Morrison budget avoids serious tax reform

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Only Australia's five biggest banks will be hit with the new tax which will be on liabilities.

As Australia's rising living expenses continue to outpace wage growth, the treasurer promised his budget would secure "better days" in the future.

"There will also be $31.4 million for capital works to maintain important infrastructure, gaining efficiencies in reduced long-term maintenance costs", Mr Morrison said.

And the ultimate sign of getting the message is the abandoning of the so-called zombie measures - the cuts from the 2014 budget the senate refused to pass. The forecast deficit for 2017-18 is A$29.4 billion.

But with new taxes on banks and big multinational companies, the Budget is still projected to return to a surplus by 2020-21. The government also plans an AU$8.4 billion ($6.2 billion), 1,700 kilometer (1,000 mile) new railway corridor between Melbourne, Australia's second largest city, and the third largest city, Brisbane.

The ABA wants to know how Treasury came up with the $6.2 billion estimate, how the new tax will affect transactions between the big four banks, Macquarie and the Reserve Bank, and how that would affect the wider economy.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) would be watching the banks "very, very carefully indeed", he said. This will cover nearly half of the "zombie" savings measures the Turnbull Government has been unable to get through the senate.

'It is a tax that will hit Australians by hurting investment and could have unintended consequences, ' she said. "This new tax is not a well thought out policy response to a public interest issue, it is a political tax grab to cover a budget black hole".

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The Treasurer was unrepentant when speaking about the new tax, which he admits will be used for budget fix after he was forced to dump more than $13 billion of "zombie" savings measures from the 2014 federal budget that had failed to pass the parliament.

A housing affordability package includes a "first home super savers scheme" that will provide a tax cut for those trying to get a deposit together.

Now in what looks like a significantly more generous Budget than before from the Coalition government, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull appears to be trying to reverse that negative reputation and make a comeback from tepid polling and a near miss at the 2016 election which severely weakened his government.

In addition to the university fee changes, the government is expected to raise revenue by targeting the tobacco industry and multinational tax avoidance.

The jobless rate is set to ease from 5.75 per cent this year to 5.25 per cent in 2020/21.

The Treasurer allocated $75 billion to infrastructure, with transport receiving the lion's share of about $70 billion in funding over the next 10 years.

According to The Australian, one way in which the mooted scheme could be introduced is through comparing a national register of foreign owned land which is being constructed by the Australian Taxation Office with water usage levels kept by each state to determine which properties are both (a) owned by foreigners and (b) also sitting vacant.

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