Running out of time to read the commentary on the federal budget for 2021/22? Here is the condensed version to get you on with your day.
Parents in 2022: Families with two or more children under five will be able to receive subsidies of up to 95 per cent of their childcare costs for the second child. This is an increase from the current rate of 85 per cent. The idea is to get people back to work in the post-pandemic era. But unfortunately, measures don’t kick in until July 2022.
Low- and middle-income earners: Up to 10 million people will receive another tax offset of up to $1,080 or $2,160 for couples in their refunds after the scheme was extended to 2023.
Downsizing retirees: People aged 60 and over will be able to use some of the money from the sale of the family home to increase their superannuation. It was previously limited to people 65 and above.
Self-funded retirees: The work test will be abolished for super contributions made by people aged 67 to 74 years old.
Business: The full expensing of assets will be extended at a cost of $20.7 billion. As Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said, “a tradie will have more time to be able to buy a ute.”
First home buyers: People saving for their first home deposit will be able to put away up to $20,000 extra in voluntary contributions as part of the First Home Super Save Scheme. The budget has increased the contribution cap from $30,000 to $50,000.
Foreign students (and tourism and hospitality businesses): Under the budget, foreign students will be able to work more than the current maximum of 40 hours per fortnight if they are employed in the tourism or hospitality sectors.
Mental health: The government will spend $2.3 billion over four years to boost mental health services including more Headspace sites, legal support and more.
Domestic violence support services: There will be more support for victims fleeing domestic violence, who will get a $300 million boost.
Working mums: It’s not been clear in the budget whether working mothers will receive superannuation for those receiving state-funded parental leave. While it was expected to be announced in this year’s budget, there were no details around the policy.
International travel: The government has confirmed that it will not be opening borders until mid-2022.
Climate: There was nothing in this year’s budget around climate change strategies. There is lots of money outlined for roads, rail and disaster mitigation but Australia is under global pressure to seriously life its effort to combat climate change.
Future generations: Australia’s deficit will reach $161 billion this year, which is more than $52 billion lower than predicted six months ago. The deficit will then drop to $57 billion in 2024-25. Net debt will also rise to $617.5 billion or 30 per cent of gross domestic product this year before peaking at $980.6 billion, or 40.9 per cent of GDP by 2024-25.