The 2019-20 Budget is the next stage of the Liberal-National Government’s plan to build a stronger economy and secure a better future for all Australians.

Senator for the ACT, Zed Seselja, said the Budget delivers the first surplus in more than a decade, creates more jobs, lowers taxes and guarantees essential services like schools, hospitals and roads.

“After more than a decade of deficits, this budget forecasts a surplus of $7.1 billion in 2019-20 – a $55.5 billion turnaround from the deficit we inherited seven years ago,” Senator Seselja said.

The Government’s strong budget management allows us to invest in lower taxes and essential services for the ACT, including:

Delivering an additional $158 billion in income tax relief for hard-working Australians, on top of the $144 billion in tax cuts locked into legislation last year. This includes immediate tax relief of up to $1,080 for low and middle income earners and up to $2,160 for a dual income couple to ease cost of living pressures, benefiting 200,000 people in the ACT.

Backing small business by increasing the Instant Asset Write Off to $30,000 and expanding its access, benefitting 44,000 businesses in the ACT.

Guaranteeing the essential services people in the ACT rely on.

To assist with their next power bill and the cost of living, the Liberal-National Government will provide a one off, income tax exempt payment of $75 for singles and $125 for couples to more than 3.9 million eligible social security payment recipients across Australia.

The Budget provides record levels of funding for public hospitals in every state. The Liberal-National Government has more than doubled hospital funding in the ACT, from $203 million in 2012-13 to $412 million in 2019-20, and $2.6 billion to be delivered from 2020/21 to 2024/25. We are delivering a $68 million Health Plan for the ACT, including $13.5 million for the expansion of Canberra Hospital ICU and $13.5 million for a residential Eating Disorder Centre.

For schools, record funding for the ACT will increase from $315 million in 2019 to $510.5 million in 2029, ensuring teachers have the support they need to prepare students for the future. The Budget also includes $30 million for the Local School Community Fund that will allow communities to fund projects such as upgrades to libraries, classrooms and play equipment.

Delivering a record infrastructure investment of $100 billion nationally over the next decade, getting families home sooner and safer. $20 million has been committed to duplicate William Slim Drive and $30 million to upgrade Kings Highway. Investment in our roads has totalled $78.8 million this year, with $8 million committed to the ACT in the Roads to Recovery Program and a boost in Black Spot funding to $1.7 million.

This is on top of the $200 million committed to the Monaro and Barton Highways in last year’s Budget.

We are investing in our national institutions including delivering $15 million to Questacon, and the National Library will receive $10 million to establish a digitisation fund to extend Trove. This is on top of the massive $498 million expansion of the War Memorial announced last year and our $63 million commitment to the National Gallery.

The Liberal-National Government has put the right economic policies and levers in place to deliver more than 1.25 million jobs nationally. There are 18,400 more Canberrans in jobs since the Liberal-National Government was elected in 2013, and our unemployment rate is the lowest in the country at 3.5 percent.

Public Service positions have also been boosted in this year’s Budget, with an increase of more than 1,271 ASL positions.

“This Budget is about easing cost of living pressures, guaranteeing essential services and building new congestion busting infrastructure to ensure families in the ACT can get home easier and safer,” Senator Seselja said.

“This is all possible because of the Liberal-National Government’s strong economic and budget management.”