What the 2024 Federal Budget means for you

The highly anticipated 2024 Federal Budget has promised to address the continued rising cost of living stress, with energy bill relief at the forefront of these measures.

Treasurer Dr Jim Chalmers handed down the government’s third Budget, determined to deliver cost of living relief without adding to inflation.

The latest MYOB Business Monitor research of 1,000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) shows that Budget measures that relieve cost-of-living pressure are at the top of the list for SMEs, above the removal of red tape and lowering of the company tax rate.

A separate survey of 1,000 consumers, commissioned in the weeks leading up to the Budget, found that cost-of-living is impacting 56% of Australian consumers. Sixty-five percent said they’re spending less on food delivery or going out for meals, and 62% are spending less on entertainment. This, in turn, impacts the bottom line of the nation’s 2.5+ million SMEs.

What’s in it for small businesses

The 2024–25 Federal Budget has introduced several measures to support small businesses in Australia. Here are the key takeaways:

Tax Cuts and Incentives:

Once enacted, an extension of the $20,000 instant asset write-off until June 30, 2025, will enable small businesses to deduct the cost of new assets immediately. Up to four million small businesses will receive an expected $290 million in cash flow support to help with immediate financial pressures.

Energy Bill Relief:

The Budget allocates $3.5 billion in new energy bill relief, affecting one million small businesses. This includes a rebate that helps reduce operational costs associated with energy prices.

Support for Innovation and Sustainability:

The introduction of the $22.7 billion Future Made in Australia package, which includes production tax incentives and funding for innovation, particularly in green industries, offers opportunities for small businesses to innovate and adapt to new technologies.

Infrastructure and Housing Investments:

Significant investment in housing and infrastructure has been announced, including efforts to clear local infrastructure bottlenecks and fund more social and affordable housing. This can stimulate local economies and create opportunities for small businesses involved in construction and related services.

Enhanced Competition and Regulatory Relief:

Measures to boost competition and reduce compliance costs, including strengthening the mergers regime and abolishing nuisance tariffs. This will help small businesses by lowering barriers to entry and reducing regulatory burdens.

These initiatives are designed to ease cost of living pressures, support economic growth, and enhance the capabilities of small businesses to thrive in a changing economic landscape.

Skills and Education:

Tertiary goals

Setting a national target of 8 out of 10 workers achieving a tertiary qualification by 2050.

$350  million for fee-free, uni-ready courses to offer places to those seeking tertiary qualifications.

$500 million for priority industries like clean energy, construction, and manufacturing and to support women in careers in these fields.

$88.8 million over three years for 20,000 new fee-free TAFE places.

Student debt

Wiping $3bn in student debt from 3 million Australians – average saving of $1200.

Financial services and superannuation changes:

The Government will provide $7.5 million over four years from 2024–25 (and $1.5 million per year ongoing) to modernise regulatory frameworks for financial services, improving competition and consumer protections for services enabled by new technology.

The Government will develop and consult on legislation to licence and regulate platforms that hold digital assets and progress related reforms, including continuing exploratory work on Central Bank Digital Currencies, asset tokenisation and decentralised finance.

A new regulatory framework will also be established for payment service providers (including digital wallets and electronically stored value providers), including licensing and a mandated ePayments Code.

$1.1 billion has been allocated to pay superannuation on Government-funded Paid Parental Leave, with funding allocated to SMEs to support this initiative.

$187.4 million is being provided to protect better taxpayer data and Commonwealth revenue against fraudulent attacks on the tax and superannuation systems. Funding will upgrade the ATO’s information and communications technologies and increase their fraud prevention capabilities. This will ensure the ATO has dedicated resources to manage increasing risk, prevent revenue loss, and support victims of fraud and cybercrime.



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