Scott Morrison focused on creating jobs, tax relief and hospital funding this year. Here are some of the pleasant and unpleasant Budget measures included in the Federal Budget 2018:
First, many will rejoice that over 10 million low and middle income earners will get a tax break of up to $530 a year or $10 a week starting 2019. The government is hoping for its seven-year personal tax cut package to be realised after multiple elections and Senate crossbench negotiations.
The offset will increase incrementally for those who earn between $37,000 and $48,000, before the $530 offset will be applied to those with an income of $48,000 to $90,000. The benefit will decrease to zero for taxable incomes of around $125,000.
A combat bracket creep will also be introduced in stages starting July 2019. People who earn between $87,000 and $90,000 will return to the lower tax bracket and pay 32.5% rather than 37% in tax. The Senate still needs to approve this before it becomes a law.
Boutique brewed beer will also be cheaper after a tax cut that provided excise relief to beer makers filling kegs over 48 kg and the government has committed $24.5 billion to road and rail projects across the country as well. Other budget winners include small businesses whose instant asset write offs for purchases less than $20,000 will be extended; and retirees who will be able to earn an increased $300 a fortnight without it affecting their pension.
Meanwhile, here are the losers. A Tobacco Task Force has also been created to focus on the illegal tobacco industry, clawing back $3.6 billion in four years. Importers will be required to pay all duty and tax at the border as a task force targets organized crime groups.
Amazon, Facebook and Google will have to pay more tax to crackdown digital economy. The government will continue its crackdown on black economy, money laundering and multinational tax avoidance while the trial of cashless debit cards for welfare recipients to stop drug use will be extended. The ATO will roll out auditors, teams and a community hotline to target those who avoid tax and hide transactions.
National broadcaster ABC will have a budget cut of $83.7 million in three years and will save taxpayers $3.16 over the same period. Starting 1 July 2019, overseas business involved in online shopping will also be required to calculate their GST turnover the same way as local sellers.
High-profile individuals won’t be able to take advantage of lower tax rates by licensing their fame or image to another entity anymore. These are actors and sportspeople who can license their image of fame to a trust or business. Income from their image or fame goes to the entity for tax benefits. However, all remuneration will soon be included in the individual’s assessable income.
Port operators will also have a new levy of $10 million per foot container or $1 per tonne for non-containerised cargo as the government spends about $360 million to identify and address exotic pests and diseases.
The government will prevent modern slavery in supply chains and business operations at a cost of $3.6 million. New migrants, on the other hand, would have to wait longer to access benefits from three to four years. This will save the government $202.5 million in five years. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority will also implement stricter rules in terms of drone use.
Other key points
The government will invest $160.9 million to improve the accuracy, integrity and availability of satellite navigation and increase GPS accuracy across Australia and its maritime zones. The country will also have its own space agency at a cost of $26 million and an extra $15 million to help partner with international programs and agencies. $49 million will be spent to commemorate James Cook’s first voyage to Australia and the Pacific as well.
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory records will be transferred to the to the Attorney-General’s Department for $500,000. Operation Sovereign Borders, on the other hand, will have $62.2 million more over two years to stop smuggling, offshore detention and resettlement arrangements.
Meanwhile, Australians will spend $35.7 million for a science program which will study the Antarctic’s ecosystems and climate and $19.2 million to open a new Consulate-General in India and a new High Commission in Tuvalu. The government will spend $6 million to expand engagement with emerging Indo-Pacific leaders as well.
The Football Federation Australia will receive $4 million to prepare for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup while the International Cricket Council’s subsidiary will receive a five-year income tax exemption for the ICC World Twenty20. $10.1 million will be allocated to sports and on building a more active Australia including anti-doping measures.
There will be more cruise ships bound for Sydney with a $300,000 budget and hopefully more international investment in the film industry with a budget of $140 million for a Location Incentive Funding Program. A $30 million budget collected from criminals will go to the Safer Communities Fund to support crime prevention initiatives including purchases of lights, bollards and CCTV. A $1.6 million budget will fund a national apology project that will benefit victims of institutional child sexual abuse as well. The Australian Organ Donor Register will receive $400,00 to create awareness and help Australian receive organ transplants.
Lastly, the government will provide $50.3 million to support the Dutch prosecution of those responsible for crashing flight MH17 in 2014. The funding will help the families of the victims.
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