Federal Budget at a Glance


Main Headlines:

  • Business tax relief - $20.7 billion to extend the temporary full expensing and temporary loss carryback programs for another year.

  • Infrastructure - $15.2 billion over 10 years for road, rail and freight upgrades. - $250 million for round 6 of the Building Better Regions Fund.

  • Energy - $215 million to support investment in new dispatchable generation.

Skills and training

  • Job Trainer - $1 billion extension to the JobTrainer program for another 12 months to train and reskill 17 to 24 year-olds and the unemployed, offering free or low-fee courses that will equip them for work in areas of shortages, including aged care, IT and childcare. Currently half-funded by the states and territories, so any extension of the scheme would have to be negotiated with premiers and chief ministers.

  • Boosting apprenticeships Commencements - Additional $2.7 billion over four years for the extension and expansion of the Boosting Apprenticeships Commencements wage subsidy. This measure will uncap the number of eligible places and increase the duration of the 50 per cent wage subsidy to 12 months from the date an apprentice or trainee commences with their employer. From 5 October 2020 to 31 March 2022, businesses of any size can claim the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements wage subsidy for new apprentices or trainees who commence during this period. Eligible businesses will be reimbursed up to 50 per cent of an apprentice or trainee's wages of up to $7,000 per quarter for 12 months.

  • $149.2 million over four years from 2021-22 to establish up to 15 industry owned Skills Enterprises to deliver improved skills and workforce outcomes through collaboration with industry and to ensure that the Vocational Education and Training (VET) system is responsive to industry and employer skills needs.

  • 5,000 additional gateway service places and in-training support services to encourage and support more women commencing in non-traditional trade occupations.

  • Over $100 million to support digital skills for Australians as part of the digital economy strategy. This includes a new pilot program for work-based digital cadetships that offer a flexible way for workers to build digital skills, investments in the cyber workforce, and scholarships for emerging technology graduates.

  • $69.1 million over five years from 2020-21 to establish a new VET National Data Asset by leveraging the existing capability of the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Multi-Agency Data Integration Project to measure VET outcomes at the provider and course levels.

  • $30.9 million over four years from 2021-22 to redesign and rebuild the National Training Register to provide greater transparency of training packages, and improved information about work placements and assessment.

  • $23.6 million over four years from 2021-22 to support foundation skills, by uncapping the Skills for Education and Employment program, increasing project funding to accelerate the inclusion of digital skills training for job seekers in the program, providing additional funding for foundation skills policy development, and leveraging the Reading Writing Hotline to promote the Foundation Skills Guarantee.

  • $12.1 million over four years from 2021-22 to simplify Australian apprenticeship pathways information, and to develop a single national digital apprenticeship portal.

Employment

  • $213.5 million over four years to expand the Local Jobs Program to 51 employment regions and to extend the program for three years from 30 June 2022 to 30 June 2025. The Local Jobs Program supports tailored approaches to accelerate reskilling, upskilling, and employment pathways in selected regions, supporting Australia's economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • $130 m New Enterprise program for unemployed people to establish their own business. Job Active / government employment services

- $15.6 million in 2021-22 to increase all wage subsidies to $10,000 for eligible participants in jobactive, Transition to Work, and ParentsNext to incentivise employers to hire eligible disadvantaged job seekers. This will align with wage subsidies commencing under the New Employment Services Model measure from 1 July 2022..

- $7.9 million over three years from 2020-21 to incentivise employment services providers to ensure job seekers referred from Online Employment Services before 30 June 2022 are appropriately supported into employment as quickly as possible. Employment services providers providing support to job seekers who transition to face-to-face services after three months or more in Online Employment Services will be eligible for outcome payments immediately, rather than after three months under existing arrangements. - Extension of flexibility within mutual obligation requirements that enables job seekers to satisfy these requirements through undertaking study, for an additional six months from 31 December 2021 to 30 June 2022, to align with the commencement of the New Employment Services Model measure from 1 July 2022. - $1.6 million over two years to amend the Relocation Assistance to Take Up a Job program to provide additional support for job seekers relocating to take up employment, including short term agricultural work under AgMove. Eligibility requirements under this program will be changed so that relocating participants who take up a minimum of 40 hours work in at least two weeks can receive up to $2,000 in relocation assistance, and those who take up a minimum of 120 hours work in at least four weeks can receive up to $6,000 in relocation assistance. The age requirement for the program will also be changed from 18 years to 17 years to support school leavers.

  • Career Revive Program, which will support medium to large businesses to attract and retain women who are returning to work.

  • $6.2 million over two years to deliver a combination of up to 26 physical and virtual Jobs Fairs across the country between June 2021 and June 2022. Jobs Fairs provide an opportunity for job seekers to talk to employers and learn about jobs, training and career options in their area.

Business and Industry

  • Deregulation - $134.6 million deregulation package aimed at cutting red-tape for business dealing with government through targeted initiatives to digitise and streamline services (further detail below). - Companies to benefit from simplified liquidation and restructuring rules.

  • Recovery Loan Scheme - Government will support the economic recovery of, and provide continued assistance to, firms that received JobKeeper or are eligible flood-affected businesses through the SME Recovery Loan Scheme. The Government will provide participating lenders with a guarantee for 80 per cent of secured or unsecured loans of up to $5 million for a term of up to 10 years and with interest rates capped at 7.5 per cent, with some flexibility around variable rate loans. Loans can be used by the SME for a broad range of business purposes, including to support investment and refinancing existing loans. Lenders will be able to offer borrowers a repayment pause of up to two years. To be eligible, SMEs, including self-employed individuals and non-profit organisations, will have a turnover of up to $250 million and have been either: - recipients of the JobKeeper Payment between 4 January 2021 and 28 March 2021. - located or operating in a local government area that has been disaster declared as a result of the March 2021 New South Wales floods and were negatively economically impacted.

  • Superannuation - Removal of the $450 monthly threshold before workers receive superannuation from their employer. - Increase in the Superannuation Guarantee to 12% by 2024-25 will proceed as currently legislated. - Extending the downsizer scheme to those 60 or older (currently 65 or older), allowing a one-off super account contribution of up to $300,000 on the sale of the family home outside the rules governing the tax treatment of super. - Abolishing the work test for those aged 67 to 74 to enable self-funded retirees to increase their super savings more freely.

  • Energy - $58.6 million to support key gas infrastructure projects, including the Snowy Hydro gas-fired power station in NSW. - $316 million to help business and industry reduce energy emissions, while improving productivity and international competitiveness.

  • Manufacturing - $107.2 million for the Supply Chain Resilience Initiative. - Further development of our sovereign vaccine capability including production of local mRNA vaccines. - Introduction of a Patent Box to encourage innovation and key patents in Australia, through a concessional corporate tax rate on taxable income derived from Australian patents in medical and biotech sectors. - $387.2 million to co-host the Square Kilometre Array project. - $33.7 million to incentivise businesses to use artificial intelligence.

  • Communications - $4 million for the Australian Communications and Media Authority to run the news media bargaining code involving the major tech platforms.

  • Digital Economic Strategy - $1.2bn into transforming Australia into a leading digital economy by 2030 and overhaul the government’s online services platforms to ensure the nation remains globally competitive). Includes: - $12.7 million expansion of the Digital Solutions – Australian Small Business Advisory Service to support small and medium businesses to build their digital capacity. - $124m to boost the country’s artificial intelligence capability, and establish a national AI centre led by the CSIRO. - $35.7m for drones and emerging aviation technologies.

  • Climate change and natural disasters - Establishment of the National Recovery and Resilience Agency, with $600 million initial funding for disaster preparation and mitigation projects. - $210 million to establish the Australian Climate Service, bringing together data from the Bureau of Meteorology, CSIRO, ABS and Geoscience Australia to inform emergency responses. - $10 billion reinsurance pool set up by July 2022 to subsidise high premium costs in north Queensland due to a high volume of disaster events.

  • Housing - HomeBuilder extension of the 6-month period to begin construction to 18 months. - Family Home Guarantee, supporting up to 10,000 single parents to purchase a home with a 2% deposit, the Government providing a loan guaranteeing the remaining 18% of the loan deposit. - Extending the New Home Guarantee with a further 10,000 places for first home buyers to build or buy a new home with a 5% deposit, the Government guaranteeing the remaining 15% of the loan deposit. - First Home Saver Scheme allowing those saving up for their first home to make voluntary contributions to their superannuation fund to take advantage of the special tax treatment for super. – capped at $15,00 per year with a maximum of $30,000.

  • Creative Arts - $300 million to support the reopening of the creative arts sector, which includes $125 million Restart Investment to /sustain and Expand Grants for new productions and festivals. - $20 million to support independent cinemas.

Attracting Global Talent

  • $500 million streamlining of employee share ownership schemes by not taxing workers on shares when they cease employment and streamlining of disclosure rules.

  • Global Talent Visa providing fast tracked permanent residency to 5,000 people per year targeting high income earners with expertise in one of seven fields including fintech, advanced manufacturing and space.

  • Changes to tax residency rules through a “bright line test”, such that anyone spending 183 days or more in Australia is an Australian tax resident.

  • Tax office “concierge service”, fast-tracking advice for foreign direct investors about proposed transactions or relocation to Australia.

  • Collective Investment Vehicles making it easier for local fund managers to manage foreign money from July 2022.

  • International students - $53 million for private colleges that have lost students because of border closures to prevent them from collapsing (already announced). - Additional 5,000 Commonwealth supported short-course places in 2021-22 for non-university higher education providers.

Visa flexibility

  • As already shared with members, the Government announced it would be provide further support to the hospitality and tourism sectors through added visa flexibility as we continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. This flexibility includes: - Removing existing work hour caps for Student Visa Holders employed in the aforementioned sectors. This is in addition to flexibility that was afforded to students working in the agriculture sector earlier this year, allowing them to work more than 40 hours per fortnight, which built on changes which were previously provided for international students working in critical sectors, such as health and the aged care sector. - Allowing temporary visa holders to access the 408 COVID-19 Pandemic Event Visa for a period of 12 months if they work in the hospitality or tourism sector. This will add hospitality and tourism to the critical sectors of agriculture, food processing, health care, aged care, disability care and child care for eligibility for this visa subclass. - Permitting temporary visa holders working in, or intending to work in, tourism and hospitality to apply for the 408 COVID-19 Visa up to 90 days before their existing visa expires and then remain in Australia for up to 12 additional months.

International Borders

  • The budget has assumed that Australia’s international borders will remained closed until 2022 at the earliest.

  • This is the result of the slowed down vaccine rollout and uptake. As such, the Government has provided further visa flexibilities for students and other temporary visa holders to offer solutions to the labour shortages currently faced in the hospitality and tourism sectors.

Deregulation

  • The key elements of the Government’s investment of around $120 million in Deregulation measures are: - Reducing the regulatory burden for businesses interacting with Government; - Making it easier for businesses to get people into jobs; and - Building foundations for future reforms.

  • These measures are estimated to deliver an average reduction in compliance costs of around $430 million per year.

  • The Government will introduce regulatory technology to support businesses compliance with modern awards. This will involve the development of application programming interfaces (APIs) from the Fair Work Commission’s Modern Awards Pay database to provide authoritative data on award pay and conditions, unlocking innovation and greater accuracy in payroll software and other technology solutions.

  • The Government has committed to improving occupational mobility by strengthening the initial implementation and adoption of Automatic Mutual Recognition (AMR) for occupational registrations and licenses. The Government has already introduced legislation for the widespread AMR of occupational licenses, which has the potential to generate more than $2.4 billion in additional economic activity over the next ten years.

Health/Aged Care

  • $216.7 million over three years from 2021-22 to grow and upskill the workforce and enhance nurse leadership and clinical skills through additional nursing scholarships and places in the Aged Care Transition to Practice Program, to provide more dementia and palliative care training for aged care workers, to recruit aged care workers in regional, rural and remote areas and to provide eligible registered nurses with additional financial support.

  • $228.2 million to support the establishment of a single aged care assessment workforce for residential care from October 2022, and for home care from July 2023.

  • $105.6 million to introduce nationally consistent worker screening, register and code-of-conduct for all care sector workers including aged care workers.

  • $91.8 million over two years from 2021-22 to support the training of 13,000 new home care workers.

  • The Government will provide $80.9 million over five years from 2020-21 for initiatives to support the delivery of primary care and the health workforce in rural and remote Australia.

  • $13.2 billion set aside to fund the NDIS.

Infrastructure

  • An extra $10 billion for major infrastructure projects over the next decade, across all states and territories.

  • $2 billion for a new freight hub in Melbourne and $2 billion to upgrade the Great Western Highway between Katoomba and Lithgow in New South Wales.

  • Funding for road projects in South Australia (Truro Bypass), Tasmania (Bass Highway), Northern Territory (National Highway Network), and the ACT (William Hovell Drive) as well as rail and freight upgrades in Queensland and Western Australia .

Other

  • Income tax - $7 billion extension of the Low to Middle Income Tax Offset, with up to $1,080 end-of-financial-year rebate for those earning up to $90,000.

  • Childcare -$1.7 billion to encourage parents working part time to take on extra hours, through an increase childcare subsidies to a maximum of 95% of the daily fees and removal of the cap to enable those earning over $189,000 access to childcare subsidies.

  • Mental Health - $2.3 billion to deliver improved and expanded mental health services.

  • Women’s safety - $20.5 million for the implementation of the Respect@Work Report recommendations.

  • Indigenous - $128.4 million for a new indigenous skilled employment program. - $36.5 million to boost the capacity of Native Title Prescribed Bodies to take up economic development opportunities. - $84.9 million to assist jobseekers in remote parts of Australia back into work. - $28.1 million to the Indigenous visual arts industry.

  • Defence - $747 million for base upgrades in the Northern Territory.

  • Border Security - $464.7 million to bolster domestic detention capability. - $1.3 billion to ASIO over the next decade to enhance its ability to address threat to national security.

  • Agriculture - $87 million to help diversify and expand export markets.

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