at a Glance
- 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.
- 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.