Stronger economy brings extra tax dollars

BUDGET 2018 - WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR

- Overall theme is: "A stronger economy means a stronger budget, creating more jobs while guaranteeing essential services"

- Tax receipts are running at least $4.8 billion higher than estimated in mid-year review in December

- Federal election is due before May 2019

Medicare levy hike scrapped

- Won't go ahead with a 0.5 increase in the Medicare levy to pay for the NDIS. How it will be funded will be spelt out in the budget

Budget surplus in 2021

- Budget papers to show a return to the black on time, as promised

Income tax cuts

- Low and middle-income earners are the priority for immediate tax cuts but they won't be "mammoth

- Those earning above $180,000 a year may have to wait until 2024

- Options include lifting tax brackets. Current zero rate applies to incomes up to $18,200; 19 per cent bracket covers $18,201 to $37,000. 32.5 per cent covers $37,001-$87,000; 37 per cent covers $87,001-$180,000; 45 per cent top rate

Education

- Needs-based funding to deliver an extra $23.5 billion to schools over the decade

- New child care and early learning system starts July 2

- $271 million Community Child Care Fund for regional and disadvantaged communities

- One year extension of preschool into 2019 at cost of $440 million

- Extra funding for school chaplains expected

- University funding frozen and changes to Higher Education Loan Program

GST distribution

- States and territories to benefit from an extra $3.4 billion in GST revenue in 2018/19

- NT and WA benefit from top-ups

Superannuation

- New laws to guarantee tax rates and rules regarding superannuation

- Expand limit on the maximum number of members in self-managed super funds from four to six

Infrastructure

- $75 billion plan over the decade

- Melbourne airport rail link $5 billion

- M1 upgrade between Brisbane and Gold Coast, at cost of $1 billion

- Other rail projects including Inland Rail, metropolitan commuter rail projects, study into possible Western Sydney Airport rail link

- Package of projects for Western Australia. $3.2 billion for 2018/19 including $1.84 billion for Metronet rail

- $155 million for northbound bridge across the Shoalhaven River, southern NSW

Space

- Australian Space Agency seed funding of $50 million, but no decision yet on where it will be based

Corporate tax cuts

- Government will budget for a corporate tax rate to fall for all companies to 25 per cent by 2026/27, despite being stalled in the Senate

Instant Asset Write off extended

- Small businesses to benefit from extension of $20,000 instant asset write-off, first introduced in 2015. Allows firms with a turnover of up to $10 million a year to instantly claim tax deductions on all equipment purchases worth less than $20,000.

Crackdown on illegal economy

- Australian Border Force-led taskforce set up to crackdown on illicit tobacco trade, predicted to raise $3.6 billion in revenue

- Government received advice on reaping extra income tax, GST and business tax revenue from the $32 billion a year black economy

Research and development tax breaks

- Changes to the way the $3 billion R&D tax incentive can be accessed to prevent firms claiming tax breaks for business-as-usual activities

Medicare

- Funding to upgrade computer system which handles $50 billion a year in payments

Health measures

- $40 million for drug addiction services

- $39.5 million for free whooping cough vaccinations for all pregnant women.

- $241 million to make spinal muscular atrophy drug Spinraza available on PBS from June 1 this year

Mental health

- $84 million to establish a Flying Doctor mental health service as part of a four-year, $327 million commitment

- $33 million to boost 24-hour telephone service at Lifeline

Cancer

- Medicare-funded MRI scans to check if men have prostate cancer

- 200,000 women to receive $200 towards 3D breast cancer screening.

Water safety

- $36.9 million over three years to reduce the rate of drownings

WA hospitals

- Three WA hospitals to get a total boost of $189 million

Aged Care

- Possible boost to funding following a taskforce report into the sector which warns of billions of dollars of investment needed

Housing agreement

- $4.6 billion to address housing affordability, working with the state and territory governments

Crime

- $70 million on a new Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation, based in Brisbane, for countering child exploitation and boost police and border force numbers to stamp out trafficking and live-streamed material

Climate

- Clarification on future of the Emissions Reduction Fund, which had $265 million left in it as of December 2017 (out of an initial $2.55 billion).

Snowy Hydro 2.0

- Commonwealth to buy Victoria and NSW government shares in project

National security

- New counter-espionage unit in the Department of Home Affairs, under a national countering foreign interference coordinator

Data

- $65 million over four years for a national data commissioner to oversee access to government-held data

Environment

- $500 million Great Barrier Reef rescue plan including programs to tackle runoff from farming, the destructive crown-of-thorns starfish, and fund new research on coral bleaching

City deal

- Perth to sign 'city deal' to integrate transport and housing

Film

- $140 million to boost tax rebate for filmmakers

Alcohol

- Tax break for craft brewers and distillers