Former PM John Howard slams Scott Morrison over bank tax

Xavier Trudeau
Mai 19, 2017

Delivering the 2017 Federal Budget, Treasurer Scott Morrison said the Government is expanding into equity and debt financing to "augment" its infrastructure spending, encouraging the state and territory governments not to rely heavily on Federal grants.

In a budget that targets the Turnbull government's future election prospects as well as much-needed fiscal fix - finally putting to rest the ghosts of Joe Hockey's politically toxic "lifters and leaners" budget of 2014 - Treasurer Scott Morrison described the 2017 budget as a "reset", and emphasised this was a budget for "right choices" and "fairness".

It expects to reach a surplus of $7.4 billion by 2020-21, an improvement on the $1 billion surplus projected at the midyear budget update in December.

Labor was less welcoming about other aspects of the budget, accusing the government of using tax increases on healthcare and in other areas to fund tax reductions for big business.

Big nation building projects will get an extra $75 billion over ten years, while schools will get an extra $18.6 billion, and tough new measures will be placed on the financial sector.

Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen said the budget failed the jobs test as unemployment was forecast to rise.

"The only people who will see better days from this budget are big business and the well-off", he said.

The levy will raise $1.2 billion over the next four years.

Mr Morrison also announced new laws to "guarantee" Medicare and the PBS, with proceeds from the Medicare levy and a portion of income tax paid into a new Medicare Guarantee Fund.

Older Australians impacted by the pension assets change introduced earlier this year will have their pensioner concession card restored.

Older Australians will be encouraged to downsize by being able to make a non-concessional contribution of up to A$300,000 into their superannuation fund from the sale of their home.

It sees the unemployment rate at 5.75 percent in 2017/18, easing from a 13-month high of 5.9 percent now while it pegged the consumer price index (CPI) at 2 percent, climbing to 2.5 percent by 2020/21.

Morrison said the government would inject up to A$5.3 billion over the next 10 years into the newly developed Sydney Airport Corporation, which will both build and operate the facility.

When news of the levy leaked on Tuesday ahead of the budget, investors wiped A$14 billion from the value of stocks.

While the general provisions of negative gearing are untouched, the government will disallow deductions for travel expenses related to the properties.

'What's important is that we have all of our industries, all of our businesses being competitive.

Sky News has reported that the government in next week's budget is set to levy a fee upon any properties which are owned by overseas investors and are left vacant as part of conditions imposed by the Foreign Investment Review Board when the purchaser in question is approved for Australian property purchases.

Labor holds a clear poll lead over the Coalition as Mr Morrison prepares to release his second Budget.

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