The budget's hope for a little soccer star

Jennifer Jennings

Jo Liete once had a dream where she saw her son Cruz sprinting across the soccer field.

She thought nothing of it when he was just a baby.

"Now, it's a beacon of light for this Sydney hairdresser," Treasurer Scott Morrison explained.

At 18-months Cruz was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy - a rare condition that affects the motor nerve cells in the spinal cord.

It is the number one genetic cause of death for infants.

Mr Morrison choked back tears as he spoke about Jo and her son's story in the traditional post-budget address in Parliament House.

This year's budget included funding to list a life-changing drug, Spinraza on the PBS.

Normally it would cost patients $367,850 a year but will now be less than $40 a script, with $6.40 for concessional patients.

"(Cruz) now whizzes around in his blue wheelchair, his name embroidered boldly on its back and a smile on his face," Mr Morrison said.

"That dream keeps (Jo's) thoughts on track and her optimism full."

One day instead of having to carry her son up to bed, he will be running down the soccer pitch kicking goals.

Cruz has stage two of the condition and, if fortunate, sufferers can reach teenage years.

"But there is hope," the treasurer said.

"This budget is for Cruz and Jo."

Mr Morrison said budgets with a strong economy can build infrastructure, fund schools and hospitals and create programs to get people into work.

"But they can also save lives."

The subsidies of Sprinraza from June 1 will cost the budget $241 million.

The listing is part of $1.4 billion for new and changed listings on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme included in the budget.

Kisqali for the treatment of breast cancer will also have its cost reduced from July 1.

Without the government subsidy patients would have had to find more than $70,000 a year.