Australia treasurer promises fair budget that reins in debt

That will include a potential buy-out of the Snowy Hydro scheme from Victoria and NSW, and a $20 billion "once in a generation" rail line upgrade.

Revenue raised from the scheme - fees from which could be as high as $5,000 - would be redirected into the broader package of housing affordability, and would be in addition to current FIRB charges for approval of foreign purchases of Australian property which are now set at $5,000 and $10,000 for properties worth less than $1 million and $1 million or greater respectively.

"This Budget is about making the right choices to secure the better days that are ahead".

A senior executive at one of the Big Four banks warned the government of "unintended consequences" of introducing a new levy.

We're all going to be paying more taxes because from 2019, the Medicare levy is being increased from 2% to 2.5%, to fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

"He has admitted in his budget reply that the NDIS is not fully funded".

"The Australian banks are already the largest taxpayers, with Westpac the country's second largest taxpayer", he says.

The banks have started fighting back against the federal government's new $1.5 billion annual levy.

"The bill will provide transparency about what it really costs to run Medicare and the PBS and a clear guarantee on how we pay for it", said Mr Morrison.

Australian Bankers' Association chief executive Anna Bligh called the tax a "not a well thought out policy response to a public interest issue".

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Banks will also be forced to report any misconduct under new mandatory reporting rules.

The government also plans to create the Australian Financial Complaints Authority for dispute resolution.

"We will continue to prefer the scalpel to the chainsaw, to avoid a housing shock", Morrison said.

In a final whack at the sector, a permanent team will be established within the ACCC to investigate competition in the nation's banking and financial system, as recommended by the Coleman Committee.

Analysts have described it as much closer to the Labor Party values than the Liberal Party's, however, Mr Morrison also announced a crackdown on dole recipients, with 5000 random drug tests carried out each year at three locations.

Michael Rowland said they will have a number of tax concessions granted to them under the new budget.

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

As for specific recurrent measures, I'd regard the housing affordability package as useful at the margin (such as encouraging the supply of cheaper rental properties) - but most other token measures - such as small saving incentives for first home buyers - won't materially affect housing costs either way for most Australians.

Mr Morrison is happy to lay the blame for tax rises on the Upper House, calling them a senate tax.

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