Australia's Budget Deficit To Narrow Before Surplus In 2020 To 2021

Owen Stevens
May 16, 2017

Banking sector sources say that Treasury Secretary John Fraser would contact banking chiefs at 6.30pm, before Treasurer Scott Morrison's speech.

"On the Medicare levy we will take our time".

Australia's treasurer on Tuesday promised a budget for the next fiscal year that would be fair and rein in mounting debt.

"You can expect me to seek to address those issues tonight", he said, adding that it would be a "practical and honest" budget. That's why we're so frustrated and disenchanted. Unfortunately that improvement didn't eventuate and it stayed around the 5.75 per cent level. This has been the hidden drag on employment.

"We understand that many other Australians feel frustrated that they're not getting as ahead in the way they would like to". But unemployment is not expected to fall.

Can't wait for those pay rises.

Spending on hospitals will increase by $2.8 billion over four years.

Until now, employers have contributed one to two per cent of their payroll to training if they employ foreign workers and these requirements have been hard to police, Morrison said. Terribly, this has meant some families have even broken apart. Inflation will rise from 2.2% to 2.5% and stay there, meaning real wage growth will be slow to emerge.

Recent consumer confidence surveys have shown sentiment falling and just hours before the budget was released, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that retail sales fell 0.1 per cent in March.

"[They are] tackling businesses that make a profit, simply because they make a profit".

They are under pressure from increased competition here and overseas from worldwide retailers.

And he spoke at length about his brother-in-law, Garry Warren, who has multiple sclerosis, and his wife Michelle Warren, during the speech, as he outlined why the government had made a decision to raise the Medicare levy to fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

"And I believe Australians want us to fill that gap".

Reinstating the Pensioner Concession Card for those impacted by the assets test changes in January is a welcome change of heart as it allows 92,000 pensioners to again receive discounts offered by States and Territories.

Find out where the money is going in Australia's Federal Budget 2017.

As the affordability debate heats up, concern has been raised about foreigners holding vacant properties and absorbing local housing supply.

However, First Home Buyers Australia director Taj Singh said the maximum contribution was not enough for buyers in Sydney, where the median house price is $1 million. It's a much better, and smarter, program than the mooted special savings account.

Morrison also said that as well as the intention to further develop the Snowy Hydro, "the Commonwealth is open to acquiring a larger share or outright ownership" of the scheme from the Victorian and New South Wales governments. Senior Australians will also be encouraged to downsize through a superannuation incentive.

"We are not sending lawyers around the country for three years, we are acting now", the Treasurer said, in reference to a Royal Commission.

It's expected to raise $1.2 billion over four years for the Skilling Australians Fund. So the Treasurer has delivered a budget that lifts the Medicare levy for all but the lowest income earners in two years' time.

Other reports by VgToday

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