2020-2021 Federal Budget was recently announced which covers a wide range of policies, due to COVID pandemic, it looks extremely overwhelming, but the core message of it is clear, Jobs, Jobs & Jobs… the significant deficit allowing the government to spend a lot of money to stimulate the economic activities for more jobs.  

I list some main points below for an easy overview. Please reach out if you are keen to know more about a particular policy. I will draft another one for more Superannuation-related policies soon.

THE ECONOMY

  • Total deficit of $213.7 billion for 2020/21
  • Deficit forecast to still be $66.9 billion by 2023-24 financial year
  • Net debt to be 36 per cent of GDP this year, peak at 44 per cent of GDP in June 2024.
  • Government to raise the debt ceiling to $1.1 trillion.

TAX

  • Tax relief for low, middle-income earners: Up to $2745 for singles; up to $5490 for households
  • 19% tax rate threshold rises from $37,000 to $45k; 32.5% threshold up from $90,000 to $120k
  • New Capital Gains Tax exemption for granny flats
  • Extra $15.1 million for ATO to target tax, superannuation crime

EDUCATION & TRAINING

  • $1.2b for businesses to employ 100,000 apprentices and trainees
  • $326 million for 12,000 new domestic university placements
  • $550 million for unis to provide 50,000 new higher education short courses in agriculture, health, IT, science & teaching
  • $38 million for The Smith Family to help poor students

ENVIRONMENT

  • $249m boost for waste and recycling industry
  • $10m for a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility at Napandee, SA
  • $155.6m over four years for farmers, communities hit by drought
  • $233m for Uluru, Kakadu, Christmas Island and Booderee National Parks
  • $47.4m over four years for ocean health 

HEALTH & WELFARE

  • $500 bonus ($250 in December, $250 in March) for pensioners, unemployed
  • Paid parental leave for new mums even when stood down in pandemic
  • Funding for 23,000 home care packages for elderly
  • $750m for aged care homes to manage COVID
  • $60m for DV “safe places”
  • $9m for child/young adult cancer research

TOURISM

  • $250 million program to encourage regional tourism
  • $233.4 million over three years from 2021 to improve infrastructure in Commonwealth national parks
  • $6 million over two years from 2020-21 to support local tourism operators and encourage tourism to the Great Barrier Reef

JOBS & WORKERS

  • Dole payments to hit $41bn in 2020/21 but fall to $22bn a year later
  • Super accounts to automatically follow workers from job to job
  • JobKeeper to end March 28, 2021. New “back-to-work” wage subsidy scheme for businesses employing under 35s who have been on welfare payments
  • No change to JobSeeker rate

INFRASTRUCTURE

  • A total of $10b allocated in infrastructure spending
  • $7.5 billion in road and rail projects spread across all states and territories
  • $53 million for gas infrastructure
  • $211 million provided for Australia’s domestic fuel security

BUSINESS/INDUSTRY

  • $1.5bn for manufacturing, targeting space, medicine, food/beverage, defence, resources tech, recycling/clean energy
  • Full asset write-off on purchases for 99% of businesses til June 2022
  • Losses to June 2022 to be offset against former profits
  • $800m to help businesses work online; $29.2m for 5G access

TECHNOLOGY

  • $4.5bn NBN upgrade will replace copper lines and older hardware
  • $29.3 million for 5G trials in industries including agriculture and manufacturing
  • $1.67bn for cyber security
  • $260m for digital identity system for businesses
  • $3bn compo scheme “for damage caused” by our national space program

DEFENCE

  • $101.7 million allocated over four years for veterans’ mental health support and services.
  • Infrastructure programs for Pacific allies have been funded to the tune of $124m over 10 years. Among other projects, Australian will construct a border and patrol boat “outpost” on the Solomon Islands

REGIONAL AUSTRALIA

  • $100m allocated for the Regional Recovery Partnerships program
  • $30m ­Regional Connectivity Program
  • $200m for the Building Better Regions Fund
  • Farmers will be able to access $50m in rebates for putting in bores and dams

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