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Budget
at a Glance

Fiscal Outlook

  • The fiscal outlook for Australia remains positive, with a forecast underlying cash surplus of $2.4 billion in 2004-05.
  • Across the forward estimates, the Government will maintain the budget in surplus, after providing $36.7ábillion in new assistance to families, tax cuts and increased incentives to boost retirement savings.

Economic Outlook

  • The outlook for the Australian economy is for continued growth, with low unemployment and low inflation.
  • GDP growth is forecast to moderate slightly from 3żáperácent in 2003-04 to 3Żáperácent in 2004-05.

More help for families

  • This Budget includes the largest package of assistance for families ever, with an additional $19.2ábillion over five years.
  • More generous Family Tax Benefit arrangements will significantly help families with the costs of raising children and improve the rewards from working.
  • A new Maternity Payment and the expansion of outside-school-hours child care and family day care places will assist families balancing work and family commitments. The changes to Family Tax Benefit will help women re-enter the workforce after having children.

Cutting income tax

  • Reductions in personal tax worth $14.7ábillion over fouráyears will improve work rewards from work and more than 80áperácent of taxpayers will face a marginal tax rate of 30áperácent or less.

Boosting retirement savings

  • $2.7ábillion to enhance the superannuation co-contribution scheme and reduce the superannuation surcharge, boost incentives to save for their retirement.
  • More than three quarters of the benefits will go to low and middle income earners.

Providing for carers and aged care

  • $461ámillion over five years to provide support to carers
  • $2.2ábillion over five years to increase the number of aged care places, improve the quality of care and help providers build and maintain facilities.

Investing in health and education

  • $41 billion spending on health and aged care in 2004-05 which amounts to a doubling of spending by the Government since coming to office.
  • Investment of $32ábillion in schools is further commitment to a skilled, productive and healthy workforce and society.

Investing in Australia’s future

  • A substantial investment in Science and Innovation of $5.3ábillion to provide more funding for research and commercialising ideas.

Investing in infrastructure - AusLink

  • $1.1ábillion over five years for our road and rail systems, in addition to the $2ábillion announced in Januaryá2004.

Investing in Australia’s security

  • $755ámillion to enhance Australia’s intelligence capabilities and strengthen security arrangements.
  • Defence measures exceeding $1.5ábillion over five years, bringing to $39.7ábillion the total amount of additional defence spending by the Government since 1996.

Enhancing support for our veterans

  • A $289ámillion package (over five years) to provide extra assistance to veterans and their families.
  • Funding of $158ámillion over four years will ensure veterans retain access to medical specialists.

Assisting rural and regional Australia

  • $73ámillion in extra drought assistance will make a total of $1.1ábillion to support farmers in regions declared eligible for Exceptional Circumstances.
  • $236 million to extend the Agriculture – Advancing Australia package.
  • $338 million tax relief for wine producers.
  • $444ámillion over five years for sugar industry reform.

Sustaining our environment

  • Funding of $248ámillion to implement the Government’s Climate Change Strategy.
  • $70ámillion over three years to the Murray-Darling Basin Commission for capital works and important salinity mitigation work.

Delivering more funding to the States

  • In 2004-05, every State and Territory is expected to receive more revenue than it would have received had the Australian Government not implemented tax reform.

Support for m2006 Commonwealth Games

  • $273 million over three years to contribute to the successful staging of M2006.

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