Barely six months since we last did this, it’s somehow budget week again. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will tomorrow unveil a budget that will be generous — with no pivots toward austerity — but also “not a spendathon”.

Here’s what we know so far.


Last year’s budget was widely slammed for leaving women behind, and the Coalition’s gender problems have only been accentuated by their handling of recent rape allegations. Frydenberg has promised a female-friendly budget. So far that’s meant a $1.7 billion childcare subsidy, $353 million on women’s health initiatives such as breast cancer screening and reproductive health, and doubled funding for domestic violence prevention.

Aged care

Tomorrow’s budget will include the government’s response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, which delivered a damning assessment of the government’s failures in the sector. In response, we’ll see $17.7 billion pumped into aged care over the next four years.

Tax cuts

Temporary tax cuts for low- and middle-income earners will be extended for another year.


The government will allocate another $58.6 million to fund the gas-fired recovery.

Higher education

There’s a $53 million support package for private colleges, although experts question whether that will be nearly enough.


More than $10 billion will be spent on infrastructure projects, including upgrades to rail in Victoria and the Great Western Highway in NSW. There will also be a $250 billion top-up to the widely-rorted Building Better Regions Fund.

Single parents

A housing measure will enable 10,000 single parents to get in the property market with only a 2% deposit. But it’s been criticised by the opposition and some economists for only helping a handful of people buy a home.

Mental health

The budget will allocate $47.7 million for new and expecting parents. And the government is briefing The Australian about a record funding increase on mental health with a focus on suicide prevention.

JobTrainer extended

The $1 billion JobTrainer program, which aims to train and employ 17- to 24-year-olds will be extended by a year.


Brewers and distillers will benefit from a targeted tax cut of up to $250,000.

Game developers

Australian video game developers will get a 30% tax offset after years of lobbying the government for support.

A better deficit?

Estimates suggest the budget deficit might be about $30 billion better than originally thought, boosted by a booming iron ore price and a better-than-expected economic recovery.