The Australian Federal Budget

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The federal budget was delivered in May with a theme of ‘security, prosperity and growth’. What does it mean for you?

Treasurer Jim Chalmers outlined his plan to reduce inflation, keep economic growth on track and address some of the most challenging cost-of-living issues for the unemployed and for low-income households.

While the number of initiatives for small to medium-sized businesses was minimal, there were some that may be of benefit to Members.

Instant asset write-off

There are plans to extend the small business $20,000 instant asset write-off by one more year to 30 June 2024.

Small Business Energy Incentive

The proposed Small Business Energy Incentive would provide a 20% bonus tax deduction (to a maximum of $20,000) to support investments in power-saving assets such as more efficient fridges, battery systems, heat pumps and electric heating and cooling. This would be made available to businesses with a turnover of less than $50M which have the eligible investment installed and ready for use between 1 July 2023 and 30 June 2024, with limits on the total amount claimed by a business.

Non-Financial Apprentice Support

We know from our State of the Nation 2022 research that the skills shortage has had a huge impact on Members. It also told us that more and more of you are taking on apprentices to help address this issue.

However, it’s alarming to note that the number of Australians completing a trade apprenticeship per year has fallen from 57,000 to around 37,000 between 2012 and 2021.

A new proposed model for delivering non-financial apprentice support aims to improve the quality (and thus increase the completion rate) of apprenticeships by:

1. Providing every apprentice with a structured assessment on commencement.

2. Enhanced mentoring services to enable earlier access to support.

3. Providing more proactive support to apprentices over the course of their apprenticeship.

Exact details on how businesses and apprentices can access this support have yet to be released.

If you’re interested in taking advantage of any of the initiatives outlined in this article, please refer to the ATO or Australian Apprenticeships websites or speak to your accountant for further advice.

This article was published 16/08/2023 and the content is current as at the date of publication.