Treasurer Wayne Swan has given an insight into the Federal Budget ahead of tomorrow’s official announcement.

As some economists predict a deficit of $51-billion, the Gillard Government has acknowledged the need for substantial cost-cutting.

Briony Skinner reports.


Low income earners will benefit from a tax offset estimated to add $6 to worker’s weekly pay packets.

Mr Swan says this is just one initiative to help those “doing it tough”.

The Treasurer has so far made promises about where the government’s money will be spent but failed to mention where savings will be made.

Wayne Swan, Federal Treasurer: “This is a modest amount of money but every dollar counts, particularly when you’re facing cost-of-living pressures.”

Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey says the “payment” is just trickery as people still get the same amount of money.

Joe Hockey, Shadow Treasurer: “This is not a tax cut. This is more spin from a desperate, but predictable, government.”

There’s more spending in the pipeline, with the budget also promising tax incentives of up to $5,000 for small business owners, digital set top boxes for pensioners, money to keep kids in schools, cash bonuses for top teachers and extra money for apprentices to boost jobs.

The Treasurer says employment is a key focus, promising the creation of 500,000 new jobs in the next two years.

In the medium-term, Mr Swan says the government’s course of action includes taking advantage of the mining boom and getting more Australians into jobs.

Wayne Swan, Federal Treasurer: “There are great opportunities for Australia in the years ahead, and I’m very optimistic about our future.”

The government hopes to have the budget back in surplus next year.

Briony Skinner, QUT News.