Treasurer Scott Morrison speaks at a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra, Friday, April 29, 2016.
Treasurer Scott Morrison speaks at a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra, Friday, April 29, 2016. AAP Image - Mick Tsikas

Morrison hints budget is for those wanting to "get ahead"

TREASURER Scott Morrison has given a hint on the focus of his first budget.

While Mr Morrison would not detail specific budget initiatives yesterday, he said it would aim to help people trying to "get ahead" of others, whether in business or as employees.

His comments came on a day when Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull released the government's "smart cities" policy, to spend $50 million on a new government fundraising body and planning for new infrastructure projects in capital cities.

That new agency would aim to attract up to $50 billion in private funds - partly through issuing what would likely be Australia's first 30-year bonds - to help fund transport projects in capital cities.

Disappointing for rural areas, however, the strategy - a central plank of the coming budget - focuses on reducing city-dwellers' commutes to 30 minutes, with documents released to date showing no role in the fund for regional areas.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, who is staking Labor's future on reforms to negative gearing, will formally reply to the budget in parliament on Thursday.

The usual two weeks of Senate scrutiny of the budget will be reduced to just two days, after Labor's leader in the Senate, Penny Wong, got the numbers to ensure two days of hearings.

The government voted against that motion in the Senate before parliament rose in the last sitting week, in what Senator Wong said was an effort to avoid scrutiny ahead of the mooted July 2 double dissolution election.

ARM Newsdesk understands Mr Turnbull will formally ask Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove next weekend to approve the first double dissolution election since 1987.


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