Budget 2019: What we know so far

The federal budget due on April 2 will include billions of dollars in pre-election sweeteners and will also deliver the first surplus in 12 years.

This is what we know so far about the 2019-20 budget: 

So what's the big picture? 

  • The overall theme is: "A stronger economy and a secure future"
  • A federal election will be called, due in mid-May
  • There's a better than expected surplus for 2019/20 (MYEFO: $4.1 billion in 2019/20)
  • A 3 per cent growth for 2019/20 (MYEFO forecast)
  • A 5 per cent unemployment rate for 2019/20 (MYEFO forecast)
  • The migration cap is set to be reduced to 160,000 from 190,000
  • 1.25 million new jobs to be created over the next five years
  • Expectation of a "stimulus" worth about $6 billion, adding about 0.4 percentage points to GDP
Scott Morrison plays a clarinet with students in Albury in September.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison is hoping voters will follow his tune after the budget. (AAP) Source: AP

What's likely to happen with our taxes?

  • The government will likely bring-forward of the July 2022 income tax cuts, on top of those already starting July 1 this year, as part of an already-legislated $144 billion plan
  • There will be possible improvements to tax offsets for low-income earners
  • Rules around $69 billion GST revenue distribution to the states have changed, with WA to be the main beneficiary
  • Instant asset write-off extended to June 2020 and upped from $20,000 to $25,000. Allows small business with an annual turnover of less than $10 million to deduct the cost of assets such as cars and equipment
  • Tax office and other agencies to crack down on welfare cheats and tax dodging
What about our roads and rail? 

  • The government is expected to continue its $75 billion infrastructure plan over 10 years
  •  $2.2 billion road safety plan including black spot repair and new national office of road safety
  • A business case will be made for Melbourne airport rail link
  • City deals for Adelaide, Hobart, Townsville, Launceston, Western Sydney, Darwin, Geelong, South East Queensland and Perth, plus a $730-million North Queensland roads plan
  • $254 million for Sydney, NSW central coast "congestion busting" road upgrades
  • Extra $1.6 billion for WA roads and rail

When it comes to health... 

  • Programs and policies are expected to be bundled under a Long-Term National Health Plan
  • $220 million from Medical Research Future Fund for research into heart disease
  • $496 million for Victorian cancer research, services and facilities
  • $200 million to reduce out of pocket costs for scans such as ultrasounds and x-rays
  • $62 million plan over four years for GP, emergency care and specialist services in rural areas.
  • $32.6 million will see breast cancer patients save up to $1500 per scan
What about the banks? 

  • $600 million boost is likely for financial regulators ASIC and APRA to deal with the fallout from the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry

Will we become a safer nation in 2019/20? 

  •  $294 million to upgrade security at airports in a bid to prevent terrorist attacks
  • Australian Space Agency to be funded.
Will climate change be a factor in the 2019-20 budget?

  • $2 billion for Emissions Reduction Fund, now called the Climate Solutions Fund
  • $1.4 billion for Snowy Hydro 2.0
  • $56 million for Battery of the Nation and Marinus Link projects in Tasmania
  • $10 million business case for energy projects in north and central Queensland, alongside a shortlist of 12 further power projects which could be underwritten.

What about education for future generations? 

  • $60 million for James Cook University's Cairns Tropical Enterprise Centre
  • $60 million indigenous education hub in Melbourne
And welfare?

  • $78 million to provide more housing for women and children fleeing family violence
  • $129 million to extend cashless welfare card to all of Northern Territory, and to Cape York communities in Queensland
  • National Disability Insurance Scheme fully-funded, but an underspend over the financial year of $5 billion-plus.
Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg in parliament.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is expected to unveil a surplus in his first budget on Tuesday. (AAP) Source: AP

What about regional Australia?  

  • $28 million to improve weather monitoring, especially in flood-prone areas.
  • $9 million extra (total package $20m) to deal with yellow crazy ants in north Queensland.
And culture?

  • $12 million for Cooktown 2020 Festival (250th anniversary of Cook's landing) and replica HMB Endeavour to circumnavigate the country

4 min read
Published 29 March 2019 at 12:44pm
Source: SBS