Coalition backed on budget bank levy

Australia is seen continuing its economic winning streak in Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison's second budget, which makes some courageous assumptions on wages and economic growth to deliver a promised surplus by 2021.

But it wants time to consider the hike in the Medicare levy. There are plenty of new taxes - in fact $20.8 billion - but they are overly reliant on big corporates and pay-as-you-go income taxpayers.

The Coalition won the 2016 election, but a year later has delivered a Labor budget.

A bank levy will raise the sum over the next four years.

"We will restore the requirement that prevents developers from selling more than 50 per cent of new developments to foreign investor", the Treasurer said.

Welfare recipients that fail the test will be placed on the Government's cashless welfare card, which quarantines 80 per cent of welfare payments to a debit card to prevent recipients from spending money on drugs and alcohol.

The four reported a combined half-yearly profit of A$15.2 billion, up 6.2 percent from a year ago, in the latest round of financial results, with their average return on equity at almost 14 percent - one of the best in the developed world.

Construction of an inland freight rail line from Melbourne to Brisbane will also be bankrolled by the Government by as much as $8 billion; Coalition and Labour have already committed nearly $1.8B to help cover the total estimated cost of $10.7B.

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Ms Bligh, a former Queensland Labor premier, said such a levy - touted as a way to help fund a compensation scheme for victims of misconduct - could be a slippery slope. "Taxpayers, including those who have never attended university, will still fund the majority of university fees and costs - around 54 per cent of the cost on average, as well as significantly subsidising the student loan scheme", he said.

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.

Defence will slash $70 million of spending on contractors and travel costs in 2017-2018, and cuts will steadily increase to $85.7 million in 2020-21.

First home buyers, downsizers and renters can expect some help from the 2017 budget.

"And it's been a fair while since most hardworking Australians have had a decent pay rise, " Mr Morrison told Parliament. He introduced a First Home Super Savers Scheme - a salary sacrificing model allowing FHBs to deposit a portion of their income into their superannuation for the explicit objective of buying a home.

From 1 July, this will attract the tax advantages of super with contributions being taxed at 15% instead of marginal rates.

Downsizers will get special exemptions from superannuation rules to allow them to put lump sums into their retirement savings from selling their family home.

"This measure will not improve housing affordability one iota". The treasurer will identify key areas including using pre-income tax to assist first home buyers, details on the Western Sydney Airport and funding to assist with schools.

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