This year’s Federal Budget was a vital one for Australians and the caravan and camping industry, as the government aims to navigate the economy through a recession and into a post-covid world. At the core of the budget announcement was the need to drive expenditure through investment, infrastructure development, tax incentives, capital expenditure and increasing consumer confidence.
There was a lot to unpack in the budget and we provide the following overview of the key announcements of relevance to our industry.
JobMaker Hiring Credit
The Government will provide $4.0 billion over three years from 2020-21 to accelerate employment growth by supporting organisations to take on additional employees through a hiring credit. The JobMaker Hiring Credit will be available to eligible employers over 12 months from 7 October 2020 for each additional new job they create for an eligible employee.
Eligible employers who can demonstrate that the new employee will increase overall employee headcount and payroll will receive $200 per week if they hire an eligible employee aged 16 to 29 years or $100 per week if they hire an eligible employee aged 30 to 35 years. The JobMaker Hiring Credit will be available for up to 12 months from the date of employment of the eligible employee with a maximum amount of $10,400 per additional new position created.
To be eligible, the employee will need to have worked for a minimum of 20 hours per week, averaged over a quarter, and received the JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance (other) or Parenting Payment for at least one month out of the three months prior to when they are hired.
Further information: https://budget.gov.au/2020-21/content/jobmaker.htm#two
Boosting Apprentices Wage Subsidy
From 5 October 2020 to 30 September 2021, businesses of any size can claim the new Boosting Apprentices Wage Subsidy for new apprentices or trainees who commence during this period. Eligible businesses will be reimbursed up to 50 per cent of an apprentice or trainee’s wages worth up to $7,000 per quarter, capped at 100,000 places. The wage subsidy will support school leavers and workers displaced by the COVID-19 related downturn to secure sustainable employment.
The Government will further delay the commencement of the Incentives for Australian Apprenticeships Program from 1 January 2021 to 1 July 2021, which will minimise disruption to employers and Australian apprentices
Further Information: https://www.employment.gov.au/boosting-apprenticeship-commencements
Building Better Regions Fund
An additional round (Round 5) of the long-standing fund that is designed to improve economic growth and build stronger regional communities with a total pool of $207.7 million to support investment in community infrastructure and capacity building projects in regional areas, including $100.0 million for tourism-related infrastructure projects. This funding program will be ideal for caravan parks and regional businesses looking to undertake CapEx projects.
JobMaker Digital Business Plan
The Plan supports Australia’s economic recovery by removing out-dated regulatory barriers, boosting the capability of small businesses and backs the uptake of technology across the economy. Measures announced of relevance to SME include:
- $3.0 million over four years from 2020-21 to develop a Digital Readiness Assessment tool to help businesses self-assess their digital maturity and provide them with, and to support leaders of Australian organisations to improve their digital literacy and decision-making.
- $19.2 million in 2020-21 to expand the Australian Small Business Advisory Services— Digital Solutions program to an additional 10,000 small businesses.
- $2.5 million in 2020-21 to support an industry-led Digital Skills Finder Platform to enable Australian workers and small to medium enterprises to easily find digital skills training courses for reskilling and upskilling in digital literacy.
Further Information: https://www.pmc.gov.au/sites/default/files/digital-business-plan-summary.pdf
Road Vehicle Standards Act and Road Safety
The government has announced that $7.3 million over four years from 2020-21 for implementation of the Road Vehicle Standards Act 2018 will be committed. This in addition to $2.0B over two years to deliver road safety initiatives including a $5.5 million National Road Safety Data Hub to create the next National Road Safety Strategy 2021-2030.
Future Fuels Fund
$74.5 million over four years from 2020-21 to create the Future Fuels Fund, which would enable businesses to integrate new vehicle technologies, perform integration analysis and develop improved information on electric vehicles and charging infrastructure. Further Information: https://www.minister.industry.gov.au/ministers/taylor/media-releases/investment-new-energy-technologies
The Government will provide $159.6 million over four years from 2020-21 to implement reforms to superannuation to improve outcomes for superannuation fund members. The reforms, which will reduce the number of duplicate accounts held by employees as a result of changes in employment and prevent new members joining underperforming funds, include:
- the Australian Taxation Office will develop systems so that new employees will be able to select a superannuation product from a table of MySuper products through the YourSuper portal.
- an existing superannuation account will be ‘stapled’ to a member to avoid the creation of a new account when that person changes their employment. Future enhancements will enable payroll software developers to build systems to simplify the process of selecting a superannuation product for both employees and employers through automated provision of information to employers entering the job market or retraining.
Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT)
This measure implemented from 2 October 2020 will remove the tax penalty on employer-provided efforts to upskill their employees to take on new roles. It will assist businesses bring their employees along as they adapt to a changing environment and new ways of doing business. It will boost job security and reduce costs for business.
Instant Asset Write-Off expanded
The Government has increased and extended the instant asset write-off to provide more support to businesses to invest, lowering taxes by an estimated $3.2 billion over the next two years. On 12 March 2020, the Government announced that it would increase the instant asset write-off threshold to $150,000 (up from $30,000) and expand access to include businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million (up from $50 million) until 30 June 2020. The Government has extended the $150,000 instant asset write-off for an additional six months until 31 December 2020.
- Personal income tax relief of $17.8 billion, with $12.4 billion over the next 12 months
- Stage 2 personal tax cuts brought forward to 2020-21
- A one-off additional low to middle income tax offset in 2020-21, of up to $2,745 for singles and $5,490 for dual income
- Business Investment – temporary full-expensing of any eligible depreciable investment by a business with a turnover of up to $5 billion
- Temporary loss carry-back – allowing companies with a loss of up to $5 billion to off-set losses against previous profits on which tax has been paid.
- The Government will refund or waive the visa application charge (VAC) for temporary visa holders affected by the COVID-19 travel ban.
- $51 million Regional Tourism Recovery Initiative to support Australia’s most hard hit tourism regions
- $50 million Business events grants program to get events, conferences and trade shows up and running again
- $231.6 million for Tourism Australia in 2020-21 to ramp-up domestic marketing campaigns and be strongly positioned to commence international marketing campaigns when the time is right
- $319 million for Australia’s parks and heritage areas to enhance the visitor experience at these iconic sites, whilst also providing an economic boost through job creation.