Last night, the Federal Government handed down the 2022-23 Budget. To combat inflation and wage pressure, this Budget is all about putting some extra cash back into the pockets of everyday Aussies and small business owners. From record infrastructure spending to apprentice incentive schemes, tradies and the building sector won big this year.
To save you the trouble of reading the 144-page Budget paper, we’ve done a roundup of key (read: not all!) budget measures impacting our customers and the broader trade industry.
Record Infrastructure spending to boost jobs and connectivity, especially in the regions
The Government has committed an additional $17.9 billion to fund new and existing infrastructure projects to create more jobs, improve supply chain connectivity and turbocharge the economy. Water projects are highlighted as a priority with $6.9 billion set aside to expand investment in "transformational water infrastructure projects" in regional communities. For a full list of infrastructure projects, see pages 134-144, Budget Paper No. 2).
Extension of Home Guarantee Scheme
To help more Aussies break into the housing market, homeownership incentive schemes have been broadened with additional places and a new program rolled out for regional areas.
The Home Guarantee Scheme will offer 50,000 places for the next three years, guaranteeing part of an eligible home buyer’s loan with a deposit as small as 2% or 5%.
Each year, 10,000 of the places will be reserved for the new Regional Home Guarantee to help eligible Aussies purchase a home in regional areas with a 5% deposit.
The Indigenous Home Ownership Program will also help 1600 Indigenous families access home loans to either build or purchase a home.
Investment in apprenticeships and wage subsidies
To help achieve its record investment plans, the Government will invest $1.3 billion over five years to help employers hire and retain new apprentices and to reform the Australian Apprenticeships system to ensure more apprentices are joining the trades.
New apprentices in high-demand industries, including trades, will receive up to $5,000 in cash payments for the first two years of their training, while their employers can access a 10 per cent wage subsidy. In the third year, this wage subsidy will drop to 5 per cent. This replaces the 50% wage subsidy scheme. Employers who take up apprentices in non-demand occupations will also receive a $3500 hiring incentive.
Boosting Apprenticeship Commencement Wage Subsidy extended
To encourage more Aussies into trades and improve retention, the Australian Government introduced the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencement Wage Subsidy to support businesses to take on new trainees and build a pipeline of skilled workers to support Australia’s economic recovery.
Employers now have until the end of FY2022 to enrol for 12 months of wage subsidy support through the BAC. The subsidy is available to Australian Reece customers who have recently hired new employees and want to provide them with training, including PowerUp Learning courses.
Both PowerUp Learning courses in BSB40520 Certificate IV in Leadership and Management and the BSB30120 Certificate III in Business (Customer Engagement) are eligible training courses for this funding, with no restrictions on prior qualifications.
Any business that receives the BAC wage subsidy will also then be eligible for additional support through the Completing Apprenticeship Commencements (CAC) wage subsidy for the second and third year of a Boosting Apprenticeship Commencement-supported apprenticeship.
This means that any employer who takes on an apprentice or trainee by 30 June 2022 can access the following wage subsidies:
50 per cent of the eligible Australian Apprentice’s wages in the first year, capped at a maximum payment value of $7,000 per quarter per Apprentice
10 per cent of the eligible Australian Apprentice’s wages in the second year, capped at a maximum payment value of $1,500 per quarter per Apprentice, and
5 per cent of the eligible Australian Apprentice’s wages in the third year, capped at a maximum payment value of $750 per quarter per Apprentice.
Employees will also need a Traineeship Contract with an approved Apprenticeship Centre to be eligible. Our team at PowerUp Learning will set this up for you as part of its service. To find out more about eligibility click here.
Get rewarded for making your business more efficient & your people more productive
Small businesses (annual turnover of less than $50 million) will be eligible to deduct $120 for every $100 they spend on services that improve their digital capability. This means small business owners who spend on assets or services that enhance their digital capability, will be eligible for a bonus deduction of up to $100,000 per year.
Businesses will be eligible to claim deductions for a range of spending, including improvements to cybersecurity systems, portable payment devices, subscriptions to cloud-based services, e-invoicing technology, digital inventory tracking, and website design. If you’re thinking about streamlining and digitising your quoting, invoicing and supply ordering process, check out FieldPulse.
These small businesses will also be able to deduct an additional 20% of the costs spent on external training courses provided to their employees. The external training courses will need to be provided to employees in Australia or online and delivered by entities registered in Australia, like PowerUp Learning (RTO 45584).
Cost-of-Living package to provide immediate relief to everyday Aussies
To put more money “back into the pockets of hardworking Australians”, the Government has introduced a Cost-of-Living Package, providing immediate relief to Australian families and small businesses. This package includes:
Fuel excise cut in half for the next six months, saving Australians 22 cents per litre. The ACCC will monitor to ensure the relief is passed on to consumers.
One-off Cost of Living Tax Offset, providing low-and middle-income earners with an additional $420 tax relief on top of what is already provided for this financial year.
One-off $250 payment for pensioners, carers, veterans, and concession card holders paid in April 2022.
Parental Leave Scheme extended to 20 weeks for eligible working parents
From March next year, the Parental Leave Scheme will be overhauled so that new parents can share paid leave across 20 weeks. The Paid Parental Leave can be taken any time within two years of the birth or adoption of their child. Dads and partners will also be able to access the government benefit in addition to any employer-funded leave. $350,000 will be the collective income limit for households eligible for leave. As part of the new Scheme, single parents will also be able to access the full 20 weeks of paid parental leave.
Find out more about what the 2022-23 Budget means for you from the Australian Treasury.