Surprise tax increase in Australian budget

Australia's Treasurer Scott Morrison Photo: AFP

Almost all Australians will pay more tax under changes announced in the country’s annual budget by Treasurer Scott Morrison tonight.

There will be an increase for most people in the Medicare levy for the public health system.

And the country’s five biggest banks will also pay with billions of dollars in fees, and higher fines for executives who breach misconduct laws.

Mr Morrison says for the system to be fairer there needed to be greater competition and accountability.

In addition to already-announced changes to education funding, the measures appeared to be a bid to return the economy to surplus.

The Treasurer also announced changes to superannuation contributions so first-home buyers could save for a deposit more quickly. /radionz