Australia plans major spending plus surplus in 3 years

His key measures include a new tax on banks, expected to generate at least $1.5 billion annually, and an increase in the Medicare levy to 2.5% from 2% to pay for the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

In his speech to the House of Representatives tonight, Treasurer Scott Morrison announced that the government expects that the federal budget will return a $7.4 billion surplus in 2020-21 - a projection that is in line with that offered in the 2016-17 budget.

Labor has tried to stymie the federal government's push to slash the tax rate for Australia's biggest businesses, saying the country can not afford it.

Mr. Morrison said $6.2bn (US$4.6bn) would be raised over the next four years by the new levy on the big five - ANZ Bank, Westpac, National Australia Bank, Commonwealth Bank and Macquarie.

"The only people who will see better days from this budget are big business and the well-off", he said.

Among its initiatives directed to avoiding a future "Mediscare" campaign, the budget promises to "guarantee" Medicare, progressively unfreeze the Medicare rebate, and maintain the bulk billing incentives for pathology and diagnostic imaging services.

There will be a national housing finance corporation established from July next year to offer long-term, low-priced finance to community housing providers for affordable housing.

Mr Morrison said that "customer deposits of less than $250,000 and additional capital requirements imposed on the banks by regulatory authorities are excluded from their assessed liabilities" and added that "unlike the previous bank deposit tax, this is specifically not a levy on pensioners' and others' ordinary deposit accounts, nor is it on home loans".

It comes into effect on July 1.

Downsizers over the age of 65 will be able to make a non-concessional contribution of up to $300,000 into their super fund from selling the family home.

Uni students will pay more for tertiary education with a 2.5 per cent efficiency dividend introduced.

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

Treasurer Scott Morrison said more than 75 billion Australian dollars ($56 billion) would be spent on infrastructure in the next decade.

A new training fund will be launched paid for by a levy on businesses bringing in foreign workers.Businesses will have to pay an annual levy of $1200 -$1800 per worker per year to bring in people on the two-year temporary worker visa.

Until now, employers have contributed one to two per cent of their payroll to training if they employ foreign workers and these requirements have been hard to police, Morrison said.

Contrary to longstanding rejection by the Government, it has altered negative gearing provisions to bar tax refunds for travel to investment properties, and for removable purchases such as dishwashers.

"And we will take further action to reward States and Territories that cut red tape costs for small business".

Bligh said there were three groups of stakeholders who would end up bearing the cost of the levy - borrowers, depositors or shareholders.

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