Tax cuts doubled to $1k in election Budget
FOUR million Australians will have their tax cut doubled to over $1000 in four weeks' time under Scott Morrison's fightback Budget that also aims to sandbag key Queensland seats.
The election-eve Budget will deliver sooner and better tax cuts and reward families to make their lives easier, but it will also focus on sandbagging key marginal Queensland seats needed to hold office.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will today reveal he will double the $530 cashback offset announced in last year's Budget under a multi-pronged plan to make life easier for ordinary Australians.
Under last year's plan, which is legislated, the $530 stays in place until 2021-22.
It comes as the Government yesterday seized on Labor's "crazy" plan to reduce carbon pollution, which the Prime Minister, with the Budget, will use to convince Queensland voters not to experiment with Bill Shorten.
With many Queenslanders working in the resources and trade sectors - which will be affected by moves to cut carbon pollution - The Courier-Mail can today reveal the Budget will give businesses extra financial help to hire more apprentices to ease the skills crisis.
Bosses will also get funding to boost training for mature-aged staff who want to upskill to get a better job or keep up-to-date with a changing economy.
It is understood these are key recommendations from Steven Joyce in a review ordered by the Morrison Government into the nation's vocational education and training system.
It is understood the Budget will forecast the current net debt bill of $370 billion will be cleared by 2028-29.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will directly make a pitch to Queensland voters by today announcing four new road projects - two in the marginal seat of Leichhardt, one in marginal Herbert, which the Coalition is trying to steal from Labor, and another in the safe seat of Fisher.
It comes on top of the $500 million for the M1 between Daisy Hill and the Logan Motorway revealed by The Courier-Mail yesterday.
Bundaberg and Hervey Bay will also get $172 million in road and port upgrades to help supercharge the regional economy, it can be revealed.
The deal includes $40 million for a Hervey Bay town centre redevelopment, $40 million for a Bundaberg CBD bypass road and $7.7 million for the Urraween Rd/Boundary Rd extension. There will also be $10 million for upgrades at the Port of Bundaberg to build a multi-use conveyer to help loading and unloading directly between the port and ship.
Scott Morrison said the new projects would get Queenslanders home sooner and safer.
"Our multibillion-dollar investment in Queensland roads is possible because we're building a stronger economy and getting the budget back in surplus,'' Mr Morrison told The Courier-Mail last night. "The 2019-20 Federal Budget will demonstrate what a stronger economy can deliver for Queensland."
The Townsville Ring Road will receive $144 million to be upgraded to four lanes, creating 300 jobs over the life of the project.
The Cairns Ring Road investment of $287 million will link the Cairns CBD to the Smithfield Bypass, and ensure significant upgrades at the three major roundabouts along the Captain Cook Highway.
There will be $180 million for Stage 5 of the Cairns Southern Access to the Bruce Highway.
The existing at-grade Bruce Highway and Foster Rd intersection in Cairns currently experiences capacity constraints and safety issues.
Down the southern end of the Bruce Highway, the Maroochydore Road Interchange with the M1 will receive $241 million.
About $150 million had already been committed to this project, but the Budget will boost it by a further $91.4 million because the scope of the project increased.
Funding for the projects, which will be split between the Commonwealth and states 80:20, is new for Cairns and the rest is being directed out of the $10 billion commitment to the Bruce Highway.
Hinkler MP Keith Pitt said his regional deal for the electorate would go ahead regardless of State Government holding off from signing up.
"We will deliver this deal as we said we would," Mr Pitt said.
"We want the State to be involved because it maximises the strength of the regional economy, but I'm not interested in playing their political games."