There’s never been a budget delivered as close to a Federal Election as that presented last night by Treasurer Frydenberg. Credit where its due – the nation is forecast to return a budget surplus for the first time in more than twelve years. The government’s sound economic management has the nation back in the black (with recent help from the strengthening resources sector).
Therein lies the irony of the budget. If the Abbott, then Turnbull, now Morrison administrations could only run their party as well as the economy, the forthcoming federal election would be returning our most recent PM to The Lodge. But as in daily life and business, it’s the people issues that really matter. How you deal with your people and build harmony in any organisation is vital.
With only weeks to the election, the Coalition’s goals will be two-fold. Firstly, to convince the electorate that Scott Morrison can lead an effective and united team. Secondly, to gain interest from voters in what I believe is a very credible and positive budget. Whilst this budget obviously has an eye to the upcoming election, the tax cuts and incentives are funded from forward surpluses.
I expect this budget will be far more palatable than the tax increases promised by Labor, such as negative gearing and capital gains increases, cutting franking credits to self-funded retirees and taxing family trusts as companies.
Aside from a return to surplus, other notable features of the budget include;
1. Personal tax cuts and offsets, including an immediate doubling to $1080 of the lower- and middle-income tax offset, with longer term structural changes to personal tax rates that phase in from 2024.
2. Increasing the immediate tax write-off for new equipment up to $30,000 for small business. This is an extension of the already popular and effective $25,000 write-off that has been in place over recent years.
3. Affirmation of the significance and support of the Medicare system with considerable boosts for funding of frontline health and mental health services.
4. Robust funding of infrastructure, particularly that targeted on transport congestion and major motorways.
5. The ABC was spared further cuts, and in fact received a modest funding boost – seems having Ita Buttrose in the Chair is already getting positive outcomes for Aunty.
6. A number of incentives have been extended to age 67 for those seeking to add to their superannuation savings.
We attach a link to the Institute of Chartered Accountants Budget Report that details the many specific budget components in greater depth. I hope you find it helpful, and if it raises further queries please feel free to contact any of us at Edney Ryan on (02) 9908 9888.