On Tuesday, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will reveal the most eagerly awaited budget (literally — we’ve been waiting since April) in recent history.
In true budget fashion, plenty of the good parts have already been leaked (or surfaced by solid reporting). Here’s some of what we know:
A big deficit
Thanks to the pandemic, we always knew the deficit would be big. Today, The Australian reports it’ll peak at a little over $210 billion. There won’t be a surplus until 2024-25. You can keep those “back in black” mugs locked away.
The Australian Financial Review has confirmed the government’s widely-anticipated plans to backdate stage two and three of income tax cuts to July 1 this year.
They were originally slated to be introduced in 2022 and 2024 respectively, but the Coalition says bringing them forward will provide valuable economic stimulus — even if the main beneficiaries will be higher income earners.
More tax cuts
The government will remove the fringe benefits tax from businesses retraining workers who are redundant or about to become redundant.
Tradie wage subsidies
The government is promising more than $1 billion in wage subsidies for employers to take on 100,000 new apprentices. It’s more red meat to Morrison’s tradie base, which received $1.5 billion in wage subsidies in July.
Local manufacturing boost
Domestic manufacturing will get a $1.5 billion boost over the next four years (or $375 million a year if we’re reading beyond the drop), which the government says will “transform” the sector by boosting domestic supply chains and targeting key industries.
Young Australians on JobSeeker or Youth Allowance will be given incentives to work on farms — although we don’t have the fine print on how that’ll work just yet.
Airline support extended
The government will continue to underwrite domestic airlines — until January 31 for domestic flights, and until March 28 for regional flights.
A boost for the West
Western Australia will get a $1.1 billion infrastructure package, which the government says will create 7000 jobs.
Cash for the regions
Last week, the government revealed a $250 million regional tourism package — $200 million for boosting infrastructure, and $50 million for revitalising businesses in the worst-hit areas.
NBN, digital upgrade
The government will spend $3.5 billion upgrading the National Broadband Network to the fibre-to-the-home model it spent a decade attacking. It’s part of a $7 billion plan to “fast-track” Australia’s digital economy — including improving cyber-security.
Film and TV
Local film and television will get another $53 million investment over the next two years. In July, Employment Minister Michaelia Cash and Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced tax incentives for overseas film and TV producers to bring their productions to Australia.
First home buyers scheme extended
Another 10,000 first home buyers will now be able to access a scheme that allows them to get a home loan with a 5% deposit.