Explore who wins and who loses under Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s 2019 Budget.
The Government is spruiking $158 billion in additional tax relief as the centrepiece of this Budget.
What Budget 2019 means for you:
Taxpayers earning up to $126,000 per year are set to receive immediate tax relief — if the Coalition stays in government and it can secure the support of the Senate.
The maximum amount of the low-income tax offset will increase from $530 to $1,080 annually, and the base also increases from $200 to $255.
Labor has been supportive of tax benefits for lower income earners, so this has a good chance of passing Parliament.
More than 10 million Australians will benefit, though only 4.5 million will receive the full amount.
High-income earners are also set to benefit under a separate change, albeit far into the future.
All taxpayers earning between $45,000 and $200,000 could have their tax rate reduced from 32.5 per cent to 30 per cent.
That means 94 per cent of taxpayers would pay no more than 30 cents in the dollar.
Loser: Welfare recipients
The Government wants to introduce new data-matching technology to prevent over-payments for working income support recipients.
It believes $2.1 billion can be saved over the next five years, with the scheme commencing in 2020-21.
Employed welfare recipients will be asked to report income that is received during the fortnight in a new system, which is then checked with information held by the Department of Human Services.
The election is less than two months away, and this Budget knows it.
The big winners are Queenslanders, who are set to benefit from a massive infrastructure spend.
The Government is planning to spend $2.6 billion in Queensland from 2020-21, on what it calls “priority regional and urban transport infrastructure”.
Large individual projects include $800 million for the Gateway Motorway extension from Bracken Ridge to Pine River, $500 million for the M1 upgrade program, including Daisy Hill to the Logan Motorway, and $425 million for the Bruce Highway.
Winner: Small/medium business
Small and medium businesses look to be winners from an expanded instant asset write-off scheme.
The Government is increasing the instant asset write-off threshold from $25,000 to $30,000 per asset.
Eligibility for the scheme has been expanded from small businesses (up to $10 million in annual turnover) to medium-sized ones (up to $50 million).
Up to 80,000 new apprenticeships over five years have also been planned.
Apprentices, including bakers, bricklayers, carpenters and plumbers, will receive a $2,000 payment, with incentive payments to employers doubling to $8,000 per placement.
Loser: Urgent NDIS needs
The Government claims funding for the National Disability Insurance Scheme “has been secured”.
However, the Budget confirms that there will be an underspend of $1.6 billion in 2019-20 due to a slower-than-anticipated rollout, and that money previously put aside for the NDIS will be used for things like improving the budget bottom line and establishing an emergency disaster response fund.
Advocates argue this money should not be spent on other purposes when there are urgent needs for disability care.
Winner: Regional Australia
The Government is spending big on improving roads and road safety, acknowledging two thirds of crash deaths occur on regional roads.
Improving rail links between regional and capital cities has also been prioritised.
Funding for rounds 5 and 6 of the Mobile Blackspot Program has already been set aside to improve telecommunications in the bush.
The Federal Government’s decentralisation push will see more public service jobs moved outside of Canberra, while a $94 million program will incentivise domestic and international students to study in the regions.
$3.6 billion in extra revenue from multinationals and high-wealth individuals is expected from a billion-dollar investment in the Tax Avoidance Taskforce.
This investment means the taskforce can increase its scrutiny of specialist tax advisers and intermediaries that promote tax avoidance schemes and strategies.
The Government will also provide $42 million over four years to the Tax Office to increase activities to recover unpaid tax and superannuation liabilities.
Winner: Mental health
The Government is investing almost half a billion dollars in its mental health and suicide prevention strategy.
There is $152 million for additional Headspace services and $111 million for 30 new Headspace centres.
Another $230 million over seven years has also been earmarked for expanded mental health.
Winner: Car commuters
A new $500 million fund has been set aside for upgrades to commuter car parks.
This means those that drive part of the way to work might benefit from easier parking, and extra cars will be taken off the road during peak commute times.
$68 million has already been earmarked for Victoria and $50 million for New South Wales.
Loser: Foreign doctors
Last year’s budget included millions of dollars in savings from a reduction in the number of foreign doctors brought to Australia.
This year’s Budget extends that program, reducing the number of overseas-trained doctors by 155.
It saves almost $300 million over four years.
Winner: Fight against cancer
The Government plans to list a new cancer drug on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
Besponsa, a medicine for people with acute leukaemia, currently costs $120,000 per course.
After listing, it will cost $6.50 per script for concession card holders and about $40 for general patients.
A specialised, agricultural visa and a comprehensive national drought policy top the list of demands from the peak farming lobby, the National Farmers Federation, and neither appear in this year’s Budget.
But the Government has committed nearly $30 million to expanding access to international markets.
It’s also expanded access to Farm Household Allowance payments.
While Queensland and Victoria have been showered in pre-election funding, the ACT has mostly been ignored.
There’s $30 million for the Kings Highway corridor and $20 million for the duplication of William Slim Drive, Belconnen. But the funding doesn’t flow until 2021-22.
Canberra Hospital’s intensive care unit is set to expand by six beds.
The effort to decentralise the public service also continues.
191 jobs from Comcare, Indigenous Business Australia, the Australian Financial Security Authority, the Murray Darling Basin Authority, the Department of Infrastructure and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet are the latest that may be moved.
The Government has pledged to continue to fund the ABC’s “enhanced news measure”, at a cost of $44 million over three years. This funding was due to expire in the coming year.
The Government claims this will allow the ABC to continue to support local news and current affairs services, particularly in regional areas.
The ABC intends to maintain its staffing level at 4,180 for 2019-20.
However, the Government has indicated it believes that number is too high, estimating as part of the budget papers the ABC should employ 4,130 people – equivalent to a reduction of 50 jobs.
Loser: Fire ants
The red imported fire ant has been a painful pest, damaging Australian ecosystems and even posing a risk to humans.
Native to South America, the cost of its invasion here could run into the billions.
It had already been targeted under the national pest response partnership, but its continued spread has prompted urgent action.
The Government is accelerating almost $20 million in funding to eradicate the ant in newly defined areas.
It’s an ant-mad budget overall. There’s also money to fight yellow crazy ants in the Queensland tropics, as well as address the biosecurity threat of Argentine ants on Norfolk Island.
Winner: Crime fighters
Intelligence agency ASIO and the Federal Police are set to receive more than $500 million in funding over the next five years.
The Government claims it will enhance critical capabilities and operations at the Federal Police, including counter-terrorism activities.
There could be more money flowing in future too. The money for ASIO covers preliminary work to further enhance its future operations.
|Income||Tax cut from 2018-19||Tax cut from 2022-23||Tax cut from 2024-25|
|$30,000||$255 per year||$255 per year||$255 per year|
|$60,000||$1,080 per year||$1,080 per year||$1,455 per year|
|$90,000||$1,215 per year||$1,215 per year||$2,340 per year|
|$120,000||$315 per year||$2,565 per year||$4,440 per year|
|$150,000||$135 per year||$2,565 per year||$6,540 per year|
|$180,000||$135 per year||$2,565 per year||$8,640 per year|