Australia treasurer promises fair budget that reins in debt

"This measure is meant to encourage foreign owners of residential property to make their properties available for rent where they are not used as a residence and so increase the number of dwellings available for Australians to live in", Morrison said.

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

He assured Australians the government had listened to their frustrations about cost of living pressures and promised a practical and fair budget. "This is good, common-sense financial management", Mr Morrison said.

"The real issue here is do you want Australia to be competitive or not?"

"I believe though that we are now moving towards the end of this hard period".

"Contrary to the government's claim that the tax will only be levied on banking liabilities, the reality is that it will affect the entire banking system", Bligh said in a statement. This will cover nearly half of the "zombie" savings measures the Turnbull Government has been unable to get through the senate.

Western Australian Treasurer Ben Wyatt has criticised the federal budget after being handed a $417 million black hole in education funding and $100 million health cut that makes his task of repairing the state's own beleaguered budget more hard.

Mr Morrison on Wednesday urged bankers to "pony up" and not pass on the costs to customers.

This is expected to raise $200 million a year by 2020-21.

The Turnbull government has confirmed the updated cost of its politically unpopular plan to cut taxes for Australian companies is $65.4bn, not the $48.7bn figure the government previously put forward.

Last but not least is the Government's extra $14 billion for new infrastructure projects over the next few years - such as the second Sydney airport and Brisbane-Melbourne Inland rail line - and its new focus on distinguishing capital versus recurrent spending.

The backflip resulted in a bigger A$29.4 billion deficit for 2017-18 than the A$28.7 billion forecast at the mid-year review in December.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia CEO Ian Narev during the House Economics Committee.

So far Labor has not ruled out backing the trial to drug test 5000 new welfare recipients, although Mr Shorten did not seem overly sold on it.

The prime minister later confirmed that figure.

"What the commission will be doing will be keeping an eye on them to make sure they don't lie to their customers about this", he told the Seven Network.

As a "financial risk", there is $170 million plebiscite money in the budget in case more than half the Senate alters its mind and allows the same-sex marriage plebiscite policy.

The government has removed the deficit levy from high-income earners, but will lift the Medicare levy on all workers by 0.5 percentage points in 2019. It's a sign of how much damage the Labor campaign on health and Medicare did to the Coalition. On the bright side, the weighted interest rate Australia is paying for its record breaking level of outstanding debt has fallen from 4.4% in 2013 to 3% in 2017, which is the rate the government expects to pay for the next three years.

  • Jon Douglas