These four commitments delivered in the budget last night back young Australians and reaffirmed the Government’s vision for our nation; a prosperous country that encourages and rewards working Australians; backs business to invest and create more jobs; guarantees essential services that we all rely on; a safe nation in which we can enjoy our freedoms; and one in which the Government continues to live within its means.
More than 10 million Aussie workers on low and middle incomes will get tax relief of up to $530 a year, or about $10.50 a week, from next year. Those 4.4 million workers earning between $48,000 and $90,000 are the biggest winners and are set to receive the full $530, in addition to the Low-Income Tax Offset which will be received as a lump sum after lodging their tax return.The Government will also lift the tax 19 per cent bracket from $37,000 to $41,000 next year benefitting lower income workers who will keep more of their pay packet. Budget changes will also give younger Australians more choice over their superannuation, with those under 25 now having to opt-in for life insurance coverage which many young people neither want, nor need, saving $200 million dollars a year in fees from big super funds and banks.
Our nation as it stands is coming out of a significantly difficult period within its history, the Global Financial Crisis affected negativity the investment into Australia that we need to grow, while the cooling off in the mining investment boom has had an even bigger impact, ripping $80 billion out of our economy. This has of course directly impacted Australians, holding back growth. Despite this difficult period, the Government has been working hard to strengthen our economy through their long term economic plan. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2017 saw the strongest year of jobs growth on record, with 415,000 more jobs created, three quarters of which were full time. The 16 consecutive months of net job creation to January 2018 was the longest positive run since records began. The Government’s plan as outlined in the Budget will create even more jobs by backing small businesses, boosting exports, building vital road and rail infrastructure, and continuing to invest in science, medical research and technology to build a smarter economy. Included in the plan is a commitment to deliver $2.4 billion over 12 years to boost Australia’s research capability, giving Australian’s the skills they need to prosper, while also delivering $1.9 billion dollars over the same period in research infrastructure to support world-class facilities, which have delivered breakthroughs like the cervical cancer vaccine. The Government has further committed to investing in new GPS and satellite imagery to promote the competitiveness of sectors like agriculture, mining, and marine industries while significantly investing in Australia’s development of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning capability. These investments will help keep pace with global progress and improve our existing expertise in these technologies to maintain our competitiveness and provide the jobs of the future.
Following the appalling state of finances left by the previous Rudd-Gillard-Rudd Labor/Green government when it left office, the Government has committed itself to fixing the mess. Since the 2016 election, the Government has legislated over $41 billion of budget repair measures that have strengthened the bottom line. While real expenditure growth remains below two per cent, the most restrained of any Government in more than fifty years. This has resulted in the 2017/18 Budget deficit of $18.2 billion, less than half what it was two years ago, one of the best budget outcomes since the Howard Government’s last budget a decade ago. Deficit will fall again to $14.5 billion in 2018/19 and the Government is on tack for a $2 billion surplus in 2019/20, increasing to $11 billion in 2020/21, in which payment can begin on our debt.
Craft beer is likely to be cheaper with the Government plan to axe a bizarre beer tax imposed to directly negativity effect small breweries. Currently breweries that use small kegs, which is frequently craft breweries, are taxed at a higher rate than big breweries that use large kegs. The government has committed $85 million over three years to extend the lower tax rates to kegs as small as 8 litres.
All together last nights declaration by the Government has proved by beyond any doubt that only a Federal Liberal-led Coalition government can deliver strong economic management that our nation needs to succeed and deliver for all of us.
Clark Cooley is President of the University of Tasmania Liberal Students. He tweets at @ClarkCooley