The federal Budget is the government’s annual statement of how it plans to collect and spend money for the coming financial year and further years. It includes details about taxation and other measures the government uses to raise funds, and outlines the areas and activities where funds will be spent—for example, covering costs in the education system, welfare payments and infrastructure such as roads and railways.
Presenting the 2018-19 Budget speech to the House of Representatives, the Treasurer, the Hon Scott Morrison MP, said ‘Our record of financial responsibility means that under our plan, Australians can plan for their future with confidence.’
Among measures proposed in the Budget, the Treasurer announced:
- wide-ranging changes to the personal income tax system to be introduced over 7 years, including initial tax cuts for lower and middle income earners, with the final outcome of a simplified threshold system of only two tax rates by 2024-25
- funding for a permanent school chaplains program, with a focus on anti-bullying
- the establishment of a national space agency, at a cost of $50 million
- $1.4 billion for new drugs to be added to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme to help seriously ill patients afford important medicines
- plans to add 14 000 care packages for older Australians to assist them to age in their own homes
The Budget is introduced into the Parliament as a series of appropriation bills. These bills—proposed laws—are examined by both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Once both chambers are in agreement, the bills are sent to the Governor-General for Royal Assent.