Coming much too soon after the last one, another Federal Budget has been announced by Australia’s Treasurer Josh Frydenberg. So where’s all our money heading over the next year?
Here’s all the big news out of Australia’s 2021 Budget.
The JobSeeker scheme has been lifted ever so slightly to $615 a fortnight. However, the government is also raising mutual obligations, requiring individuals to apply for 20 jobs a month to receive their funds.
On top of this will be a new “employer tip-off” line that allows employers to report job seekers who aren’t genuine in their search.
The Jobmaker program is being extended for another year, which subsidises wages for workers under 35. $500 million is also going to the JobTrainer scheme which provides training in critical industries and aims to reduce youth unemployment.
$7.8 billion has been put in to extend the low and middle-income tax offset for another 12 months. The breakdown is as follows:
- Earning $37,000 or less = $225 tax offset
- Earning between $37,001 and $48,000 = $255 plus 7.5c for every dollar above $37,000 (maximum of $1,080)
- Earning between $48,001 and $90,000 = $1,080
- Earning between $90,001 and $126,000 = $1,080 minus 3c for every dollar above $90,000
These refunds will be applied in the 2021-2022 financial year.
3. Superannuation changes
As predicted, the 2021 budget included some changes to superannuation.
The minimum earnings threshold of $450 a week has been cut, meaning employers will need to contribute super to those on lower-income wages.
Self-funded retirees will also no longer be subject to the work test, which will allow them to contribute money directly into their super funds.
4. Funds for women’s health
$354 million is going towards women’s health.
This includes more funding for cervical and breast cancer screening programs, money for pre and postnatal depression services, embryo screenings during IVF, programs to reduce eating disorders and money for pain management programs for endometriosis.
$357m will also be funnelled into domestic violence prevention over the next three years.
5. Homebuyer schemes
The government provided money towards a number of schemes for first home buyers in the 2021 budget. These include:
- 10,000 single parents will be able to receive a government loan with just a 2% deposit, and first home buyers will be eligible with a 5% deposit.
- The First Home Super Saver will allow Australians to pull $50,000 from their superannuation to put towards a house purchase.
- The HomeBuilder program will be extended to 18 months, which allows owner-occupiers a grant of up to $25,000 to renovate or build a home.
6. Mental health
$2.3 billion is going to mental health with $298 million going towards suicide prevention, $250 million for early intervention and $1.4 billion towards a new network of mental health treatment centres. $202 million will also go towards increasing the workforce in this area.
Because COVID-19 isn’t going anywhere, an extra $1.9 billion will be injected into Australia’s vaccine rollout strategy over the next five years. $1.5 billion will also go to COVID-19 related services like testing, contact tracing, clinics and telehealth.
8. MyGov and My Health Record updates
Two of the government’s biggest digital platforms, MyGov and My Health Record, have been given funding this budget which will, hopefully, make them both easier to use.
My Health Record is getting $300 million which will help it with COVID-19 related upgrades such as test results and vaccination proof. MyGov gets $200.1 million for some long-overdue updates as well as a chatbot.
9. Other winners from the 2021 budget
There were some interesting and much-needed funding additions included within the Federal Budget for 2021. Here are some of the winners.
$17.7 billion will go towards the aged care budget over the next five years. This portion is aimed at clearing aged care home waiting lists and funding more jobs in this sector.
The gaming industry is receiving a 30% digital games tax offset for businesses that spend at least $500,000 on games expenditure.
$1.2 billion has been set aside for natural disasters over the next five years. This includes money to prepare, respond to and recover from natural disasters and funds will go towards projects in bushfire-affected areas
Child care will receive $1.7 billion over the next three years with the $10,560 cap on households with income over $189,390 being lifted. Families with two or more children in childcare will be able to claim 95% for each child.
Small brewers and distillers are getting $255 million in the way of tax relief with the cap moving from $100,000 to $350,000.
The arts industry is also getting some much-needed funding with $125 million worth of grants across productions, festivals and events. The film and TV industry will get an extra $51 million and independent cinemas get a share of $20m.
10. Who missed out?
It happens with every federal budget, but there were some losers this year.
Sadly the budget is lacking any direct support for renewables, with the government choosing to put money into low emission technologies instead. $275 million will go towards four extra hydrogen production hubs in regional areas and $237 million will support carbon capture and storage projects. Removing the luxury tax on electrical vehicles also has not been addressed.
The international travel industry will continue to suffer as the government predicts borders won’t open until 2022.
Universities have received no allocations in this budget despite suffering from a lack of international students. That being said, the government is looking into ways to bring international students back into the country despite the closed borders.
Parents are not getting the long suspected addition of super to paid parental leave.