Information withheld from the budget shows high income couples may suffer scarcely at all while low income families on benefits could lose as much as 10 per cent of their incomes.
The information, normally included in the budget, calls into question the Treasurer's claim that "everyone is being asked to make a contribution".
Inserted into the 2005 budget by treasurer Peter Costello and included in every budget since, the table is usually titled "Detailed family outcomes".
It sets out the way in which the budget measures make different types of families better or worse off. In 2005 Mr Costello displayed the results for six family types at 15 different levels of incomes.
In 2009 Labor's Wayne Swan expanded the coverage to display the results as percentage changes in income as well as changes in dollars earned each week.
The table was also produced to justify the changes that ushered in the goods and services tax in 2000 and the carbon tax in 2012.
Joe Hockey's budget is the first without it.
ANU public policy experts Peter Whiteford and Daniel Nethery have crunched the numbers on all the personal tax and benefit changes in Mr Hockey's budget to replicate the missing table.
Their findings, published by Fairfax Media today, show people on benefits suffer far more from the budget than those on high incomes. The worst off is an unemployed 23-year-old whose income will slide to be 18.3 per cent worse off as a result of the budget.
A single parent on the parenting payment with one child aged six will be 10.2 per cent worse off.
In contrast, someone earning three times the average wage will lose just 0.9 per cent of their take-home income.
A high-income childless couple earning $360,000 a year will lose nothing whatsoever.
"These calculations are conservative,'' Professor Whiteford writes. "They do not take into account the proposed abolition of the schoolkids bonus as this is not a new budget initiative. They do not deduct rent or childcare. Nor do they include increased costs of healthcare and fuel or changes to education."
Partly offsetting the personal tax and benefit changes will be the abolition of the carbon tax.
Professor Whiteford says the gains from this change are tilted towards low income earners, but will "offset less than one-fifth of the losses for the unemployed".
The biggest loser identified among parents is a single parent on Newstart with a child aged eight. Her income will slide 12.2 per cent as a result of the budget. The single parent of an eight-year-old on two-thirds the average wage will be 7 per cent worse off.
All of the figures prepared by Professor Whiteford and Mr Nethery are presented as changes to 2016-17 disposable incomes because that is when most of the budget measures will have come into effect.
What is striking about the findings is that the number of dollars lost per week varies little with income. The loss to a single 23-year-old on Newstart is $47 a week, close to $67 a week lost by a two-income couple with three children taking home between them 133 per cent of the average wage.
The effect is to make the losses for high earners tiny as a proportion of income and the losses for low earners highly significant.
Asked why the Treasurer excluded the table from the budget, a spokeswoman for Mr Hockey said the government had been transparent about the changes in the documents that accompanied the budget papers.
What the budget didn’t tell you
Projected change in real disposable income as a result of the personal tax and benefit measures in the budget
Single person on Newstart, 23 years old
Loss per week $47 (18.3% of disposable income)
Single parent, one child aged 8, on Newstart
Loss per week $54 (12.2% of disposable income)
Single parent, one child aged 6, on Parenting Payment
Loss per week: $54 (10.2% of disposable income)
Single income couple, two children, 6 and 9 on average wage
Loss per week $82 (6.4% of disposable income)
Two income couple, three children 3, 6 and 9, average wage and one third of average wage
Loss per week $67 (3.9% of disposable income)
Single parent, one child aged 3, two thirds of average wage
Loss per week $15 (1.5% of disposable income)
Single person on three times the average wage
Loss per week $24 (0.9% of disposable income)
Two income couple with no children on average wage and 150% of average wage
Loss per week: $0
The figures are calculated for the 2016-17 tax year by which time most of the budget measures will have been introduced. They are in 2014 dollars.
Source: Peter Whiteford and Daniel Nethery, ANU Crawford School of Government crawford.anu.edu.au
The story Families on benefits the biggest losers, analysis of budget shows first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.