Budget 2014: How it affects Tasmanians

WHAT'S IN IT FOR TASMANIA

*$40M a year for 10 years for Midland Highway upgrade

*$24M over 3 yrs for Antarctic research

*$38M over 3 yrs Hobart airport runway extension

*$100M over 4 years for TasRail

*$2.7M over 3 years to establish the Major Projects Approval Agency in Launceston

*Lyons community groups to share in $2.1M for solar panels

*$1.5M Port Arthur historical site

*Tasmania Police to take over Hobart airport security, saving $22M over 4 years

*$4M shaved off Tasmanian Forest Agreement implementation package for tourism in new reserves

*Little-known Tasmanian Weight Freight scheme, saving $4.4M over 4 years

*State budget to take a potential $400M hit to GST revenue over forward estimates

*$110 million cut to CSIRO budget over 4 years likely to hit Hobart division.

*Bulk of Gonski funding due in 2018 and 2019 replaced by modest increases to school funding based on inflation

*Commonwealth to no longer cover $9M of the cost of providing concessions on council rates, motor vehicle registration or energy bills in Tasmania

Few Tasmanians will escape the impact of this tough federal budget with the cost of living set to rise.

The 2014-15 budget handed down tonight has been described by Treasurer Joe Hockey as in the national interest rather than self-interest.

There were few surprises in the budget with much of the bad news already announced, including higher petrol prices and an overhaul of welfare payments designed to help repair the budget position as well as push more people in work or studying.

More than a third of Tasmanian households that rely on Commonwealth benefits as their primary source of income will be hit hardest.

Tightening eligibility and reducing increases to payments and pensions will disproportionately affect the state.

Election promises

In good news for the state, election promises designed to promote jobs growth have been honoured, including the centrepiece of the Tasmanian economic growth plan, the Midland Highway upgrade.

However, there are no details on how the $40 million a year for improvements to the road connecting Hobart and Launceston will be spent.

There is also money to establish a Major Projects Approvals Agency in Launceston, extend the Hobart airport runway and $24 million for Antarctic research.

Health

A shake-up of health funding will see individuals and the Tasmanian Government bear more of the burden of rapidly escalating health costs.

Visiting the doctor will cost at least $7 and it will cost an extra $5 for medication covered by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

Money raised by these changes will go towards creating the world's biggest medical research fund tipped to reach $20 billion in six years.

Funding for Tasmania's three public hospitals will be linked to inflation and population growth rather than guaranteed amounts, while elective surgery funding will be reduced over the next two years.

It will be up to the Tasmanian Government to decide if patients who turn up at hospital emergency departments with problems deemed more suited to a GP, are charged.

Cuts

New spending has been offset by cuts to security at Hobart airport, which will now be provided by Tasmania Police, in a move estimated to save $22 million over four years.

Scholarships for nurses have been abolished and $4 million that had been set aside for new reserves created by the now defunct Tasmanian Forests Agreement is no longer required.

About 16,500 Commonwealth public servants are to go over three years, but it's unclear how many based in Tasmania will lose their jobs.

Forecast GST revenue to flow to the state is also $400 million down on state Treasury's latest projections.

However, discrepencies are not unusual due to a different formula used by federal Treasury.

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