Australia’s Tough Budget Big on Spending Cuts

Australia’s conservative government on Tuesday released a politically contentious federal budget packed with deregulation and tough spending cuts that it offers as a roadmap for returning to surplus within a decade.

The 2014/15 Federal Budget presents Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Treasurer Joe Hockey’s blueprint for tackling what they call unsustainable deficits forecast at A$29.8 billion ($27.9 billion) next year and totalling A$60 billion over the next four years.

But the proposals would signal perhaps the most radical reshaping of Australia’s social safety network in its modern history through broad structural reforms to the welfare, healthcare, higher education and pension systems.

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