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Families, workers, business - What does the Budget 2015 mean for you?

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Posted by Rebeccah Elley

With last year’s Federal Budget announcement dubbed by many as a “political disaster”, this time round Joe Hockey has ensured his second budget would not receive the same fate.

What makes any Budget a success? The answer is affordable childcare for families, generous tax relief for small businesses and more money pumped into Australia’s infrastructure.

Want to know more but don’t want to spend endless hours trawling through the 2015-16 Federal Budget (like we did)? Read our quick run through of how it could affect you:

Families

It’s good news for mums and dads with young children, as the Government has announced a range of schemes aimed at giving “parents more choice and opportunity to work”.

What are families getting? A mega $4.4 billion is set to go towards making childcare more affordable and from 1 July 2017 families that earn $65,000 or less will get help with 85% of their child care fees and families earning around $170,000 or more will receive 50%. However keep in mind:

  • Aptly named the ‘No Jab, No Pay’ rule, to be eligible for any family benefits of this year’s Budget from 1 January 2016 your children must be vaccinated.
  • Another thing to be mindful of is if you’re a parent-to-be, you will no longer be able to ‘double dip’ when it comes to maternity leave. Previously, mums could take advantage of both their employers and the Government’s maternity leave offerings.

Mature workers

We all know Australia’s population is ageing. Who hasn’t seen the TV ads by Dr Karl about the Intergenerational Report?

So with the number of Australians aged 65 and over projected to more than double by 2055 compared with today, Hockey is pushing initiatives in this Budget to help mature workers get back into the the employment game.

What are mature workers getting? Employers will be encouraged to hire job seekers aged 50 or over that have been on income support for more than six months with the revised Restart payment schedule. Under the new changes employers will be offered subsidies sooner. For instance, previously $10,000 was given to employers over 24 months but now this timeframe has been reduced to a 12 month period.

Small business owners

One of this year’s Budget aims is to “build productivity and increase participation in the workforce” and the best way to do this, is of course, to generate jobs through helping small businesses.

What are small businesses getting? A mega package worth $5.5 billion including $5 billion of tax relief. Here are the two main areas that small businesses benefit:

  • $20,000 per item tax deduction. Business owners can now claim a tax deduction of $20,000 per asset item (think computers, cars, supplies etc), whereas the previous limit was only $1,000. And the great thing is small businesses don’t have to wait for the changes to pass through senate, instead they were effective from Budget night, until the end of June 2017. 
  • Tax rate cut. Do you own a business that turns over less than $2 million? Then you’re sure to be happy come next EOFY because from 1 July 2015 you will have your company tax rate dropped by 1.5 percentage points to 28.5%. And on top of this you’ll receive a 5% tax deduction.

Young people looking for work

With small businesses receiving the above benefits from this year’s Budget, it is expected to have a positive roll on effect for young Aussies on the hunt for employment, as less financial pressure on small businesses should, in turn, increase the number of jobs available.

What are young job hunters getting? $330 million will go towards new job initiatives aimed at employers and young job seekers, including $18 million towards work experience for around 6,000 job seekers each year for up to four weeks.

Commuters

Getting to and from work will soon become a lot speedier, thanks to the $50 billion to be pumped into improving Australia’s road and rail network, which will boost jobs in this area.

Which states are benefiting? It’s good news for Northern Australian residents, as a nice chunk of $5 billion will be taken out of that $50 billion to be put towards better roads, rail and power infrastructure. And Western Australia will receive a new freight rail link in Western Australia.

So that’s Mozo’s rundown of the Budget 2015-16. What do you think of Hockey’s plans?

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