Smokers will be hit with hefty increases in taxes over the next four years.
Smokers will be hit with hefty increases in taxes over the next four years.

Budget 2016: Upper-middle Aussie will get the rewards

  • Wealthy retirees' tax free super capped at $1.6m
  • 25 per cent flat company company tax rate by 2026
  • New $10m turnover ceiling for small business tax breaks
  • Tax receipts down $6.4b next year

Budget 2016: Tax on smokes to jump 50% over four years

THE tax on cigarettes will jump 50% over the next four years under a Turnbull Government budget measure, as small businesses can look to a new tax cut.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Treasurer Scott Morrison have pledged a budget that will drive economic and jobs growth, as Mr Morrison says this morning that his first budget will not be an ordinary one.

Just two months out from a federal election, the budget will shape the government's campaign against Labor, in an effort to chart a course back to surplus over the longer term,'

The tobacco excise will rise 12.5% every year for four years under a measure the government confirmed this morning, while small businesses - already given a 2.5% tax cut last year, can look forward to another small tax cut this year.

While the government had indicated a potential income tax cut for workers earning more than $80,000 as well, Mr Morrison has refused to confirm details ahead of the budget's release tonight.

It came as the government released Treasury modelling disputing the potential $47 billion in revenue Labor's proposed cigarette tax hike would bring in, instead showing it would raise only $27 billion - a $19 billion shortfall.

The government is also expected to outline company tax cuts starting from next year, in an effort to boost economic growth, despite several economists in recent weeks telling ARM Newsdesk the evidence was spilt on whether a company tax cut would actually result in more jobs and investment.

Cancer Council responds

Cancer Council Australia CEO, Professor Sanchia Aranda, said the tax increases would translate to tens of thousands of cancer deaths prevented in Australia and a significant improvement in the nation's health. 

"The tobacco tax announcement is great news for Australia's health," Professor Aranda said. "Based on analyses of the benefits of previous tobacco tax increases, 320,000 smokers are likely to quit over the longer term as a result of an expected series of 12.5% annual tobacco tax increases.

"In addition, 40,000 teenagers will be deterred from smoking altogether - adding to a continued decline in the number of teenagers in Australia who smoke.

"Two in three Australian smokers die prematurely of smoking-caused disease, with cancer being the most significant cause of death.

ARM Newsdesk's team of reporters will be inside the budget lock-up, hunting for the details of how the federal budget will affect regional Queensland and northern New South Wales.

We will posting stories online from 7.30pm tonight onwards.

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