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16 Things Labor Will Cut If They're Elected

Bad news for students, families and fans of dams.

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On Friday, Labor leader Bill Shorten announced eleven new savings measures and four Coalition plans his government would implement if elected, all of which would raise $6.1 billion for the budget over the next decade.

1. Lowering Higher Education Loan repayment thresholds.

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Saving $9 million.

Labor will support the Coalition's plan to reduce the threshold for student loan repayments from $54,126 to $50,638. This means students will have to start paying back their debts sooner, when they start earning just over $50k.

2. Changing the funding structure for research.

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Saving $119 million.

Labor will change the funding structure for some courses under the Australian Research Council Act and the Higher Education Support Act (excluding superannuation grants) so they're indexed to the Consumer Price Index in place of the Higher Education Grants Index.

This doesn't relate to funding for students.

3. Axing the HECS/HELP benefit.

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Saving $24 million.

The HECS-HELP Benefit reduces the HELP repayments of students who study certain maths, science, nursing, midwifery, education and early childcare courses. They'd lose this financial help.


5. Cuts to family tax benefits

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The Family tax benefit A supplement will be reduced by 50% for families with an income of more than $100,000. This will raise $505 million.

Labor will also pause the point at which families lose a portion of their family tax benefits, that means a family whose income increases will receive less family payments if their income is more than $94,000 a year. This move will raise $275 million.

6. Cutting the Private Health Insurance Rebate for natural therapies.

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Saving $180.2 million.

This means you won't be able to claim treatment for aromatherapy, herbalism, pilates, and other natural therapies.

7. Continuing the government’s private health insurance and medicare levy surcharge threshold freeze for another five years.

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Saving $2.3 billion.

The Private Health Insurance (PHI) rebate helps cover the cost of premiums.

The Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS) is a levy on taxpayers who do not have private hospital cover and who earn above a certain income.

The dollar amount of the PHI rebate and MLS levy will be frozen under Labor.


10. Returning funds from the Confiscated Assets Account.

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Saving $57.4 million.

Money from the Confiscated Assets Account (collected under proceeds of crime and used by the AFP), will go into consolidated revenue.


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

Contact Alice Workman at

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