Australia's 2008-09 Federal budget - no surprises
Australia's 2008-09 Federal budget - no surprises in Wayne's World
Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan's maiden Budget delivered what was expected, including a mammoth budget surplus which, thanks to the mining boom and the boost to company tax receipts, is the biggest for nearly a decade (as a share of GDP). The Treasurer hinted pre-Budget that there would be few surprises and he delivered - this was a "rabbit-free" Budget.
The Budget delivered generous personal income tax cuts, changes to middle class welfare arrangements, and new spending on health, education, and infrastructure. Also, the government announced cuts to spending in other portfolios, which became bloated under the previous Coalition government.
The clear winners are lower income earners and Labor's ubiquitous "working families" - they received generous personal income tax relief, beneficial changes to Medicare arrangements, measures to improve housing affordability, and increased spending on public education and health.
The clear losers are higher income earners, who lose much of their current welfare payments via new means tests, had their income tax cuts promised by the previous Coalition government deferred by Labor, and have to pay more for their "luxury" cars.