Budget to include $5b on major projects

There will be a $5 billion kitty for major building projects across the country in the federal budget, as the prime minister also flags tax changes.

Malcolm Turnbull says tax reform in the budget will be more than just fiddling, and the document to be released on Tuesday night will lay out the economic plan of his government.

NSW will get $2.2 billion and Victoria $2.4 billion for road and rail projects, The Australian reports.

WA will gain $750 million, there will be some money for South Australia and Queensland will receive funding for the Ipswich Motorway.

In an exclusive interview with Sky News, Malcolm Turnbull also strongly defended a decision to block a sale of agricultural land to a Chinese company.

Mr Turnbull has also ruled out making changes to the GST beyond the federal election amid claims by Labor the coalition might try to revive the proposal down the track.

The prime minister said there would be no change to the goods and services tax, which is currently levied at 10 per cent, in the next parliament.

'We've looked very carefully at the proposal to raise the GST ... but we've rejected it,' Mr Turnbull said on Sunday, saying it would be very hard to justify its increase for the return.

He said any government would need a mandate for any change in the GST.

'I can give you this absolute undertaking: there will be no change to the GST in the next parliament,' he said.

'I will be very, very clear about this, no government should ... contemplate making a change as big as that without taking it to an election as John Howard did when introducing it in the first place.'

A few weeks before he was replaced as prime minister in September, Tony Abbott appeared to be laying the groundwork for increasing the GST by saying Australia's overall tax burden 'must come down'.

Since then, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has repeatedly said that even if the coalition has taken a GST increase off the table going into a federal election, it remains an option.

But Mr Turnbull says that's not true.

'Bill Shorten runs scare campaigns on all sorts of things but that is a complete furphy,' he said.

The prime minister also appeared to distance himself from his predecessor's economic plan.

'This is submitting a new agenda. This is not Tony Abbott's plan, this is the plan of the Turnbull government.'

Source: AAP

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