It’s been a week of the budget – through every media outlet including a top trending topic on twitter (globally).
Much anticipated, yet the Rudd Government delivered a fairly bland, beige budget.
Not much cash-throwing about to try to grab votes, the Government is trying to show us that it is responsible and conservative in its efforts to get Australia back on track financially.
It claims we will be back in black within 3 years.The budget may be beige but the Government is banking on Australians viewing them as the way to get us out of all this debt. We’ll see.
ABN member Anna Kyriacou has written an overview of the budget so I won’t go too much into detail into the specifics.
However here is my take on the 2010 Budget:
The good news:
Lower taxes, less red tape.This is good news for everyone in business.
There will be a reduction in company tax to 28%, with small businesses having a year jumpstart (2012-13) before all companies benefit.This will enable extra investment back into the business to fund growth. Good move. Of course there is also the 3% superannuation guarantee hike for businesses to fund (up to 12% by 2020). But with an ageing population there has to be some more investment into retirement. We always knew that one was coming.
When I was a member of the Federal Small Business Council the #1 complaint from small businesses was the amount of reporting and compliance required by the Government. This budget has addressed part of this with the simplification of asset depreciation. Small businesses will be able to write off assets under $5000 immediately and write off all other assets at 30% (except buildings).
Also, there will be a new national business name registry. This eliminates the need for businesses to register their trading names in each state (with a fee each time).
Growing up in the US, aka the land of super expensive health care, this has always been a hot topic for me. The Government is providing $2b in extra funding for health. I think this is good news for all Australians.Some of the initiatives will include: 23 new super clinics, 400 upgraded clinics, training of more nurses, funding for 5,000 nurses in GP clinics, and a new nationwide system of after-hours medical care.
The other exciting thing is the Government is introducing electronic personal health records in 2012. This will make it much easier for doctors to send your health history to referring doctors etc. Welcome to the digital age!
The Bad News:
There is one area where the Government has seriously let down families:Childcare.
The Government has rolled back the Child Care Rebate cap to $7500 (previously $7778).$278 per year doesn’t sound like a lot but with childcare costing as high as $125 per day per child every bit helps. The skyrocketing cost of childcare is a major problem for many families. Women who choose to work must balance this cost with what they earn and for many women working has become a luxury.
And there isn’t going to be relief. With the introduction of the one-carer-to-four-children ratios childcare fees will only increase.
The other problem with the current system is the CCR (Child Care Rebate) is only available for “approved care” not “registered” day care centres, many of which are family day care and the preferred option for many families.But that is another blog….
Overall, I think there are some positive changes for small business and business generally (if you’re not in the resources sector!) in this budget. Also Health will certainly get a much-needed boost. But the Government must address the childcare issue – it will not go away and is becoming a heavy burden on many Australian families.