Wayne Swan Delivers the Federal Budget
Treasurer Wayne Swan released the 2011-2012 Federal Budget Tuesday night, pledging to return Australia back into surplus by 2012-2013 through spending cuts and the acceleration from the mining boom.
One of the key points of Swan’s fourth budget—and Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s first—is $22 billion in cuts over four years, including a halt on the income limit on family assistance at $150,000 a year. With the $22 billion in savings, the nation is on track for surplus in 2012-2013, as promised, Swan noted.
While $4 billion of the cuts will be made in 2011-2012, the rest will be made over the next three years in welfare cuts and other smaller measures. Swan said this concurs at the same time as a rise in government revenues and an increased boost from the mining boom. Swan said, “Mining investment will rise to around 8 times the level preceding the boom to $76 billion in 2011-12, underpinned by the highest sustained terms of trade in 140 years.” The Treasury expects business investment to rise an additional 14.5 per cent in 2012-13, reaching a 50-year high as a share of GDP.
Other Federal Budget points:
- It’s the first time in nine years that there is no income tax cut
- The unemployment rate is forecast to fall to 4.5 per cent by mid 2013, creating another 500,000 jobs
- Tax concessions for dependent spouses will be discontinued
- Minors will no longer be able to claim low-income tax offsets on unearned income.
- Mental health spending will receive $1.5 billion in funding
- Health, education and infrastructure spending to receive $4.3 billion in regional Australia.
- Offshore processing of asylum-seekers to get injection of $819 million extra in 2011-12
- Defence Department cuts will make up $4.3 billion
While there will be a $49.4 billion deficit this year, the return to surplus will be $3.5 billion by 2012-2013.
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