Budget focus on growth, taxes: treasurer

Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison has used a Christian conference to spruik his plans for the upcoming federal budget, saying jobs, economic growth and tax reform will be priorities.


The treasurer’s speech to the Australian Christian Lobby’s national conference highlighted the importance of supporting families in the budget through job creation, and flagged a “fairer and more sustainable” tax system.

“I can assure you that families will be at the heart of the Turnbull government’s budget,” Mr Morrison told an audience of hundreds of delegates in Sydney on Saturday.

He flagged a fairer and more flexible superannuation system to keep up with modern work patterns and to ensure fewer people go on the pension, while attacking Labor’s changes to negative gearing and capital gains tax.

The changes penalised families for investing in their future, Mr Morrison said.

“You’ll forgive me for being a little political this morning … there’s an election coming,” he said, to laughter from delegates.

Labor was cynical about reports the government will give those who earn slightly more than $80,000 a modest tax cut to address “bracket creep”.

The government has refused to confirm the reports, and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said “pre-budget games” were being played.

“The only thing that I’m sure about in this budget is that the wealthiest Australians and the largest multinationals will get tax cuts from Mr Turnbull,” Mr Shorten told reporters in western Sydney.

Mr Shorten also said dumped plans to give tax-levying powers to the states and increase the GST to 15 per cent was a “form guide” to the government failing to push its tax reform agenda forward.

In his speech to the ACL Mr Morrison also talked up his government’s plan to spend $5 billion over four years subsidising a public dental scheme.

However Labor says the Liberals have cut $1 billion to dental services.

The budget will be delivered on May 3.