What we know about the 2019 Federal Budget

Paul Osborne
(Australian Associated Press)

 

BUDGET 2019 – WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR

BIG PICTURE

* Overall theme: “A stronger economy and a secure future”

* Federal election is due in mid-May

* Better than expected surplus for 2019/20 (MYEFO: $4.1 billion in 2019/20)

* 3 per cent growth for 2019/20 (MYEFO forecast)

* 5 per cent unemployment rate for 2019/20 (MYEFO forecast)

* Migration cap 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

TAX

* 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

* Possible improvements to tax offsets for low-income earners

* Rules around $69 billion GST revenue distribution to the states have changed, with WA 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

ROADS, RAIL

* $75 billion infrastructure plan over 10 years continues

* Business case for Melbourne airport rail link

* City deals for Adelaide, Hobart, Townsville, Launceston, Western Sydney, Darwin, Geelong, South East Queensland and Perth

HEALTH

* $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

BANKS

* $600 million boost for financial regulators ASIC and APRA to deal with banking royal commission fallout

SECURITY

* $294 million to upgrade security at airports in a bid to prevent terrorist attacks

* Australian Space Agency to be funded

ENERGY

* $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.

EDUCATION

* $60 million for James Cook University’s Cairns Tropical Enterprise Centre

* $60 million indigenous education hub in Melbourne

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

RURAL

* $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.

CULTURE

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

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