Treasurer Wayne Swan has delivered his 2009 Federal Budget.
Widely tipped to be a “horror” budget, there wasn’t really that much horror in it all.
Everything was largely as we expected – pensioners get a boost, taxation benefits associated with superannuation contributions will take a hit.
And the Government intends to spend a truckload on “nation building for the future”.
No sooner had Tony predicted that this would be a phrase that we can expect to hear a lot more of in the future, we had Wayne Swan standing in front of a banner loudly declaring “nation building for the future”
Joe Hockey was his usual apoplectic self, however managed to hit home with a couple of points that may register with anyone who hasn’t realised that we’re in the midst of a global financial crisis.
BUDGET SNAPSHOTS AT A GLANCE:
Deficit of $57.593 billion
Unemployment to hit 8.25 per cent – one million expected to be unemployed.
Economic Growth to fall to -0.5 per cent of GDP
Inflation to average 1.75 per cent
First Home Owners Boost continued for six months
Small Business and General Tax Break increased to 50 per cent for order this calendar year
Infrastructure spending to total $22b
$8.5b for road, rail and port
$4.5b on new clean energy initiative
$5.3b on tertiary education, research and innovation
$2.5b over five years to drive hospital and health workforce reform
$3.2b from Health and Hospitals Fund to modernise hospitals and and improve cancer facilities
Private health insurance rebate reduced for higher income earners
Medicare Levy Surcharge increased
$731m over five years for paid parental leave scheme
Pension age increased progressively to 67 years by 2023
Single Pensioners to get extra $32.49 per week, couples to get extra $10.14 per week
New $600 a year Carer Supplement for all Carer Payment recipients, plus allowance
Extra $650m in funding for border protection
So what do you make of it all ..? Are we all doomed to eternal debt, or is this Budget laying the foundations for a difficult but achievable path for future prosperity…?