THE Federal Government is banking on a jobs and growth focus to secure an election victory in July.
Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison’s first budget, handed down on Tuesday, provides minimum tax cuts but aims to generate jobs and getting people back into work.
People earning more than $80,000 a year will receive a $4.32 weekly tax cut as a result of plans to increase the medium tax bracket to $87,000 – with higher cuts for those who earn a higher wage annually.
The government also plans to implement a jobs program that will see people under the age of 25 offered internships.
Businesses that take part in the initiative will receive a wage subsidy of up to $10,000 across six months, with participants to be paid an extra $200 per week on top of their Newstart allowance.
Other business-focused initiatives include reducing the small business tax rate by one per cent to 27.5 per cent from July 1, with turnover criteria increasing from $2 million to $10 million.
“Over the last year, the government has succeeded in expanding markets; fostered an economic climate resulting in new jobs; funded a range of infrastructure works to benefit communities and regional development; and provided targeted social safety nets,” Federal Member for Mallee, Andrew Broad said.
“This budget is focused on growth and jobs. The framework we are developing is one that can allow Australia to prosper in a competitive global environment.”
The agricultural sector will benefit from a scheme offering $2 billion in loans for dams, pipes and other water infrastructure, a $220 million investment in upgrading Murray Basin rail freight lines and a $594 million boost for the development of an inland freight rail link through Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.
Efforts to eradicate carp throughout the Murray-Darling Basin with the introduction of a controlled virus will proceed after the program received a $15 million commitment.
“Victoria has a long list of water infrastructure projects which will improve our State’s water security and boost agricultural opportunities,” Victorian Farmers Federation president, Peter Tuohey said.
A number of road infrastructure efforts, including the Roads to Recovery, Bridges Renewal, Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity, and Black Spot programs, will receive continued support.
An additional $7.1 million funding will be given to the Rural Financial Counselling Service, which will extend services provided across the country for a further four years.
The government will receive $416.9 billion in income through taxes and charges, but spend $450.6 billion on services and initiatives, resulting in a projected $37.1 billion deficit in 2016/17.
“We have all the opportunities; it’s now up to us to seize them and make them work for us, as individuals, businesses, governments and as a country,” Mr Broad said.
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