The Federal government says a tight budget will bring Australia out of debt by 2013.
Individuals can expect limited relief with day-to-day living expenses, health and infrastructure being the biggest winners in Wayne Swan’s third budget.
Sacha Passi reports.
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Last night’s budget reveals the government expects to be in surplus three years ahead of schedule.
The Prime Minister says although the budget appears conservative strict fiscal rule over the coming years is needed to bring the country out of debt.
Kevin Rudd, Prime Minister: “This a responsible budget based on responsible economic management.”
Experts however say the anticipated surplus relies too heavily on the controversial 40 per cent resource super profits tax announced earlier this month.
Joe Hockey, Shadow Treasurer: “I don’t think the numbers are real Kochie I think they’re based on a wish and a prayer.”
The Treasurer however insists the numbers are right and the budget could stand independent of the proposed resource tax if that wasn’t to make it through parliament.
Wayne Swan, Treasurer: “It all adds up, please accept my word on that because it does.”
The Treasurer promised a ‘no frills’ budget and that’s what everyday Australians got.
Clare Martin, Australian Council of Social Services: “When it comes to Australia’s unemployed it’s definitely no frills.”
Parents won’t see an increase in childcare rebates it’s capped at $7,500 per child for the next four years a move that isn’t expected to keep up with the expense of inflation.
What individuals can expect is more ease at tax-time.
A new tick-box system will guarantee tax-payers a no questions asked $500 deduction on work related expenses.
Health will receive a $2.2-billion boost including $878-million which will go directly to training nurses and GP Super Clinics.
The AMA says the government has delivered with its election promises.
Dr Andrew Pesce, AMA President: “We’re very grateful. I think given the Prime Minister’s election commitments at the last election, health was always going to be a big issue so it’s all turned out as we would like.”
Areas such as Indigenous and mental health missed out.
Julia Irwin, Labor Backbencher: “Mainly the concern I’ve got is from mental health, there’s not much in it for mental health.”
Kevin Rudd, Prime Minister: “I accept fully that when it comes to mental health there is much more work to be done.”
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott will outline his response to the budget tomorrow night.
Sacha Passi, QUT News.