Infrastructure next on Australian Treasurer’s list after major tax cuts

CANBERRA (Xinhua) – Australia’s Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is looking “closely” at major infrastructure projects to give the economy another boost after major tax cuts were delivered on Thursday.

Josh Frydenberg told Fairfax Media that the government will turn its attention to bringing planned building projects forward.

It comes just two days after the Senate passed the government’s AUD158 billion tax package, under which more than 10 million Australians will receive a tax cut worth up to AUD1,080 effective immediately.

Frydenberg will now shift his focus to reviving the stagnating economy with measures beyond the tax cuts.

“We want people to be fully aware of the opportunity to get this tax relief, once they get the tax return in. This is going to be a very significant boost,” he told Fairfax.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Minister for Finance Mathias Cormann. – XINHUA

“We’re going to continue to look closely at the infrastructure story and see what opportunities there are to ensure projects are shovel-ready.”

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) on Tuesday made the decision to cut interest rates to a record low of one per cent. It hopes that the decision will help drive down unemployment from 5.2 per cent to 4.5 per cent.

Announcing the decision, RBA Governor Philip Lowe said that the government should “not rely on monetary policy alone” to tackle stagnating wage growth.

The Treasurer defended the government’s track record on wage growth.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics wage grew by 0.54 per cent in the first quarter of 2019, below the forecast 0.6 per cent. “The minimum wage has gone up every year we’ve been in government,” Frydenberg said.

“So we continue to put in place strategies that are designed around job growth, economic growth and wages growth.”