Australia budget will be presented by Treasurer Scott Morrison on Tuesday night. As an election-year budget, it is expected that many juicy promises will be there despite Morrison’s assurance of a “different flavour.”
Dubbed as more of an election manifesto by the opposition, high expectations are riding on the budget ingredients including solutions to looming tax issues. Morrison has been maintaining that the budget will have a higher focus on jobs and economic growth.
“Sweeteners won’t change the circumstances for the people who are facing difficult times in our economy,” he said.
What has now been confirmed by Finance Minister Mathias Cormann is that the budget would contain a 12.5 percent annual hike in tobacco excise over the four years to 2020. It was primarily a proposal mooted by Labour, reports The ABC.
But Labor’s estimate that the policy would raise almost $48 billion over 10 years has been scotched by a Treasury document, which puts the revenue at a measly $28 billion. That means the price of a pack of cigarettes can go beyond more than $40 by 2020.
According to 9 News, other vital proposals in the pipeline will include $1.2 billion education boost and investments in key infrastructure projects nationwide.
How far Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s promise for substantial tax reforms will feature in the budget remains to be seen.
To woo female voters, a significant package for their reskilling to re-enter the workforce will be there. However, the politically sensitive areas that the Treasurer will spare can include negative gearing and the GST. The proposal for handing over public school funding to state governments will also be shelved.
The Treasurer has signalled many revenue-raising measures such as a crack down on multinational tax dodging with “Google Tax” and winding up of generous superannuation concessions to the rich pensioners.
Here is a snapshot of the highly anticipated proposals in the budget:
- Tobacco excise hike by 12.5 percent
- ‘Google tax’ on MNC tax dodgers
- ‘Google tax’ could raise more than the $2 billion over four years.
- Diverted profits tax as in the UK
- Protection for whistle-blowers on tax avoidance.
- Doubling of superannuation contributions for those earning more than $250,000 a year
- New superannuation perks for low and middle-income earners from the government
- $1.2 billion funding boost for schools
- $118 million to support disabled children in schools
- Flexible funding for childcare centres
- $5 billion four years for a subsidised public dental scheme
- For public hospitals, $2.9 billion extra funding
- $21 million for chronic healthcare conditions