The bottom line will surge to a surplus next financial year on the back of higher than expected revenues from commodities, strong corporate profits and low unemployment. The estimated surplus of A$7.1 billion for 2019-20 will be the first time the budget has entered positive territory since 2007-08. How will the government spend this unexpected windfall of revenues? Simplifying the tax system will cost the government $158 billion over the next ten years. The measures include: doubling the low and middle income tax offset from $530 to up to $1,080 for people earning up to $126,000, starting from the current 2018-19 financial year changing the 32.5% threshold to be $45,001 to $120,000 from 2022-23, with the 19% bracket covering incomes from the tax-free threshold up to $45,000 reducing the 32.5% tax rate to 30% from 2024-25 onwards, and changing the income thresholds so that the 30% rate applies to all earners from $45,000 to $200,000 removal of the 37% rate altogether from 2024-25. Despite the boost in revenue the government expects to reach its long-term target of surplus being 1% of gross domestic product later than estimated in the December budget update. The government now expects surplus to exceed 1% of GDP in 2026-27. This budget, like many before it, predicts wages to increase over the next four years. The government expects the wage price index to increase from its current 2.1 to 3.5 by 2022-23. Net debt as a share of the economy is expected to peak in 2018-19 (19.2% of GDP), and will then commence a downward trend until fully eliminated in 2029-30. Government receipts are expected to climb from 24.2% of GDP in 2017-18 to 25% by 2022-23. Payments are expected to be 24.5% of GDP in 2022-23.
Bill Shorten and his colleagues are offering a broad suite of policies, but little explicit mention of cutting out fossil fuels. AAP Image/Mick Tsikas. Nicky Ison, Research Associate, Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney. The federal Labor Party this week released the details of its keenly awaited climate policy package. With a commitment to cutting climate pollution by 45% on 2005 levels by 2030, compared with the Coalition’s 26-28% target, there was never a doubt that Labor’s policy agenda was going to be more ambitious than the government’s. But what exactly does it include, how does it stack up against the scientific imperatives, and what’s missing? By offering a broad platform, Labor has moved away from a single economy-wide policy solution to climate change, such as a carbon price or emissions trading scheme. Instead, it has opted for a sector-by-sector approach. This is smart politics and policy. By developing a climate plan for each major sector – industry, electricity, transport, and agriculture and land – it is possible to modernise each sector in a bespoke way, thus driving more innovation and job creation while also cutting carbon pollution. Emily Nunell/Michael Hopkin/The Conversation Industry Labor has taken the politically safe option of expanding the Coalition’s “safeguard mechanism” to lower industrial greenhouse emissions. Under this scheme, big emitters are required to keep their emissions below a prescribed “baseline” level, or to buy offsets if they exceed it. Labor has lowered the threshold for the scheme, meaning it will now cover all businesses that emit more than 25,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year (the cutoff is currently 100,000 tonnes). From there, all of these companies will have to lower their emissions by 45% by 2030 on 2005 levels. Some details are still to be determined, including the precise trajectories of emissions reductions, […]