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Budget leak suggests $16 billion in savings

Business

A leaked script for a Federal Government TV ad campaign appears to have put some meat on the bones of Scott Morrison’s first budget.

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Morrison has kept his cards close to chest – unusual for a Treasurer in the run-up to a budget – but the script suggests he aims to save $16 billion over the next four years through changes to superannuation, multinational taxation and other tax changes.

Sky News says it has seen the script for the taxpayer-funded television advertisements, which have already been filmed.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull insists no plans have been made to spruik the May 3 budget in a TV advertising campaign.

“No decisions have been taken in that regard,” Turnbull told reporters in Canberra.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten described the leak as an act of “internal sabotage”.

Labor already has outlined $100 billion of savings and revenue measures over the next decade, of which he says quite a bit will go to the budget bottom line.

“We haven’t finished outlining how we’ll do budget repair,” he told reporters in Canberra.

Labor’s finance spokesman Tony Burke says the ads are an election strategy because none of the measures will have been implemented before parliament is dissolved.

Burke believes the ads should be paid for by the Liberal Party, not the taxpayer.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has the two triggers he wants to ask the governor-general to dissolve both houses of parliament for an election on July 2.

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce concedes it will be a difficult budget because of the “class-one clown act” left behind by Labor in government with the support of the Greens.

Less than a day after the Coalition positioned itself as the best friend of owner-operator truck drivers by abolishing a controversial tribunal, there are now strong hints it will find cash to build an inland freight railway link connecting Melbourne and Brisbane via rural NSW.

Transport Minister Darren Chester penned an opinion piece for The Australian saying the 1700km project could provide a transit time of less than 24 hours.

It also has the potential to take 200,000 truck movements off the road.

“As a passionate advocate for reducing road trauma, this is a project that will save lives,” Chester said.

Greens senator Peter Whish-Wilson believes the leak was a deliberate ploy to put the government’s agenda out early.

Liberal senator Eric Abetz said he was not aware of the budget leak when asked whether it was possible supporters of Tony Abbott were responsible.

“One would assume a budget leak if it did occur would have been undertaken by somebody who actually knows what may or may not be in the budget,” he told reporters.

AAP

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