Federal Budget 2017: Drug testing of dole recipients defended by Malcolm Turnbull


The increase will raise A$8.2 billion over the budget period.

Delivering the 2017 Federal Budget, Treasurer Scott Morrison said the Government is expanding into equity and debt financing to "augment" its infrastructure spending, encouraging the state and territory governments not to rely heavily on Federal grants.

Budget 2017-18 - Local governments picking up the pieces.

In a bid to reset the "Mediscare" debate, the coalition will gradually lift the freeze on the indexation of the Medicare Benefits Schedule and reverse the removal of the bulk-billing incentive for X-rays and and pathology services and the increase in the PBS co-payment and related changes.

"This is bad policy, it's policy on the run and every Australian is going to have to pay the bill", she said.

It comes into effect on July 1. Withdrawals will be taxed at the marginal rates, less 30 percentage points. This would be on top of people's existing super contributions.

"There's no silver bullets to make housing more affordable".

Downsizers will get special exemptions from superannuation rules to allow them to put lump sums into their retirement savings from selling their family home.

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But from 1 July this year, tax deductions relating to expenses incurred while visiting properties in Australia will be completely scrapped.

Mr Morrison has gleaned that people are furious with banks.

The Treasurer believes better days are ahead, thanks to an uptick in the global economy.

Hungry to know more about the budget? This is regarded by many economists as very optimistic.

Growth this year is expected to be 2.5 per cent.

Revenue is expected to grow 7.8 percent next year to AU$444.4 billion ($326 billion), and the deficit to shrink to AU$29.4 billion ($21.6 billion).

There have been many leaks of what the budget will contain in the lead up to the annoucement, including for education, infrastructure and housing.

There's also $10b for rail projects.

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The government will also tackle supply issues, unlocking Defence land in Maribyrnong, in Melbourne's west, for 6000 new homes, and crack down on foreign buyers of new developments.

The banks' warnings came as a surprised Labor Party indicated it would back the bank levy, which means it is certain to pass the Parliament.

Mr Morrison also announced new laws to "guarantee" Medicare and the PBS, with proceeds from the Medicare levy and a portion of income tax paid into a new Medicare Guarantee Fund.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will be asked to monitor the banks' response when the levy is implemented.

The Government will launch a "one-stop shop" where Australians can take their complaints about the financial sector called the Australian Financial Complaints Authority.

"Treasury officials it seems were unable to answer some very important and basic questions", Australian Bankers' Association chief executive Anna Bligh told reporters.

"If (the levy) is not passed on (to customers), you're stripping capital out of the banks when they have to be unquestionably strong", Murray said.

Welfare recipients have again been in the government's sights.

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