The biggest winners from this year’s Australian Budget are national security and small businesses. Former university students living overseas are also about to feel the pinch with a crackdown on HECS and HELP.
Researchers –Scientific and Medical
- The National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy was refunded for $300 million for two years
- Medical researchers received $400 million for research projects
- Businesses with annual turnover less than $2 million can claim a 100% tax deduction for every item up to a value of $20,000 they purchase, starting from budget night.
- Smaller, unincorporated businesses will see a five percent tax discount
- Start-ups can immediately deduct expenses incurred when setting up their company (such as legal fees)
- Farmers in drought-affected areas will:
- Receive $35 million through a new grants system
- Have $25 million available to counter pest animals
- Receive $250 million to continue the Drought Concessional Loan Scheme
- Receive $20 million towards community support services for an extra 20 local government areas and $1.8 million for more counsellors
- Cattle farmers in the north will receive $101.3 million in funds over four years to improve road infrastructure for cattle supply chains.
- $450 million will go towards resources for various intelligence agencies:
- $296 million of that will go toward enhancing the technological capabilities of Australia’s intelligence-gathering agencies
- $50 million of that will go toward training the new Australian Border Force’s officers
- $22 million will go toward social media monitoring to help counter online extremism (such as extremist dogmal from groups like Islamic State)
- $131 million will go to the telecommunications industry to help cost of keeping customers’ metadata for two years (new metadata collection law)
- $3.5 billion will be allocated over five years to help access to child care.
- Parents will be able to access Child Care Subsidy from 1 July 2017 where families earning $65,000 or less will have 85 percent of their fees subsidised.
- Australians overseas with government HELP debts will have to contribute a portion of their income to loan repayments from July 2017
- Australians overseas with a HELP debt will have to register with the ATO before July 2017
- University graduates living overseas will have to repay HECS debt
- Australian pensioners will have the rate of their payments cut after being overseas for six weeks (as opposed to 26 weeks)
- Visitors on a working holiday will now have to pay tax at 32.5% on every dollar they earn up to $80,000 (no more $18,000 tax free threshold)
- “Netflix tax” is estimated to raise $350 million
- Overseas digital products and services will be subject to GST from July 2017
- Wage increases to justify cost-of-living pressures will result in people being pushed into higher income tax brackets
- Aid will be cut by 40 percent
IMAGE: Stock image via Shutterstock.com/wael khalil alfuzai