The 2022/23 Budget is a classic pre-election document, seeking to settle Australian’s nerves around the current cost of living. There are also a raft of new announcements that directly benefit small businesses and encourage investment in employee skills and business digitalisation. So good, and so unexpected, has been Australia's economic improvement over the past four months, it has wiped one-third of the projected 2022-23 budget deficit.
Cost of living payments and tax offsets
The low and middle income tax offset will be boosted this year by $420 to a maximum tax refund of $1,500 for individuals. Welfare recipients and seniors will receive one-off payments of $250, which will be delivered in April.
Small business tax breaks
For every $100 a small business spends on training their employees, they will get a $120 tax deduction. They can claim the same deduction for every $100 spent on digital technologies such as cloud computing, e-invoicing, cyber security and web design.
Fuel excise cuts
Petrol and diesel excise will be halved for six months before returning to the current indexed rate. From midnight on Tuesday the petrol excise will halve from 44.2 cents a litre of petrol or diesel to 22.1 cents, at a net cost of $3bn to the budget.
Covid tests to be tax deductible
The costs of taking a Covid test to attend a place of work will be tax deductible for individuals from 1 July. In making these costs tax deductible, the government will also ensure fringe benefits tax will not be incurred by businesses where Covid tests are provided to employees.
Paid parental leave
Paid parental leave will receive a permanent boost in the budget. Parents will be able to claim a total of 20 weeks of leave, to be shared between them as they see fit, including single parents who will be eligible for the full 20 weeks for the first time. The measure will cost $346m over five years.
The budget allocates an additional $2.4bn over four years for new medicines added to the pharmaceutical benefits scheme, including Trodelvy, used to treat a rare form of breast cancer, saving patients up to $80,000 for each treatment.
Housing and home ownership
The government will increase the number of people able to access the home loan guarantee scheme to 50,000 a year for three years from 2022-23 and then 35,000 a year ongoing to support homebuyers to purchase a home with a lower deposit. The guarantee allows homebuyers to buy with a deposit of 5%, without requiring them to take on mortgage insurance.
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