More information has surfaced regarding the federal budget, with billions of dollars being allocated for roads and rail over the next decade.
An infrastructure package worth $24 billion would be the source of funds for important road and rail projects that the Government hopes would eliminate congestion and lessen the road toll.
The budget also includes tax cuts for those on less than $87,000 a year from this July.
Signals are also pointing that the Government is likely to declare a budget surplus for 2019-20, which is a year earlier than forecast.
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann disclosed that the Government is keen on ensuring the budget returns to surplus as quickly as possible.
Revenue has risen of late and some economists are proposing that it would be better for the Government to make use of that to start paying back debt as opposed to offering minute tax cuts.
But Cormann defended the decision to cut tax for low and middle-income earners rather than use the money to pay back debt. He said the economy would do “less well” without the tax cut. He has not divulged the size of the tax cuts which would be announced tomorrow, but Treasurer Scott Morrison relayed that they would not be “mammoth.”
An income tax break for high-income earners is also set to be announced in the budget, but it would not be implemented for several years.
Labor’s finance spokesman Jim Chalmers compared the income tax cut with the Government’s current pledge to cut company tax.
“The highest priority for the Government is not the working people of Australia, the highest priority for the Government are the multinationals and the big banks, that much is clear already” Chalmers said.
“I don’t think any income tax cut in the budget tomorrow night can properly make up for the damage that has been done to families in this country over the last five years.”
Chalmers added that the income tax cuts look to be based on a provisional spike in revenue and hopeful projections about a growth in wages.
Projects geared at busting congestion and reducing road toll
The most prominent infrastructure project is the rail link that would link Melbourne’s airport to the city, which was announced earlier this year and would cost $5 billion.
There is also $400 million to transfer freight from roads to rail, which Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said was to “bust congestion.”
As well as easing pressure on clogged roads, some of the expenditure is geared at reducing the road toll.
Nearly $1 billion would be spent on establishing a Coffs Harbour bypass on the Pacific Highway.
“That is going to save lives,” Infrastructure Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said.
Turnbull said there would be infrastructure spending right across the nation.
“Nobody has missed out,” he said.