7 Things from Australia’s 2022 Federal Budget That You Should Know About

7 Things from Australia’s 2022 Federal Budget That You Should Know About
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New year, new budget. The federal government has outlined how it wants to spend the country’s money over the next year, with some interesting funding and cuts across the board in the 2022 budget.

Take note, seeing as we’re due to have a federal election in the next couple of months, the budget is more of a set of promises right now. Should the Coalition be re-elected then this is what we can expect from the federal budget.

Main takeaways from the 2022 federal budget

1. Cost of living one-off payments

The federal budget outlined a couple of one-off cost of living payments for low and middle-income earning Australians.

Six million Australians who are currently on government payments (including Youth Allowance and Jobseeker) are set to nab a one-off $250 payment in April. The amount is tax-free but if you’re receiving support from more than one government scheme, you’ll still only get one payment.

This will be the last year of the low and middle-income tax offset that the government introduced in 2019, but the payment is being increased by an additional $420 for its final year. This means you earn a get an extra $420 on top of whatever you were set to receive from the offset when you file your 2022 tax return.

Those who pay tax but earn under $126,001 per year are eligible for the scheme.

2. Fuel excise

The Russia/Ukraine conflict has seen fuel prices skyrocket worldwide, including here in Australia.

To try and subsidise this the government has cut the fuel excise in half for the next six months, meaning motorists will save 22.1 cents per litre.

On September 28, the fuel excise will revert to 44.2 cents per litre.

3. Health

In anticipation of COVID-19 continuing to plague us in 2022-2023, the federal budget has allocated $4.2 billion to the pandemic response. $1 billion of that will be dedicated to further vaccine rollout and $2.6 billion towards supplies like protective equipment and RATs.

Women’s health also got a boost with $58 million going towards the treatment of endometriosis.

Tests for conditions like cystic fibrosis, spinal muscular atrophy and fragile X syndrome will be free under Medicare from late 2023.

Mental health was also something that got a specific call out in the federal budget. The National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention plan is getting $547 million of additional funding which will support regional initiatives, enhanced services through Headspace and Lifeline and improved access to affordable support and training.

Those on a mental health plan will also receive extra partially-subsidised visits to a psychologist through Medicare.

4. Parental leave

The government’s paid parental leave scheme is shifting with this budget. At the moment, mothers can access 18 weeks of parental leave, but fathers or other primary carers are only covered for two weeks.

By March 1 next year, these schemes will be combined, allowing parents to access 20 weeks of paid parental leave and split it between them however they want. Single parents will also have access to this same scheme.

The government also plans to broaden eligibility by giving any household that earns under $350,000 access to paid parental leave.

5. First Home Buyers

The government’s Home Guarantee scheme is expanding to 50,000 spots a year for the next three years. This allows people to enter the market with just 5% of a home deposit, with the government guaranteeing a portion of up to 15%.

35,000 places will be dedicated to first home buyers and 10,000 spots will go to regional homebuyers who are either buying their first home or re-entering the property market.

6. Other winners from the 2022 budget

There were some interesting and much-needed funding additions included in the Federal Budget for 2022. Here are some of the winners.

Australia’s cyber defence capabilities are being boosted with a $9.9 billion package aiming to increase our country’s cyber preparedness with more jobs for computer programmers and software engineers.

$1 billion is going towards the protection of the Great Barrier Reef, with funds allocated to improving water quality and boosting research and reef management.

Disaster relief is also a priority in the budget with the government expecting to spend $6 billion on the 2022 NSW and QLD floors, with at least $3 billion going towards income and housing support services, repairs for businesses and farmers and community clean up and recovery.

A new $2.8 billion incentive scheme for apprentices is being introduced. Under this scheme, the government will provide wage subsidies (up to $4,500 in the first year) to businesses taking on trainees in priority fields. What is considered a priority field is yet to be announced. Apprentices will also be able to access $5,000 in funds for training support that will be split across two years.

7. Who missed out in the 2022 Federal budget?

It happens with every federal budget, but there were some losers this year.

Renewables have been neglected for yet another year. Instead, the government is funnelling money towards low-emissions technologies like hydrogen. Climate change was also a term that was largely ignored in the budget papers.

The arts, which has already been hit particularly hard by the pandemic, was not given any further support in the 2022 budget. In fact, spending on the arts is set to be cut under the new budget by almost $200 million in 2022-23.

Again, a reminder that this is an election year so all of the above will depend on the outcome of the polls in May.

If you’re interested in perusing the very long, federal budget in full you can see the papers here, or read Frydenberg’s speech here.


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