So how much better off are you now? From a young single to a struggling family or a set-up boomer – everything you need to know about the greatest cash splash in Aussie history
- 11 million Australians woke up this morning to news they are getting tax cuts
- Young people also got a boost in last night’s federal budget with hiring scheme
- Pensioners, veterans and others on welfare will get two cash handouts of $250
Eleven million Australians woke up this morning to the news they will get up to $2,745 extra in their pockets this year as the government brings forward tax cuts.
Young people also got a huge boost in last night’s federal budget with a wage subsidy scheme designed to get half a million of them back into work after coronavirus shutdowns.
Meanwhile, pensioners, veterans and others on welfare will get two cash handouts of $250 in November and early next year.
The huge cash splash – which takes the government’s coronavirus response spending to $507billion – is designed to haul the nation from the sharpest recession since the 1930s.
So what have Australians made of the extraordinary spending spree?
Lawyer Rebecca Mangos, 25
On tax cuts
‘I’m in the payment threshold that will see me benefit from the tax cuts, so I was pretty happy to hear that.
‘I thought it was a good plan, I was a bit worried we would be taxed higher, so I was pleased some people will be paying less tax.’
On travel remaining low until 2022
‘I spend quite a lot of money on travel but with international borders not opening in the foreseeable future I guess I will be keeping my money in my pocket for now.’
On boost for home buyers
Ms Mangos said she would be putting away more over the next few months as her aim is to save up for a deposit on a house.
‘As a 25-year-old woman, I’d really like to capitalise on the disruptive market right now and enter the market with the extra money I have in my pocket.’
Sydney-based lawyer Rebecca Mangos, 25, was delighted with the tax cuts
On the wage subsidy scheme
Ms Mangos said she was pleased to hear about job opportunities for young people.
‘I have a lot of tertiary educated friends who, unfortunately, are currently out of work. And there aren’t really any job opportunities available right now for them.
‘I guess for companies to be incentivised to hire young people it will be really great to expand multiple sectors for young people.’
On policies for women
The lawyer said there seemed to be a lack of policies targeting women who were out of work due to the pandemic.
‘I didn’t really see any clear pathway or plan for women specifically,’ she said.
On aged care
‘There also didn’t seem to be anything about funding for aged care. They didn’t seem to elaborate how they would improve that sector,’ she said.
The budget funds 23,000 extra home care packages for senior Australians who want to avoid going into a home – but campaigners say 100,000 are waiting for support.
Parents Jim and Leynn Nolasco, 28
Critics say tax cuts to middle-income earners are not an effective way to stimulate the economy because people will save the cash instead of spend it.
But Jim and Leynn Nolasco, from Sydney, have said they will spend their extra money.
‘I think the budget seemed fair, hopefully it will get more people back into work,’ said software engineer Mr Nolasco.
‘Well be getting the tax cuts, so that should help out. We’ll use that money in the community and hopefully help out our local community.’
Jim and Leynn Nolasco, from Sydney, have said they will spend their extra money
The budget blowout will see Australia’s debt mountain increase to more than $1trillion by 2022
How much tax will you get back?
Tax cuts, due in 2022, have been backdated to July this year, meaning they will kick in as soon as they pass Parliament, possibly within days, giving Australians instant paypacket relief as well as a boosted lump sum refund at tax time.
Whether you get your tax cut by paying less each month or in the form of a refund depends on how much you earn.
Aussies earning $130,000 or more will get $2,430 more in their paypackets over the course of each year.
Workers will, by the end of the financial year, receive the above amount of tax relief on 2017-18 levels
But Australians earning under $100,000 will have to wait until their tax return to get about half of their cash.
This is because an extra $1,080 due to workers in this group will come in the form of a one-off tax offset.
The low and middle income tax offset, which was due to be scrapped in 2022, will be kept for this year only as the government attempts to stimulate the economy.
This means middle-income Aussies will pay more tax in 2022 than in 2021.
They will get the other half of their deductions by paying less tax in each paypacket, taking the total deduction for those earning between $50,000 and $90,000 to $2,160 compared with 2017-18 levels.
There will also be an extra $225 boost for low-income workers as the cuts increase the low income tax offset from $445 to $700.
The changes permanently lift threshold for the 32.5 per cent tax bracket from $41,000 to $45,000 and raise the threshold for the 37 per cent bracket from $90,000 to $120,000.
Those on $40,000 will be $1,060 better off a year, Aussies on $120,000 will be $2,745 better off and those earning more than $140,000 will keep $2,565 more.
Tax cut winners: Life insurer Luke Jones and his wife Van Jones, a business analyst, will be among those benefiting directly from the income tax cuts, which have been moved forward from 2022 (Mr and Mrs Jones with son Daniel, nine, and daughter Stephanie, two, above)
‘Australians will have more of their own money to spend on what matters to them, generating billions of dollars of economic activity and creating 50,000 new jobs,’ Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said last night.
‘It will help local businesses to keep their doors open and hire more staff.’
A third stage of tax cuts that abolishes the 37 per cent tax bracket and creates a 30 per cent tax bracket for those earning $45,001 and $200,000 will commence in 2024 as planned.
The slashing of tax brackets, from five to four for the first time since 1984, will see those at the top end on $200,000 receive a tax cut of $11,640 compared with the 2017-18 financial year.
Labor is not expected to oppose the plan to bring forward and backdate the stage-two cuts, meaning millions of Australians could have extra cash in their pockets within days.
|Income||Permanent relief||One-off payment this year only||Total|
How are pensioners helped?
Earlier this year the government gave two $750 handouts to pensioners and other groups to stimulate the economy as lockdowns kicked in.
There will now be two more payments of $250 each – late this year and in March 2021.
The payments – costing $2.6 billion – are expected to go to 5.1 million Aussies including those who receive an Age Pension; Disability Support Pension; Carer Payment; Family Tax Benefit; Carer Allowance; Pensioner Concession Card (PCC) holders; Commonwealth Seniors Health Card holders and eligible Veterans’ Affairs payment recipients and concession card holders.
(The government will also fork out $102million over four years to improve veterans’ mental health and care services.)
What do small businesses get?
Companies that turn over less than $5billion a year (virtually every business in the country) can buy a new asset of unlimited value– such as a truck or piece of machinery – and expense the whole cost to the taxman for one year.
The measure will apply to assets purchased from 7.30pm on Tuesday and first used or installed by 30 June 2022.
Around 3.5 million businesses – more than 99 per cent of businesses, employing around 11.5 million workers – will be eligible for this measure, which builds on the enhanced $150,000 instant asset write-off announced in March.
Companies with turnover up to $5billion will also be able to temporarily offset tax losses against previous profits and tax paid.
This will help companies that were profitable and tax-paying but now find themselves in a loss position due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Companies that turn over less than $5billion year (virtually all businesses, no doubt including this cafe) can buy a new asset of unlimited value – such as a truck or piece of machinery – and expense the whole cost to the taxman for one year
Companies can apply tax losses incurred during the 2019-20, 2020-21 and/or 2021-22 income years to offset tax paid in 2018-19 or later income years.
The tax refund will be available for eligible businesses when they lodge their 2020-21 and 2021-22 tax returns.
Those two measures will provide $31.6billion of tax relief, create 50,000 jobs and boost the economy by around $10billion in 2021-22.
The budget also includes 10 tax concessions to small and medium businesses that make between $10million and $50million per year.
They include removing fringe benefits tax paid when a company gives a member of staff free parking or more than one work phone or laptop.
Other concessions to small businesses will include allowing them to immediately deduct certain start-up expenses and prepaid expenditure; simplify their pay as you go tax installments; and settle excise duty once a month instead of weekly.
Thousands of apprentices lost their jobs in the coronavirus pandemic shutdowns. The new scheme will give jobs to 100,000 new and re-hired apprentices in any industry. Pictured: Sydneysiders are seen at a pub
Furthermore, the amendment period for income tax assessments will be reduced from four years to two years starting from July 1, 2021.
This means the tax office can only demand more tax within two years if officials feel a company has accidentally made a mistake on a tax return.
The changes are estimated to cost the budget $105million over the next three years.
In another major change, all Australian companies are, as of October 2, exempt from paying fringe benefits tax when they pay for workers to train for a different role.
The government hopes this will encourage employers to re-train their staff to fill different positions instead of making them redundant.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said: ‘Making it easier for businesses to upskill or reskill their workforce will help people to keep their job or to find a new job as we recover from Covid-19.’
What about young workers?
A new $4billion Hiring Credit will subsidise young people’s wages for one year from Wednesday, October 7.
Young people have been hit hard by coronavirus lockdowns, with around 700,000 on JobSeeker or Youth Allowance and the government believes this scheme will help 450,000 find a job.
The scheme will encourage employers to take on young people by giving them $200 per week for every previously unemployed person they hire aged 16 to 29; and $100 per week for those aged 30 to 35.
There will be a maximum amount of $10,400 per additional new position created.
To be eligible, the employee will need to have worked for a minimum of 20 hours per week, averaged over a quarter, and received the JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance or Parenting Payment for at least one month out of the three months prior to when they are hired.
How are women given a lift?
Women, who have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic, will be supported through various measures in the budget.
Some 9,000 Australians will become eligible for parental leave pay as the government relaxes the rules to let parents access the payment if they have been in work 20 months before the child was born or adopted, rather than 13 months.
Some 3,500 Aussies will become eligible for Dad and Partner Pay. The measures are designed to help people who lost their jobs during the pandemic.
Women, who have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic, will be supported through various measures in the budget – but campaigners wanted more
There will also be a new [email protected] scheme which will involve more funding for the Women’s Leadership and Development Program to support job creation.
The Government is also establishing a [email protected] Council to help address sexual harassment in the workplace.
The Boosting Female Founders initiative will be expanded, supporting 282 start-ups and 4,300 mentoring engagements for female entrepreneurs.
There will also be $25.1 million over five years to assist 500 women into STEM careers through a STEM Industry Cadetship or Advanced Apprenticeship.
What do apprentices get?
The government has unveiled a scheme to pay half the salary of trainees in any industry for a year.
The plan is expected to cost $1.2 billion and support 100,000 jobs.
Under the scheme, any business regardless of their size or industry can get a 50 per cent wage subsidy for any new or re-commencing apprentice or trainee they hire.
The subsidy applies for apprentices hired from Monday until the government’s cap of 100,000 is reached.
Pictured: Tradespeople wave to the camera in Sydney’s CBD during the October long weekend
The subsidy is worth up to $7,000 a quarter and will last until September 30, 2021. The money will be transferred to businesses every three months in arrears.
Thousands of apprentices and trainees lost their jobs, particularly in the hospitality sector, when the pandemic restrictions hit.
Mr Frydenberg said the scheme would apply to every industry, including ‘people who are working as bakers, hairdressers, those who are sparkies, those who are plumbers.’
If you’re struggling to get on the property ladder…
From Tuesday the government will expand its First Home Loan Deposit Scheme to provide an extra 10,000 places.
The measure allows first home buyers to get a loan to build a new dwelling or purchase a newly built dwelling with a deposit of as little as five per cent, with the government guaranteeing up to 15 per cent of the loan.
The scheme has already helped close to 20,000 first home buyers.
The maximum price of eligible homes will be higher for this round of the loan deposit scheme with caps at $950,000 for Sydney, $850,000 for Melbourne and $650,000 for Brisbane.
The measure allows first home buyers to obtain a loan for a new or newly built home with a deposit of as little as five per cent, with the government guaranteeing up to 15 per cent of the loan (stock image)
Treasurer Frydenberg said the loan deposits could be used in conjunction with HomeBuilder, which provides grants of $25,000 for new homes and major renovations.
‘Helping another 10,000 first home buyers to buy a new home through our First Home Loan Deposit Scheme will help to support all our tradies right through the supply chain including painters, builders, plumbers and electricians,’ he said.
‘At around five per cent of GDP, our residential construction industry is vital to the economy and our recovery from the coronavirus crisis.’
If you’re working from home…
The government has announced an $800million package aimed at helping individuals and businesses work online, which Mr Morrison likened to an ‘upgrade of the circuit board’ of the economy.
Mr Frydenberg said coronavirus had changed the way firms do business, with nine in 10 using digital technologies.
More than $400million of the package will be aimed at modernising business registers, allowing companies to quickly view, update and maintain their data.
It will allow for easier distribution of documents, while digital invoicing by Commonwealth agencies will reduce the cost by about two thirds.
More than $250million will be spent upgrading online systems so Australians can access more government services using facial recognition.
At least 1.6 million people and 1.16 million businesses already use facial recognition to access 70 government services.
The technology will be extended to all of MyGov and 14 additional services, such as getting a director identification number or tax file number.
Another $30million will be spent supporting private companies in key industries invest in 5G technology trials.
If you need mental health help…
Australians will get access to 20 subsidised psychological therapy sessions each year under a doubling of current arrangements.
The Morrison government will spend more than $100 million over two years to provide an additional 10 Medicare rebate sessions for people with a mental health care plan.
The Budget measure is designed to help Australians suffering more severe or enduring mental health impacts from the coronavirus pandemic.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the government would release the Productivity Commission’s final mental health report and the interim findings of a study into suicide prevention within weeks.
‘These reports will guide our future actions, working together with states and territories to save lives,’ he told parliament on Tuesday.
If you’re claiming JobKeeper…
The Budget does not contain any changes to the JobKeeper and JobSeeker schemes.
The government has already extended the $86billion JobKeeper scheme until March but is gradually reducing the payments to wean the economy off government support.
From 28 September to 31 December, JobKeeper has been reduced to $1,200 per fortnight for full-time workers and to $750 for people working 20 hours or less per week.
From January to March, the full-time JobKeeper rate will be $1,000 and the part-time rate will reduce to $650.
From 28 September to 31 December, JobKeeper will be reduced to $1,200 per fortnight. Pictured: Shoppers at H&M
The crushing economic blow of the pandemic has been cushioned by extensive wage subsidy programs, such as JobKeeper
The $550 JobSeeker boost has been extended until December 31 at a reduced rate of $250 per fortnight – but workers can earn up to $300 and still claim the benefit.
The Labor Party wants the government to permanently increase the JobSeeker rate – but the treasurer has said he is leaning towards another temporary extension of the boost later this year.
If you drive to work…
The federal government will spend $7.5billion on fast-tracking about 80 road and infrastructure projects across the nation to support 30,000 jobs.
It will splash $750million for a new motorway in Queensland that connects Coomera to Nerang; $560 million for the Singleton bypass on New England Highway in New South Wales; and $528 million for Shepparton and Warrnambool rail line upgrades in Victoria.
The states will also be funding the projects, in many cases matching federal investment.
‘We have been working closely with state and territory governments to invest in the infrastructure that is ready to go and can help rebuild our economy and create more jobs,’ Mr Morrison said.
‘These projects will keep commuters safe on the road, get people home to their loved ones sooner and provide better transport links for urban and regional communities.’
$750million of federal funding will be allocated to the second M1 between Coomera and Nerang. Pictured is an artist’s impression
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said the building plan will particularly boost regional Australia.
‘We want to ensure our farmers and miners and other businesses can get their world-class goods to market faster and cheaper,’ he said on Monday.
‘That will happen with better roads and better rail, which is why we’re continuing to invest in making our transport corridors more efficient with further investment in infrastructure in this budget.’
Infrastructure: The Key projects
There will be key investments across all states and territories including:
• $560 million for the Singleton Bypass on the New England Highway in New South Wales;
• $528 million for the Shepparton and Warrnambool Rail Line Upgrades in Victoria;
• $750 million for Stage 1 of the Coomera Connector (Coomera to Nerang) in Queensland;
• $88 million for the Reid Highway Interchange with West Swan Road in Western Australia;
• $200 million for the Hahndorf Township Improvements and Access Upgrade in South Australia;
• $150 million for the Midway Point Causeway (including McGees Bridge) and Sorell Causeway as part of the Hobart to Sorell Roads of Strategic Importance corridor in Tasmania;
• $120 million to upgrade the Carpentaria Highway in the Northern Territory; and
• $88 million for the Molonglo River Bridge in the ACT.
Sweeping tax changes in the federal budget next week will make it easier for small businesses to give benefits to their staff. Pictured: A woman makes a coffee in Sydney
Pictured: Shoppers walk through Pitt Street Mall in Sydney’s central business district on Sunday. Mr Frydenberg will be hoping they spend up big
If you work in manufacturing…
The government will invest $1.5billion in Aussie manufacturing under a new 10-year plan to strengthen the industry which employs 860,000 Australians.
It will focus on six areas of manufacturing that Australia is good at which are defence; recycling and energy; space; food and drink; medicine; and resources technology and critical minerals processing.
Companies in those six industries will be able to apply for government grants that must be backed up by private investment to prove they are worthy.
Scott Morrison will invest $1.5billion in Aussie manufacturing under a new 10-year plan to strengthen the industry which employs 860,000 Australians. Industries targeted will include food and drink (pictured is milk being packaged)
The cash will help companies expand, develop new ideas and access international markets as the nation recovers from Covid-19.
Before the pandemic manufacturing was worth $100billion each year and generated more than $50billion in exports.
Mr Morrison believes the industry is crucial to economic growth, particularly in regional areas such the Hunter region of NSW and north and central Queensland.
The government will also splash $107million on a new Supply Chain Resilience Initiative to make sure Australia is never without crucial supplies after coronavirus left countries scrambling to secure masks and protective gear.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is seen at Parliament House Tuesday morning ahead of the Federal Budget
If you live in or own a granny flat…
The government will extend the capital gains tax exemption on main residences to apply to granny flats occupied by a relative.
Currently homeowners may have to pay the tax on the sale of a granny flat if they have a written agreement with a relative who lives in it.
The government fears this prompts families to make informal agreements, leaving elderly people open to financial abuse and exploitation after a family or relationship breakdown.
The government will extend the capital gains tax exemption on main residences to apply to granny flats occupied by a relative
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said waiving the tax would better protect seniors and save money for mum and dad investors.
The change is due to kick in on July 1 next year, subject to the passage of legislation.
It will only apply to agreements that are entered into because of family relationships or other personal ties and will not apply to commercial rental arrangements.
If you’re looking to buy a home…
Buying a home is set to get a lot easier with potential borrowers no longer needing to provide a bank intimate details of their everyday spending habits.
Under existing rules introduced in 2009, banks are required to scrutinise the daily spending of potential borrowers to determine if they would be reliable.
Mr Frydenberg said these rules had discouraged Australians from borrowing, despite interest rates being at a record-low of 0.25 per cent.
‘Responsible lending has become restrictive lending,’ he said.
Buying a home is set to get a lot easier with potential borrowers no longer needing to provide a bank intimate details of their everyday spending habits. Pictured: A Brisbane house auction
The Treasurer is scrapping of key elements of the National Consumer Credit Protection Act, which Kevin Rudd’s Labor government introduced in 2009 at the height of the Global Financial Crisis.
The government regards these 11-year-old responsible lending laws, designed to weed out unsuitable borrowers, as a risk in a slowing economy.
The government’s changes are set to put the onus on borrowers to tell the truth about their spending instead of forcing banks to heavily scrutinise their customers through intrusive questioning or third-party credit data groups.
This is designed to speed up home and credit approvals in a bid to encourage spending during a recession.
In September the government announced that millions of homes and businesses will gain access to ultra-fast internet under a $4.5 billion upgrade to the national broadband network
If you’re struggling with your internet connection…
In September the government announced that millions of homes and businesses will gain access to ultra-fast internet under a $4.5billion upgrade to the national broadband network.
At least eight million premises should have speeds of up to one gigabit per second by 2023.
The upgrade will be financed through NBN Co borrowing from private debt markets.
Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said with 99 per cent of premises now able to connect to the NBN, the time was right to upgrade the network.
Mr Fletcher said the coronavirus pandemic had also changed the way people used the internet and highlighted the need for speed.
He appears to be laying the groundwork to sell the government-owned NBN Co during the next term of parliament, should the coalition retain office.
A Vodafone worker is seen inside a store for the phone and data provider in Sydney’s CBD
If you’re a struggling small business…
The government wants to give more control to small businesses facing financial hardship to protect then from being wound up.
Drawing on key features of bankruptcy laws used in the United States, the treasurer wants businesses to work with an insolvency practitioner to come up with a plan to repay accumulating debts over time, rather than handing over the keys to an administrator and seeing their assets sold.
Scott Morrison (pictured in his office in Canberra) has said Tuesday’s budget is the most important since World War Two
‘Many businesses who are doing it tough through the Covid crisis because of health restrictions, they have had to close their doors but the liabilities have kept building up.
‘The focus is to give those business owners more control as they deal with these liabilities,’ Mr Frydenberg said last month.
The change will apply to businesses with liabilities of less than $1million, about 76 per cent of small businesses which are insolvent.
The planned changes follow the extension of temporary insolvency protections to support small businesses impacted by Covid-19.
If you work in regional tourism…
The budget sets aside $50million for a regional tourism recovery initiative to assist businesses in regions heavily reliant on international tourism.
Federal Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham said tourism regions had been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic and border closures.
This additional funding will help them to bounce back by firstly attracting more Australians and then overseas visitors when international borders reopen, he said.
In year to June 30 the economy took a 6.3 per cent hit, the worst figure since the depths of the Great Depression when it shrank by about 10 per cent, and a greater contraction than after the Second World War in 1945 when growth tumbled by 5.1 per cent as troops returned home
‘Tourism is such an important job creator and driver of many regional economies,’ Senator Birmingham said in a statement.
‘We want to make sure that our tourism regions are in the best possible shape on the other side of the Covid-19 pandemic.’
John Hart, executive chair of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Tourism, said the package provides some hope for the region’s worst affected companies.
‘This fund will help address the great divide in tourism between the regions that have been able to capitalise on some intrastate visitation and those that have not,’ he said in a statement.