Australian conservative government to raise taxes on five biggest banks

A levy on the biggest banks and crackdown on multinational tax avoidance could well be out of the Greens' playbook.

Labor said the government's "package of half measures" was no substitute for a royal commission.

Ms Bligh said banks would only have a day to respond to draft legislation for the levy when it would be given to them next Wednesday.

Banks will also be forced to report any misconduct under new mandatory reporting rules.

Treasury officials are set to brief bankers in Sydney on Thursday.

The tax resembles a charge im-posed on big mining companies in 2010 that was ultimately re-designed after an industry advertising campaign which helped unseat the then Labour prime minister Kevin Rudd.

"This budget is an admission that the last four years of coalition government have been an economic disaster for working people, ".

But because the major banks control such a large portion of the Australian loan market, there are concerns that that cost may wind up being passed back down to customers in the form of further rate hikes.

The Prime Minister said that would be unwise. JobSeeker recipients testing positive would be placed on the Cashless Debit Card.

Jobseekers could lose payments if they are found to be avoiding job interviews.

Another key plank of this year's budget is to fully fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

There'll be an extra $115 million for mental health and an extra $1.4 billion for health research, including $65.9 million specifically for research into childhood cancers.

At the same time, schools will face a $22 billion easing in funding and the Medicare GP rebate freeze won't come off in its entirety.

That amounts to $2.2 billion over the next four years.

Spending will be A$34.6 billion (S$35.8 billion) in 2017-18, with plans to lift spending to 2 per cent of gross domestic product by 2020-21. The budget pledges $8.4 billion in equity to the Australian Rail Track Corporation to pay for the project that it forecasts will generate 16,000 jobs at the peak of construction.

A 2.5 per cent efficiency dividend will be imposed on universities over the next two years.

"We have to fund the NDIS".

Employers will pay an annual levy of up to AU$1,800 ($1,322) for every foreign worker they employ on a temporary visa.

First home buyers will be able to salary sacrifice to buy their first home.

"It just doesn't make sense", Ms Westacott said.

Morrison noted that new land would be made available for affordable homes and tax cuts introduced on first home deposit savings. It would mean that it would be taxed at 15% rather than the marginal tax rate, and when the money is withdrawn, it is taxed at marginal tax rates less a 30% offset.

There will be a national housing finance corporation established from July next year to offer long-term, low-priced finance to community housing providers for affordable housing.

The initiative is expected to facilitate more than $15 billion in Government asset sales and unlock $17 billion in infrastructure spending.

The flagship project is a 1,700 kilometer long new rail line between Melbourne in the southeast of the country and Brisbane on the northeast coast.

The Western Sydney airport is getting $5.3b over ten years.

  • Zachary Reyes