Budget aims to spread benefits of mining boom

Treasurer Wayne Swan has promised a $1.5 billion surplus in tonight’s federal budget that he says ‘‘spreads the benefits of the mining boom’’ through increased payments to Hunter families.

But a promised cut to the company tax rate that was to be funded by the proceeds of the Minerals Resources Rent Tax has not eventuated, with the government blaming a lack of support for the measure in the parliament.

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The surplus would be reached through $33 billion worth of cuts, and would be up from a deficit of $44 billion in 2011-12. It is expected to rise further to a $7.5 billion surplus in 2015.

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There were no surprises for the Hunter in the tight budget. No new major capital works projects were announced for the region.

The $1.7 billion ongoing Hunter Expressway project received a further $190 million in 2012-13, and there was funding to continue coal rail upgrades in the Hunter Valley.

There was no mention of funding for the Glendale interchange or the University of Newcastle’s inner-city campus.

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