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What we know about the 2019 federal budget

Josh Frydenberg will hand down the 2019-20 Federal Budget on 2nd April. Source: Getty Images

The 2019-2020 Federal Budget will be handed down by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg on 2nd April – here’s what we know so far.

The big picture

* Overall theme: “A stronger economy and a secure future”

* Federal election is due in mid-May

* Better than expected surplus for 2019/20 (Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO): $4.1 billion in 2019/20)

* 3 per cent growth for 2019/20 (MYEFO forecast)

* 5 per cent unemployment rate for 2019/20 (MYEFO forecast)

* Migration cap to be reduced to 160,000 from 190,000

* 1.25 million new jobs to be created over the next five years

* Expectation of a “stimulus” worth about $6 billion, adding about 0.4 percentage points to GDP

Related story: 2019-20 budget will be ‘problematic’: here’s why

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Related story: The Aussie states dragging down our economy

Tax

* Likely bring-forward of the July 2022 income tax cuts, on top of those already starting July 1 this year, as part of an already-legislated $144 billion plan

* Possible improvements to tax offsets for low-income earners

* Rules around $69 billion GST revenue distribution to the states have changed, with WA the main beneficiary

* Instant asset write-off extended to June 2020 and upped from $20,000 to $25,000. Allows small business with an annual turnover of less than $10 million to deduct the cost of assets such as cars and equipment

* Tax office and other agencies to crack down on welfare cheats and tax dodging

Roads, rail

* $75 billion infrastructure plan over 10 years continues

* Business case for Melbourne airport rail link

* City deals for Adelaide, Hobart, Townsville, Launceston, Western Sydney, Darwin, Geelong, South East Queensland and Perth

Health

* $220 million from Medical Research Future Fund for research into heart disease

* $496 million for Victorian cancer research, services and facilities

* $200 million to reduce out of pocket costs for scans such as ultrasounds and x-rays

Banks

* $600 million boost for financial regulators ASIC and APRA to deal with banking royal commission fallout

Security

* $294 million to upgrade security at airports in a bid to prevent terrorist attacks

* Australian Space Agency to be funded

Energy

* $2 billion for Emissions Reduction Fund, now called the Climate Solutions Fund

* $1.4 billion for Snowy Hydro 2.0

* $56 million for Battery of the Nation and Marinus Link projects in Tasmania

* Speculation of an announcement of the first power projects to be underwritten by the government, following 66 expressions of interest

Education

* $60 million for James Cook University’s Cairns Tropical Enterprise Centre

* $60 million indigenous education hub in Melbourne

Welfare

* $78 million to provide more housing for women and children fleeing family violence

– $129 million to extend cashless welfare card to all of Northern Territory, and to Cape York communities in Queensland

Culture

* $12 million for Cooktown 2020 Festival (250th anniversary of Cook’s landing) and replica HMB Endeavour to circumnavigate the country.

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