Australia treasurer promises fair budget that reins in debt

Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison talks to media as he arrives at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, Tuesday, May 9, 2017. Morrison says he will outline a budget for the next fiscal year that will be fair and rein in mounting debt. (AP Photos/Rod McGuirk)
Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison talks to media as he arrives at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia Tuesday, May 9, 2017. Morrison says he will outline a budget for the next fiscal year that will be fair and rein in mounting debt. (AP Photos/Rod McGuirk)

CANBERRA, Australia — Australia's treasurer on Tuesday promised a budget for the next fiscal year that would be fair and rein in mounting debt.

Treasurer Scott Morrison will outline his second budget and his conservative government's first since narrowly winning a second three-year term at elections in July.

He would not say whether he would retain last year's target of returning the budget to surplus in 2020-21.

"This budget is about making the right choices to secure the better days that are ahead," Morrison told reporters when he arrived at Parliament House.

"It's based on the principles of fairness, of security and of opportunity. The choice to ensure that we grow our economy for more and better-paid jobs," he added.

The government's first budget announced in 2014 was widely regarded as unfair, with the poor carrying the brunt of saving measures. A hostile Senate blocked several key planks of that budget.

Major ratings agencies have warned that Australia risks losing its coveted triple-A credit rating unless the government can reduce spending.

Morrison said whether Australia maintains its strong credit rating in light of the budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1 was a question for the rating agencies.

"The government has put together a practical budget which deals with both the fiscal challenges ... but equally it deals with the nation's challenges," he said.

The government has foreshadowed extra spending on health and education, tax breaks for first home buyers, infrastructure investment and more money for defense and national security.

To pay for it, the government will crack down on multinational tax avoidance, bring in extra revenue from tobacco and cut funding to universities.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Monday echoed the theme of budget fairness.

"This budget will be committed to fairness, opportunity and security, ensuring that Australians are given the opportunity to get ahead, the economic growth that enables them to get ahead, to get a better job, a better-paying job, to start a business, grow a business, to realize their dreams," Turnbull told reporters.

People also read these

Israeli prime minister hopes to triple trade with...

Feb 23, 2017

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday that he hoped to triple bilateral trade...

Indonesia, Australia agree to closer naval...

Feb 26, 2017

Indonesian and Australian leaders have committed to freer trade and closer naval cooperation as...

Australia avoids recession with growth in...

Mar 1, 2017

Australia has reported a faster-than-expected 1.1 percent expansion in the final three months of...

Australian leader promises help on housing...

Apr 5, 2017

Australia's prime minister is fending off criticism over tax concessions for investors in booming...

Australia plans major spending plus surplus in 3...

May 10, 2017

Australia's government plans major infrastructure spending including a new Sydney airport and...

Sign up now!

Three Sixty Press is your general news coverage keeping you up-to-date with the vast news in the world.

Contact us: sales[at]threesixtypress.com