Australia treasurer promises fair budget that reins in debt

Australian Treasurer, Scott Morrison, handed down the Federal Government's Budget for 2017-18 on 9 May, highlighting the skilled migration levy, which could see some organisations faced with an annual levy charge of up to $5000 for some workers.

Australia's big four banks plus Macquarie will wear the lion's share of budget fix with a new tax on much of their funding.

While schools are set to get an additional $19 billion in funding over the next 10 years - which the government says will leave the vast majority better off - university students will have to pay an extra $3600 for a four-year degree.

Mr Morrison says for the system to be fairer there needed to be greater competition and accountability.

"By reducing Australia's largest banks' funding cost advantages, the levy will also contribute to a more level playing field for smaller banks and non-bank competitors".

South Australia's cancer facility - There will be Federal Government funds of $68 million allocated to give the country its first cancer treatment facility which will house a proton beam therapy. In a clever political move, the Treasurer has exempted customer deposits of less than $250,000, as well as superannuation and insurance funds.

The Treasurer said the measure would secure $6.2 billion over the Budget and forward estimates to support budget fix, including the reversal of significant budget savings measures.

Morrison stressed that the levy was not just a re-run of the previous bank deposit tax.

"If in breach, they can be deregistered and disqualified from holding executive positions, and be stripped of their significant bonuses", the Treasurer said.

If the Government's corporate tax cut plan was to be passed in full, the new major bank levy would effectively cancel out most, but not all, of the benefit for the big banks, which previously stood to be the biggest beneficiaries of the planned reduction in company tax from 30 to 25 per cent. The government also beefed up the corporate watchdog's powers, ordered bank chiefs to make annual appearances before parliament's economics committee and promised a tribunal to examine citizen complaints.

'We will get all the cliches, all the corny sayings, but what Australia really needs is a plan for Australia's future, ' he told reporters.

"The only people paying more tax from July 1 this year are the banks and multi-nationals", Mr Morrison said, in a line that could have come directly from the ALP play book. As a protection measure for investors, however, the government will provide direct deduction of rent from welfare payments of tenants in public and community housing providers.

Housing affordability, a staged unfreezing of the Medicare rebate, infrastructure spending and Gonski 2.0 are all widely tipped to feature prominently in Treasurer Scott Morrison's "good news" Budget tomorrow.

The government will also tackle supply issues, unlocking Defence land in Maribyrnong, in Melbourne's west, for 6000 new homes, and crack down on foreign buyers of new developments.

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