We are returning the budget to surplus while ensuring families and small businesses are sharing in the benefits of the resources boom.
A return to surplus
The Government is returning the budget to surplus on time and as promised. Despite a $150 billion loss of tax receipts since the GFC, over the five years to 2012-13, the budget forecasts strengthening surpluses in each of the next four years with a $1.5 billion surplus in 2012-13.
Returning to surplus is appropriate with the economy expected to grow around trend. It will allow monetary policy to respond to economic developments as appropriate.
It is also our best defence in uncertain times and when the global economy is changing dramatically.
It sends a clear sign of the strength of the Australian economy when many other countries are still struggling to recover from the GFC and recent global instability.
Spreading the benefits of the boom
This Budget ensures that the benefits of the boom are spread to families and businesses across Australia.
Revenue from the Minerals Resource Rent Tax will go to $1.8 billion worth of increases to family payments from 1 July 2013, and a new Supplementary Allowance of $1.1 billion for eligible income support recipients, with the first payment in March 2013. It will also support businesses left behind by the boom by reforming the tax system to deal better with losses.
An additional $2.1 billion investment in a new Schoolkids Bonus will guarantee families timely and flexible support with the costs of schooling.
From 1 July 2012, families will benefit from tripling the tax-free threshold, freeing up to one million taxpayers
from the need to lodge a tax return. Small businesses will benefit from new tax breaks such as the instant asset write-off and the new loss carry-back.
Foundations for a fairer, more productive future
We are putting in place the big reforms in health and education and the investments in infrastructure to build the foundations for a fair and high productivity future.
This Budget commits to the first stage of a National Disability Insurance Scheme. It delivers long overdue reforms in aged care, with more access to services and greater sustainability.
We are ensuring Australians have the skills and opportunities to maximise the benefits from the Asian Century, with $1.75 billion over five years to support reforms to the national training system.