A make-or-break Budget for Aus govt

Scott Morrison (AAP)
Scott Morrison (AAP)

Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison delivers his first Budget tonight. But it could be his last, with Australia going to the polls in around eight weeks from now.

Normally a Treasurer or Finance Minister would present two or three Budgets before facing the voters.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his Treasurer are walking a difficult line. They need to show they have a vision for growing the economy and creating more jobs.

They will want to throw a few sweeteners towards voters. But they also need to please the credit ratings agencies.

If the credit rating agencies are not convinced that the government is heading back towards a surplus then the agencies will cut Australia's credit rating.

A lower credit rating will increase Australia's borrowing costs.

In the last financial year the Australian government spent AUS$434 billion.

Social security and welfare totalled $154 billion. That included $60 billion for superannuation.

Other big ticket items included health ($69 billion), education ($31 billion) and defence ($26 billion).

The trouble is the deficit is forecast to grow to $37 billion.

Tonight's Budget is expected to include a tax cut for smaller companies, from 28.5 percent to 27.5 percent.

There might also be a lowering of the tax bill for those earning over $80,000 a year and an end to the 2 percent "debt levy" for those earning over $180,000 a year.

That will be partly funded by a crackdown on multinationals dodging tax and by cuts to the superannuation tax concessions for the wealthiest Australians.