Millions of Australians will have income tax cuts fast-tracked in a federal budget set to focus on driving business investment and job creation.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will on Tuesday night outline the federal government’s plans to guide Australia out of the coronavirus recession.
“Tax relief allows more Australians to keep more of what they earn,” he told Sky News.
“It rewards effort, encourages the power of aspiration, but it also encourages and leads to greater economic activity as people with tax relief spend more.”
Parliament last year passed the coalition’s three-stage tax cut package.
If stage two is brought forward in the budget, people earning up to $90,000 a year will receive an extra $1000.
Workers earning more than $90,000 a year could pocket up to $2500.
It is unclear whether the coalition will also attempt to speed up the third stage, which would put people earning $45,000 and $200,000 a year in the same tax bracket.
Many of the budget’s other big ticket items have already been announced.
Road and rail projects worth $7.5 billion will be brought forward to get the Australian economy moving again.
The national broadband network will receive a $4.5 billion upgrade, while almost $1.5 billion is set to be spent on a manufacturing strategy.
The budget is also expected to outline an eye-watering budget deficit of more than $210 billion and national debt above $1 trillion.
“The budget position remains sound but then we were hit with a once in a century pandemic and Australia has not been immune,” Mr Frydenberg said.
The treasurer said budget measures would be focused on driving Australia’s unemployment rate below six per cent faster than what was achieved in previous recessions.
He said driving business investment would create jobs, with the government keen to fire up employment in the private sector.
Labor leader Anthony Albanese said none of the announcements made so far attempted to rebuild a fairer Australia.
“This week is the second-last budget a Liberal government should deliver for a long, long time,” he told a caucus meeting.
“The government is incapable of delivering a recovery that doesn’t leave people behind and hold people back.”
Mr Albanese said there were about 100,000 fewer jobs in manufacturing today than when the coalition came to power.
He expects the government to be drawn back to attacking pay and conditions through changes to the industrial relations system.
“The government thinks making an announcement is the end of the job,” the opposition leader said.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has framed the budget as the most important since the Second World War.