Australia Budget 2017: Treasurer Unveils Big Banks Tax

The Australian budget delivered last night is about tax increases, new levies and big spending in education, health and infrastructure.

"We continue to forecast a slower deficit consolidation than projected in the budget", Moody's Investors Service's Marie Diron said in a statement.

"It's been a fair while since most hardworking Australians have had a decent pay rise", he said.

Data61, formed as a result of a merger between the digital productivity arm of the CSIRO and National ICT Australia (NICTA), originally received AU$75 million under Turnbull's innovation fund to spend on improving cybersecurity and developing new architectures to protect datasets; data analytics to connect separate government datasets and publicly release them; establishing a Data Research Network to connect businesses with data researchers; and delivering training in data analytics to improve data literacy in Australian businesses.

Treasurer Scott Morrison and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann with the Budget books in his office in Parliament House in Canberra.

But Ms Sales pointed out a dramatic about-face from his first budget previous year.

In the first half of the financial year, the cash earnings of Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), Westpac Banking Corp, National Australia Bank Ltd (NAB) and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ANZ) rose by an average of 6.2 per cent to a combined A$15.6 billion (S$16.2 billion) on flat revenue, according to a KPMG report.

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"We are not sending lawyers around the country for three years, we are acting now", the Treasurer said, in reference to a Royal Commission.

A new Banking Executive Accountability regime will also be established, which requires all senior banking executives to register with APRA.

The decision will hit the ACT's defence contractor market that has benefited from growing department spending on its services in recent years.

Construction of an inland freight rail line from Melbourne to Brisbane will also be bankrolled by the Government by as much as $8 billion; Coalition and Labour have already committed nearly $1.8B to help cover the total estimated cost of $10.7B.

There'll be an extra $115 million for mental health and an extra $1.4 billion for health research, including $65.9 million specifically for research into childhood cancers.

A levy on the biggest banks and crackdown on multinational tax avoidance could well be out of the Greens' playbook.

Mr Turnbull praised his colleagues for the government's achievements so far this year, including company tax cuts, energy reform and changes to school funding - to be announced in the budget.

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That amounts to $2.2 billion over the next four years.

The extra funding will be paid for by a $2.8 billion hit to universities over the next two years.

This is expected to raise $200 million a year by 2020-21.

First home buyers, downsizers and renters can expect some help from the 2017 budget. "But by adopting a comprehensive approach, by working together, by understanding the spectrum of housing needs, we can make a difference".

While it's still unclear what the full package will involve in terms of housing affordability, there is an understanding that measures may be introduced to help potential first home buyers save for a deposit.

Downsizers will get special exemptions from superannuation rules to allow them to put lump sums into their retirement savings from selling their family home.

Morrison announced a number of demand-side measures created to improve housing affordability.

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