Tony Abbott's budget barnacles: The full list of dumped policies
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Tony Abbott's budget barnacles: The full list of dumped policies

Tony Abbott's first budget created a lot of political trouble for a prime minister in his first term. So much so that many of the measures were dumped - many of them by Mr Abbott himself.

MEASURE: GP co-payment

WHAT IT WAS MEANT TO DO: Introduce a $7 co-payment for visiting the doctor. The then health minister Peter Dutton argued the policy was necessary to ensure the long-term sustainability of Medicare.

WHO KILLED IT: Abbott attempted to amend the co-payment in December 2014 but the policy was dumped altogether in March 2015. Abbott told question time that as a former health minister he "should have known better than to attempt health reform without the strong co-operation and support of the medical profession ... But it is much better to learn than to be obstinate".

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WHY: The policy caused immediate political pain for the new Coalition government. It was strongly  opposed by the medical community, patients, members of the Senate crossbench and caused endless headaches for Coalition MPs.

COST: $3.6 billion

MEASURE: Extending the paid parental leave scheme

WHAT IT WAS MEANT TO DO: Provide six months of paid parental leave at the primary carer's normal wage, up to $150,000 a year. The maximum payment was later pared back to $50,000 - paid to people earning $100,000 a year - before finally being scrapped altogether.  The scheme would have been paid for by a 1.5 per cent levy on Australia's 3000 largest companies.

WHO KILLED IT: Abbott faced opposition from pretty much everywhere for his policy, which was designed to overcome what some advisers felt was a perception he was anti-women. Abbott announced he was not proceeding with the scheme in February 2015 because it was unaffordable. "I accept that what’s desirable is not always doable especially when times are tough and budgets are tight," Mr Abbott said.

WHY: There was very little support for the $20 billion scheme, which was painted as overly generous for high-income earners and unfair to people on lower incomes. It was a constant headache for the Coalition from the moment Mr Abbott first announced it.

COST: The scheme was originally costed at $20 billion but never implemented.

MEASURE: A six month wait for the dole for anyone aged 25 years and under

WHAT IT WAS MEANT TO DO: Save money and give young people an extra incentive to stay in education or training programs before applying for unemployment payments.

WHO KILLED IT: Tony Abbott and his treasurer Joe Hockey in the 2015 budget.

WHY: Although the policy played to the Coalition's base, it was criticised by youth groups and social service organisations, who said it would lead to increased rates of poverty among young people. It was also blocked in the Senate.

COST: $1.8 billion over five years

MEASURE: Cutting Australian Defence Force allowances and entitlements

WHAT IT WAS MEANT TO DO: Under the proposal, defence personnel stood to lose a number of entitlements, including an extra day of Christmas leave for hard work, extra recreational leave and food and travel allowances.

WHO KILLED IT: Tony Abbott backtracked on the proposed changes in December 2014 after sustained criticism from members of the ADF. "I want to acknowledge that we are listening to the defence community on this subject," Mr Abbott said.

WHY: Members of the ADF were very unhappy about the proposed changes, which would have cost some personnel $19,000 a year. Senator Jacqui Lambie led a crossbench charge against the changes.

COST: $17 million

MEASURE: University deregulation

WHAT IT WAS MEANT TO DO: Allow universities to set their own fees and cut course funding by 20 per cent.

WHO KILLED IT: Then education minister Simon Birmingham walked away from the changes originally proposed by his predescessor Christopher Pyne in October 2015 after the government could not get support for the policy in the Senate. "I invite ideas and conversations about how to achieve such equity and excellence in higher education, while honestly recognising the financial limitations of taxpayers," Birmingham said.

WHY: Students and academics said the changes would lead to people from low socio-economic backgrounds being locked out of university. Labor warned the proposal would lead to "million dollar degrees" and there was insufficient support for the changes in the Senate.

COST: $4 billion

MEASURE: Change the indexation rate for the age pension

WHAT IT WAS MEANT TO DO: The measure would have seen the pension linked to the rate of inflation and was designed to make the pension more sustainable but would have resulted in a cut to the rate of growth for thousands of pensioners, effectively giving them less money.

WHO KILLED IT: Then social services minister Scott Morrison announced some changes to the asset test for the pension in the 2015 budget but dropped the plan to change the indexation rate. "With any difficult change, you've got to make these hard decisions and this is what the government is doing," Mr Morrison said.

WHY: This was another measure that the government could not get support for in the Senate. There was significant opposition from pensioners and retirees.

COST: Changing the indexation rate would have saved $23 billion over 10 years

MEASURE: Raising the qualifying age for the age pension from 67 years to 70 years

WHAT IT WAS MEANT TO DO: Make the age pension system more sustainable over time as Australia's workforce aged.

WHO KILLED IT: Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the decision on Wednesday saying he didn't think it was necessary. Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack agreed: If you're a tradie or a brickie or a shearer in rural and regional Australia, you don't want some suit in Canberra telling you you've got to work until you're 70. It's a sensible decision by the new Prime Minister to make sure the decision has been overturned."

WHY: Labor raised the qualifying age to 67 when it was in government but opposed any further increases to the threshold age. There were also concerns from unions, which argued people in physically demanding jobs could not stay in the workforce for longer and women's groups which said women were less likely to have sufficient retirement savings.

COST: $5 billion in the first four years from 2025.