The highly anticipated 2022/2023 Federal Budget has just been released. The coalition has predicted a budget deficit of $78 billion, which is forecasted to drop to 1.6 per cent over the next three years.
With promises to guide Australia through a post-pandemic world, this year’s budget focuses on a cost-of-living relief package, job creation and training, and a focus on women in the workplace.
Here are some highlights:
1. Promises for training and education
The Federal Government has announced a $2.8 billion package to encourage apprenticeships and employee retention in response to the skill shortage post-pandemic. The Australian Apprenticeship Incentive System has been announced, which will provide support to employers and apprentices.
The scheme will include cash payments of up to $5000 for apprentices across their two years of training. Businesses can also access a 20 per cent tax deduction for the cost of external training for employees, as well as an additional lump sum payment for digital technologies to be purchased for training in the workplace.
2. Low to middle-income tax offset
The low to middle-income tax offset will continue into the 2021-2022 financial year. In addition, a new $420 cost of living boost will provide workers with a $1,500 tax relief at tax time.
This is not a payment that taxpayers will receive, rather it will be taken off payments during tax time.
3. One-off cost-of-living payments
To combat inflation and cost of living pressures, the Government is providing a one-off tax-exempt payment of $250 for pensioners, welfare recipients, veterans and eligible concession cardholders.
Along with this payment, the Government will be reducing fuel prices by 50 per cent for six months. This will see petrol and diesel cuts from 44.2 cents per litre to 22.1 centres per litre.
4. PAYG tax calculations
Included in the Federal Budget are highly anticipated improvements to small business cash flow, including changes to pay-as-you-go tax calculations. This will see a reduction of the GDP ‘uplift’ rate from 10 per cent, to 2 per cent.
The Government states this will improve the cash flow of around 2.3 million tax-paying businesses.
5. How the federal budget will benefit women
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has announced that there are “more women in the workforce than ever before,” but he admits there is more work to do for gender equality.
The Government has announced a record $1.3 billion towards ending violence against women and children. The new investment will support the new initiative – National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-2032.
Over $480 million has also been allocated to help women advance in their careers, including new initiatives to encourage women to take on more senior roles and leadership opportunities in the workplace.