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Budget Related Paper
"Promises Kept for a Stronger Australia"


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Budget Related Paper
Promises Kept for a Stronger Australia - Contents


The 1999-00 Budget vindicates the trust placed in the Coalition by the Australian people at the last election. This trust was earned by the vigorous pursuit of the national interest that has delivered for Australia:

  • the lowest interest rates in a generation and continuing low inflation;
  • a $24 billion reduction in Government debt in just three years; and
  • the return of the Commonwealth Budget to surplus in under three years.

To build an even stronger Australia, the Howard Government put to the Australian people a comprehensive plan to reform the current outdated, complex and unfair taxation system.

The Government's new tax system offers: personal income tax cuts so that over 80 per cent of taxpayers pay no more than a 30 cents top marginal rate of income tax;

  • a $4.5 billion cut in the annual cost of exports;
  • over $2 billion a year in extra family assistance;
  • a $3.5 billion crackdown on the black economy over three years;
  • a 25 cent a litre cut to the cost of fuel used by heavy transport;
  • a four per cent increase in pensions and other income support payments; and
  • a 30 per cent tax rebate/benefit for private health insurance premiums already delivered.

Without this plan for a new tax system we cannot hope to sufficiently reward incentive, reduce red tape, make everyone pay their fair share of tax and secure an adequate revenue base for the States and Territories to provide the roads, bridges, schools and hospitals all Australians need.

Without this plan a different government would have to increase tax rates without compensation just to provide the same level of essential community services.

The Coalition sought and received a mandate to implement this programme and continue its sound economic management which has allowed Australia to stare down the worst of the Asian economic collapse and become one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

This document outlines how the Government has delivered on the commitments made to the Australian people at the last election to:

  • improve health care for all Australians;
  • create jobs and enhance education;
  • strengthen the social and economic infrastructure of rural and regional Australia;
  • support strong family relationships, boost mutual obligation, and combat the menace of illicit drugs; and
  • increase funding for scientific and industrial research.

The spending initiatives of this budget meet the Government's commitments and consolidate the repair of the budget first undertaken in 1996 to provide both growth in the economy and ongoing budget surpluses.

It is this responsible approach of the Howard Government that has secured Australia's strong economic foundations for the new century.


The costings of the election commitments in this document are consistent with those contained in Budget Paper 2, and the 1998-99 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO).

These costings may differ from those contained in election documentation, reflecting the implementation of the Commonwealth's accrual budgeting framework, use of outturned pricing, refinement to costings and, in some instances, final decisions on implementation issues.


The annual impacts of measures announced in the 1998-99 MYEFO are set out in this document in terms of impact on underlying cash balance, as they were in the MYEFO. The impacts of these MYEFO measures are separately identified in the Summary of Promises Kept (Table 1) in italics.

The MYEFO did not present estimates for 2002-03, and therefore for MYEFO measures, no funding is shown for 2002-03.

The forward estimates incorporate allowance for these measures on an accruals basis.


The following notations are used in this document:

-            no resources provided in a particular year, or funding provided from existing resources

..           not zero but rounded to zero

$m        $ million

Discrepancies in tables between totals and sums of components are due to rounding.

In this document, the sign in front of the number reflects the impact of the change on the aggregate concerned. For example, a positive in an expense table reflects an increase in expenses.


This document reports the financial impact of election commitments made by the Government following the Pre-Election Economic and Fiscal Outlook (PEFO), and as such, does not include the Government's tax reform package, A New Tax System (ANTS). Consistent with the requirements of the Charter of Budget Honesty, ANTS was incorporated into PEFO, as it was a Government decision made before the election was announced. Key elements of the ANTS package are summarised in this document.


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Past Last Updated: Tuesday 11th May, 7:30 pm AEST