The federal government is expected to announce tax cuts when it’s handing down the 2019-20 Budget tonight.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will hand down his first budget in what is widely seen as a re-election pitch for the Coalition, ahead of the federal election that is likely to take place next month.
The Coalition government is set to bring forward tax relief for people earning between $37,000 to $126,000, amounting to 10 million Australians.
According to the Herald Sun, it will also double the $530 tax break for people who earn between $48,000 and $90,000, ensuring that 4.4 million workers with low- and middle-incomes get a boost of over $1,000.
Apart from the tax reliefs, the government is also expected to launch a number of programs and policies to put money in Aussies’ pockets, including the one-off Energy Assistance Payment for up to four million eligible singles and couples.
Frydenberg denied that the Payment was a “cash splash”, claiming the spending was “responsible” and “targeted”.
“This is money that is going to go into people's pockets to help meet the cost of their next power bill,” Frydenberg told the Today show on Sunday.
There will also be a $75 million measure to allow 65- and 66-year-olds to make voluntary contributions to their superannuations without having to meet the current work test. The age limit for spousal contributions could also be lifted from 69 to 74.
Nine’s chief political editor Chris Uhlmann said the budget tonight will reflect the Coalition’s running campaign agenda.
“They have to blunt Labor’s attack that everything is going up except your wages and to do that they are going to be handing out cash,” Uhlmann told the Today show.
“All budgets are political, but this one more than most because as soon as this is done the clock is ticking for when we’ll go to an election.”
However, Uhlmann said the opposition may match the Coalition’s offers.
“The other thing is the Labor party is likely to go, ‘I’ll see you and raise you on tax cuts’, so in the end it may be completely blunted,” said Uhlmann.
“More and more I’m reminded of the 2007 election where the Howard government really was cashed up and the Rudd opposition was on the charge – and they matched almost everything that the government offered and then said ‘this reckless spending has to stop’.
“So an interesting campaign ahead.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison is expected to announce the election date after the budget is delivered. It is currently predicted that the federal election will take place on May 11, 18 or 25.