News 2023 federal budget update. 10 May 2023 Read time: 4 min Last evening, Treasurer Jim Chalmers released the 2023 federal budget. Watch as our COO, Matt Englund, discusses some of the highlights and key considerations for businesses and households. Does the budget affect you or your business? We’re here. And we’re ready to chat. Get in touch Highlights at a glance. Can’t watch now? Read the transcript. Matt Englund: On the 9 May 2023, the federal treasurer, Jim Chalmers, delivered his second Labor budget. It’s a kinder budget than what we saw from the last years of the coalition. But it, in many instances, doesn’t go as far as some were hoping for. Labor, of course, had to balance the challenges of the inflationary environment against the challenges of the cost of living pressures that we all face today. So what’s in the budget for households? $5.7 billion for Medicare Bulk Billing. For those of us who have got kids that are 16 or younger, we should be able to find more GPs prepared to bulk bill. And for those of us who are older Australians, or who have responsibility for parents who are older Australians, again, there should be support to find GPs prepared to bulk bill. The Government’s put aside $5.7 billion dollars from this budget to support GPs to deliver this vital service. 9,500 Home Care Packages. If you’re looking for support for stay at home care for older Australians, the Government has release d funding for an additional 9,500 Home Care Packages during the course of the 23-24 financial year. Energy rebates. There is also support for energy costs. So if you’ve got a pension or if you are a Commonwealth concession card holder, then you should get access to the Government’s rebate of up to $500 for your electricity bill over the course of the next financial year. Increases for Aged Care Workers, JobSeekers and those on Rental Assistance. Those among us who do the vital work of being an aged care worker will be pretty happy today. Last night the treasurer confirmed an increase of 15% in the minimum wage for aged care workers. Long overdue and much needed for this vital care sector. For those amongst us who are recipients of rental assistance, you also got a 15% increase increase in the rental assistance payment last night. Whilst not necessarily enough and won’t relieve the rental crisis, it’s certainly a step in the right direction. For those on JobSeeker, there was a $40 per fortnight increase announced in the budget last night. And for those who are over 55, that was increased to $50 extra per fortnight. Again, it’s below the poverty line, but it’s a step in the right direction from a Labor Government who called out last night that they like to be able to do more, but they needed to balance their budget. So what’s in it for businesses? Instant Asset Write-Off. There is a $20,000 Instant Asset Write-Off. So assets less than $20,000 can be instantly deducted. Energy rebates and incentives for small businesses. And there is support for some businesses. $650 relief for energy bills and some additional relief for deductions associated with improving energy efficiency in their business. Late Lodgement Amnesty. There is also a Late Lodgement Penalty Amnesty up until the 31 December 2023. If you’ve not submitted or you need to adjust the submittance you made between December 2019 and February 2022. Please talk to us if this is something that you consider you might need to do. Changes to SGC. From 2026, all employers would be required to pay superannuation guarantee payments on the same day they paid their payroll. Important for workers, but it also needs to be taken into account when you consider the working capital requirements of our small businesses. Other things to note. So, what are some of the other things came out of last night which were important? Well, the first one is Treasure is predicting that inflation will fall next year, which is fantastic. Down to 3.25% by the middle of next year which means cost of living pressure should ease for all of us. In addition, last night, the Federal Government signalled it’s really focused on ensuring that all Australians pay the right amount of tax. They put aside some $590 million additional dollars to fund the ATO’s enforcement programs – both looking at individual tax returns, looking at corporate tax and looking at the receipt of GST. So whether you’re a business or whether you’re an individual, can I recommend that you reach out to the team? Both to do a review of what’s been previously submitted, but importantly, also do the tax planning required for the 2023 financial year. What the budget actually signals. I think the 2023 budget is an important signal to the direction that Labor will continue to head; making sure that the tax structure and the payment structure is fairer for all Australians. A large question remains outstanding as to what Labor will do over the course of the next couple of budgets… In terms of addressing some of the structural inequities that exist, where unfortunately, we’re spending substantially more than we’re earning through the tax structure. One of the questions that’s been raised is whether or Labour will continue to support the Stage Three Tax Cuts. Stage Three Tax Cuts don’t provide any support for low income earners and they provide very substantial support for those who earn between $45,000 and $200,000. The forward estimates have them costing in excess of $65 billion and potentially up to $90 billion over the next five years. That’s a lot of money to spend on those who earn between $45,000 and $200,000 a year. And it’ll be a question as to whether or not Labor continues that policy, which was a coalition policy.