry Skills Fund, saving $119 million over four years.

5. There will be more student loan debt.

Stefan Postles / Getty Images

MYEFO estimates student loans will increase from $42.4 billion in 2016 to $59.6 billion in 2019.

The government hasn't announced the details for its plans to partially deregulate university fees, and because the changes aren't due until 2018 there are no clues in MYEFO.

But we do get a better picture of the size of student loan debt.

In June 2015 there were more than 2.2 million Australians with student debt owed to the government.

As of June 30, 2017, the government estimates the total student loan debt will be $42.5 billion, and will increase over the next four years.

Interestingly, they note the average time taken to repay HELP debts is 8.7 years.

6. The same-sex marriage plebiscite is still hanging around, but they haven't put money aside for it.

Marianna Massey / Getty Images

The plebiscite that just won't die is still government policy, but as there are no plans to try and push the legislation through parliament in 2017 the $176 million it will cost has been set aside.

"If the Parliament passes legislation for a plebiscite on same-sex marriage in the future the Government will allocate the necessary funding at that point," Treasury says.

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7. Fines will increase.

Supplied / PR IMAGE

If you commit a federal crime, you receive a fine valued as a certain number of penalty units.

From July 1 the government will increase the value of penalty units from $180 to $210, bringing in $90 million.

It has also decided to index penalty units from 2020 in line with the CPI.

8. The Assets Recycling Initiative is GONE.

Lukas Coch / AAPIMAGE

The Assets Recycling Initiative to fund infrastructure projects, which was only announced by then treasurer Joe Hockey in the 2014 budget, has been scrapped, saving $20 million by 2019/20.

9. Extra staff and offices for politicians.

Mick Tsikas / AAPIMAGE

The government is putting aside $35.8 million over the next four years to increase the number of taxpayer funded personal staff politicians are allowed to employ, to "more effectively manage their workload and represent the interests of their constituents".

There will be 33 extra staff, meaning they'll each be paid a salary of around $270,000.

There is also $8.1 million over four years to provide a third staffed electorate office for electorates larger than 350,000 square kilometres.

10. The search for MH370 continues.

Stringer . / Reuters

Three million dollars have been put aside for the Australian Transport Safety Bureau to "finalise search operations" for Malaysian Airlines flight MH370.

Treasury notes the search area is 120,000 square kilometres.

11. The government has put aside $1.9 million to create an Indigenous Business Sector Strategy.

Dr Michelle Evans (Allan Clarke / BuzzFeed)

The strategy will "outline both the support services available to

Indigenous entrepreneurs to establish and grow their businesses, and a long-term road map for the sector".

12. There have been fewer people applying for carer payments, saving $1.9 billion.

Hero Images / Getty Images

There was also $7.6 billion saved on lower-than-expected uptake of childcare payments.

13. Nine hundred thousand dollars has been put aside to create a redress scheme for survivors of child sexual abuse.

Royal Commission / PR IMAGE

The redress scheme will compensate survivors of abuse in government-funded institutions, and has been designed in response to the Royal Commission's Redress and Civil Litigation report.

14. There's more money to film Aquaman than for mobile blackspot funding.

Zack Snyder / Via Twitter: @ZackSnyder

In 2018 the government is giving Warner Bros. Pictures $22.1 million to film the superhero blockbuster Aquaman on the Gold Coast. The movie is expected to create 1,150 jobs for Aussie cast and crew members.

But in the same year they'll only spend $20 million on the Mobile Black Spot Program. A program that literally saves lives, by providing mobile phone coverage in regional and remote areas of Australia that currently don't have service because they're deemed unprofitable.

15. There's no more money for nannies.

Joel Carrett / AAPIMAGE

The Nanny Pilot Program will be cut from 10,000 to 500 places, saving $170 million over two years.

It was created by Scott Morrison in 2015 when he was social services minister to encourage women to hire nannies so they could go back to work faster after having a baby.

Alice Workman is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Canberra.

Contact Alice Workman at alice.workman@buzzfeed.com.

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