2018 Federal Budget

Following the release of the 2018 Federal Budget, there’s a lot of information to digest.

To help with this, we’ve unpacked the budget’s key themes and put them in one location where you can find the main take-outs, including for healthcare, business, child care, employment, plus much more.

Agriculture

  • $225 million for better GPS technology to allow farmers to access precision agricultural technologies that allow them to more accurately sow seeds in between rows of harvested crops and manage the distribution of water, fertiliser and herbicides.
  • $51.3 million over four years to boost growth in Australia’s agriculture and food exports to secure Australia’s position as a world leading agriculture exporter and support agriculture and export jobs.
  • $140 million grant and $50 million loan for Western Australia’s Myalup-Wellington project.
  • $3.6 million over five years to extend the Indonesia-Australia Red Meat and Cattle Partnership to help support beef exports to Indonesia.
  • $6.3 million to extend funding to give farmers access to a broader range of agricultural and veterinary chemicals. This is to support collaboration between growers, chemical manufacturers and rural research and development corporations.
  • $4.7 million to improve the collection of agricultural labour force data to better understand the skills and labour gaps that farmers face.
  • $36.9 million to provide greater access to satellite data that identify physical changes to the Australian environment. This is to help agricultural, mining and marine industries improve their efficiency, reduce waste and improve environmental management practices.
  • $6.6 million for research and development and key infrastructure to help combat pest animals and weeds.
  • $176 million towards building the Rookwood Weir in Queensland.
  • $11.6 million for Queensland’s Mareeba Dimbulah Water Supply Scheme.
  • $3 million for Queensland’s Nogoa MacKenzie Water Supply Scheme.
  • $10.1 million over three years to the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) to support its ICT systems and digitise its most important and frequently used paper files.
  • $20 million over four years to support growth in Australia’s renewable timber and wood fibre industry.


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Business

  • The instant-asset write off for purchases up to $20,000 will be extended for small businesses with turnover up to $10 million.
  • All beer kegs larger than 8 litres will be taxed the same. Previously, beer sold in kegs larger than 48 litres had been taxed at a lower rate than smaller kegs, favouring larger producers.
  • $250 million for the Skilling Australians Fund to equip employees with the skills Australian businesses need.
  • $20 million for SME export hubs. The hubs will help foster greater cooperation between Australian businesses.
  • $17 million per year to help small businesses in the defence industry buy equipment.
  • $15 million over four years for a package of initiatives to support the Australian business community through building public support for open trade and investment, enhancing government engagement with business and maximising commercial opportunities in overseas markets.
  • $17.7 million over four years for additional Inclusive Entrepreneurship Facilitators that focus on mature age people and promote entrepreneurship and new business opportunities and to provide business mentoring.
  • $15 million over three years to the Australian Taxation Office to support the modernisation of payroll and superannuation fund reporting. The funding will be used to support small businesses with fewer than 20 employees during the transition to Single Touch Payroll Reporting from 1 July 2019.


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Education

  • $24.5 billion to the Quality Schools package over the next 10 years.
  • An additional $247 million over four years from 2018-19 for the National Schools Chaplaincy Program.
  • $440 million to extend the National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education for the 2019 calendar year. More than 348,000 young Australians will have access to 15 hours a week of early learning.
  • $28.2 million to expand access to sub-bachelor programs in regional areas, and $14 million to fund additional places for bachelor students studying at Regional Study Hubs. This equates to approximately an extra 500 commonwealth supported sub-bachelor places and 500 places for bachelor studies.
  • To support Indigenous students, the Government will provide $38.1 million over five years to implement more efficient payment arrangements for schools; more flexible travel arrangements; and ensure consistent assistance rates for Indigenous students studying away from home.
  • From 1 January 2019, the family income cut‑off will increase from $150,000 to $160,000 per annum, with a further increase of $10,000 for each additional child in the family. This will help make it easier for more regional students to undertake post‑secondary studies.
  • Establishing a Murray-Darling medical schools network to support an end-to-end training continuum for students to study medicine in the region.
  • Creating a new Junior Doctor Training program with a strong focus on supporting training in rural settings, integral to the development of a National Rural Generalist Pathway by the National Rural Health Commissioner.


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Transportation & infrastructure

The Government has outlined funding of $24.5 billion for new major projects and initiatives that form part of a 10 year, $75 billion investment in a nation-building infrastructure plan. These projects include:
 

New South Wales 

  • $971 million for the Coffs Harbour Bypass on the Pacific Highway.
  • $400 million for the Port Botany Rail Line Duplication.
  • $155 million for a new Nowra Bridge over the Shoalhaven River.
     

Queensland 

  • $3.3 billion for additional Bruce Highway upgrades.
  • $1 billion for the M1 Pacific Motorway (Eight Mile Plains to Daisy Hill and Varsity Lakes to Tugun).
  • $390 million for the Beerburrum to Nambour Rail Upgrade.
  • $300 million for the Brisbane Metro.
  • $170 million for the Amberley Interchange, Cunningham Highway.
  • $64.2 million for new upgrade projects on the Warrego Highway, including Dalby to Miles, Oakey to Miles and the Carroll Creek culvert replacement.
     

South Australia 

  • $1.4 billion for Adelaide North South Corridor future priorities, including $177 million for the Regency Road to Pym Street section.
  • $220 million for the Gawler Rail Line electrification.
  • $160 million for the Joy Baluch Bridge duplication.
     

Victoria 

  • Up to $5 billion for the Melbourne Airport Rail Link.
  • $1.75 billion for the North East Link.
  • $475 million for planning and pre construction of a rail connection to the Monash employment centre in Melbourne’s South East.
  • $225 million for the Frankston to Baxter Line electrification upgrade.
  • $140 million for additional urban priority road projects.
  • $132 million for the Princes Highway duplication between Traralgon and Sale.
  • $50 million to support the duplication of the Geelong Rail Line between South Geelong and Waurn Ponds.
     

Western Australia

  • An additional $1.1 billion for Metronet projects, including the Morley to Ellenbrook line, the Armadale line, Midland Station and business case funding for Lakelands Station.
  • $580.5 million for the Tonkin Highway as part of the road congestion package of $944 million.
  • $560 million for the Bunbury Outer Ring Road.
  • $144 million for the Roe Highway (Great Eastern Highway Bypass interchange).
  • $107.5 million for the Mitchell Freeway extension (Hester Avenue to Romeo Road).
  • $65 million for the Stephenson Avenue extension.
  • $46.5 million to upgrade Leach Highway (Welshpool Road interchange).


The GST top up payment of $188.9 million in 2017-18 would effectively lift WA’s share of the GST in 2018-19 to 50 cents in the dollar to support the following hospital projects:

  • $158 million for the Joondalup Hospital Expansion.
  • $20.3 million for the Royal Perth Hospital refurbishment.
  • $10.6 million for the Osborne Park Hospital expansion. 

Regional roads 

$3.5 billion has been committed to roads of strategic importance, which include regional and interstate highways including:

  • $1.5 billion for Northern Australia Package.
  • $400 million for Tasmanian Roads Package.
  • $100 million for NSW and ACT Barton Highway Corridor Package.
  • $1.5 billion for future national priorities.

Research 

  • An additional $1.9 billion over 12 years from 2017-18 ($393.3 million over five years) to implement the Research Infrastructure Investment Plan. Implementing the Plan will involve partially funding specific national research infrastructure projects. Projects will be delivered through an expansion of the existing National Collaborative Research Infrastructure.

Sport

  • $29.7 million in 2018-19 to deliver up to 500 local community sporting infrastructure development grants of up to $500,000 to improve community sporting facilities.

Major projects 

This infographic is a visual representation of the information listed above this image

Superannuation

The Government will introduce a range of measures to help better protect people’s superannuation balances including:

  • Limiting fees on low balance accounts that are less than $6,000 at 3%.
  • Making it easier for Australians to consolidate super accounts or move providers by banning exit fees.
  • Making it easier for the ATO to reunite people with their lost or inactive super accounts.
  • Not allowing superannuation companies to enforce insurance policies on young individuals, particularly those with low balances and those not making contributions.


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Healthcare

  • $30 billion in additional funding for public hospitals between 2020-21 and 2024-25.
  • $33.8 million to Lifeline Australia to enhance its telephone crisis services and funding for beyondblue and the Way Back Support Service.
  • $84 million in additional funding for the Royal Flying Doctor Service to improve the availability of dental, mental health and emergency aeromedical services in rural and remote areas.
  • $20.9 million to improve the health of women, and children in their first 6 years of life.
  • $1.3 million over three years for Epilepsy Action Australia to establish a national Epilepsy Action Response Service to provide access to high quality information and expertise on epilepsy, especially in rural and remote areas in Australia.
  • $10 million over two years to extend the Good Sports Program administered by the Alcohol and Drug Foundation.
  • $5.4 million over five years to implement improvements to the administration of the Life Saving Drugs Program, which supports free access to high-cost, life-saving medicines for people with very rare medical conditions.
  • $154.3 million over five years to support Australians to be healthier by funding and expanding sporting organisations and programs.
  • For those not eligible for National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) but use programs that are transitioning to the NDIS, $92.1 million will be invested to ensure their support continues over the next 5 years.

Health Research initiatives outlined in the budget include:

  • $125 million for research into chronic conditions with a focus on diabetes and heart disease.
  • $248 million to allow more clinical trials to occur in Australia and support international collaboration.
  • $94.3 million will be provided for Biomedtech programs and Industry Researcher Collaborations, to increase biomedical research.
  • $30 million will be invested to enhance the data sharing capabilities of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, improving access to data which will help Australian researchers.

Changes to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS)

  • $35.3 billion will be credited to the Medicare Guarantee Fund to meet estimated MBS and PBS expenditure.
  • $1.4 billion has been allocated over five years for a number of new and amended listings on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and the Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (RPBS). This includes medicines to treat spinal muscular atrophy, breast cancer, relapsing‑remitting multiple sclerosis and a new medicine to prevent HIV.
  • $28.2 million over five years to upgrade the e-prescribing software system used by clinicians to prescribe medicines.
  • $106.8 million over four years to modernise the health and aged care payments systems that support the delivery of Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
  • A provision of $1 billion has been set aside to support the addition of new medicines listings on the PBS.


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Regional

  • $206.5 million over four years for round three of the Building Better Regions Fund, to support investment in community infrastructure and capacity building projects in regional areas, which supports regional infrastructure and community investments.
  • More than $500 million over five years to help secure the future of the Great Barrier Reef, including improving water quality, combatting crown-of-thorns starfish and conducting scientific research.
  • $50.1 million over four years to enhance security arrangements at 64 regional airports with new and upgraded screening technologies and associated infrastructure.


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Technology & innovation

  • $26 million to establish a national space agency. A further $15 million for International Space Investment will provide grants to strategic space projects.
  • $29.9 million towards growing capabilities in artificial intelligence and machine learning.
  • $225 million to improve the accuracy of GPS in Australia, aiming to improve productivity in transport logistics, surveying, agriculture and marine navigation.
  • $130 million to upgrade the Department of Home Affairs’ ICT infrastructure for visa processing, identity management and threat analysis, to better detect and prevent threats.


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Tax payers

The government has outlined a seven year personal income tax plan including:

  • Immediate tax offset of up to $530 per year for low and middle income earners and up to $1,060 for a working couple earning between $48,000 and $90,000 annually.
  • Taxpayers earning less than $37,000 will only be eligible for a maximum tax offset of $200.
  • The government will increase the 32.5% tax bracket to $90,000 providing a tax cut of $125 per year.
  • By 2024, the government has committed to simplify and flatten the personal tax system by removing the 37% tax bracket entirely.
     

Tax measures for business include:

  • Up to $300 million over two years to states who reduce unnecessary regulatory restrictions on competition and small businesses through the National Partnership on Regulatory Reform.
  • The Government has also outlined plans to make digital businesses pay tax in Australia by extending GST to Australian hotel bookings made via offshore digital businesses.


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Child care

A new child care package will be implemented from 2 July 2018, which will help parents with children aged 0-13 work, train, study and volunteer. The package will include:

  • One child care subsidy, replacing the two current child care payments – the child care benefit and rebate. It will be paid directly to services.
  • Families earning $186,958 or less will have no cap on the amount of child care subsidy they claim. Families earning over $186,958 and under $351,248 will benefit from an increase in the current cap of $7,613 to $10,190 per child, per year.
  • The child care subsidy will be dependent upon 3 factors: combined family income, activity levels of parents and the type of child care service.
  • Parent’s activity can include paid work, study and training, unpaid work in family business, looking for work, volunteering and self-employment. The higher the level of activity the more hours of subsidised care families can access, up to a maximum of 100 hours per fortnight.


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Employment

The Government has outlined a number of measures aimed at mature-aged workers including:

  • Expanding The Restart Wage Subsidy for Australians aged 50 years and over providing up to $10,000 to employers to support workers to continue their career.
  • Establishing a collaborative partnership with the age discrimination commissioner to drive cultural change in businesses’ approach to taking on mature age employees and to equip managers and business owners to work with an aging workforce.
  • The roll out of the Skills Checkpoint for Older Workers Program for Australians aged 45 to 70. The program will provide workers with advice on how to best use their existing skills in the workforce, or identify opportunities for upskilling.
  • The Skills and Training Incentive, which will provide $2,000 per worker to fund reskilling opportunities for eligible individuals aged 45 to 70. This will be matched by either the individual or the employer.
  • $15.2 million for Job Change, which supports mature age workers transitioning into roles in growth industries.
  • Bringing forward the national rollout of the Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) by one year to July 1, 2019 for those 45 years or over.
  • $17.7 million to support entrepreneurs through the Entrepreneurship Facilitators Program, with a focus on those aged over 45 years.


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Aged care

Through 'The More Choices for Longer Life Package’ a number of new policies will be implemented to support people to stay at home longer, remain healthy and independent and have access to aged care.

Initiatives under The More Choices for Longer Life Package include:

  • 14,000 additional high level home packages will be delivered this year.
  • $105.7 million over four years (including $32 million from within the existing resources) to support the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program. Aiming to deliver additional residential aged care places and home care packages in remote Indigenous communities.
  • $60 million in capital investment to support new residential aged care.
  • $61.7 million over two years to make the My Aged Care website easier to use and develop simpler assessment forms for people to access aged care services.
  • $40 million over four years for aged care facilities in regional, rural and remote Australia.
  • The Government will establish a new Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission. $253.8 million over four years will be provided to support the functions of the new Commission.
  • $50 million over two years for a Quality Care Fund to improve the quality of residential aged care and $32.6 million over four years to enhance the regulation of aged care provider quality to better identify risks and respond more quickly to care failures. 

Mental health for aging Australians

  • $82.5 million to fund mental health services for residents of aged care facilities.
  • $20 million to pilot services for older Australians at risk of isolation to help them remain connected to their community.

Remaining active and healthy 

  • $22.9 million over two years to encourage older Australians to remain physically active.
  • $29.2 million over two years to help the elderly stay independent for longer in their own home by trialling support strategies.

Changes to Pension Work Bonus

  • $227.4 million to increase the pension work bonus to $300 per fortnight (up from $250 per fortnight). The work bonus will also be extended to self-employed people. This means that the first $300 of income from work each fortnight ($7,800 per year) will not count towards the pension income test.

Changes to superannuation contributions

  • Australians aged 65 to 74 with a total superannuation balance below $300,000 will be able to make voluntary contributions for 12 months after they finish working. Currently people aged 65 to 74 must work a minimum of 40 hours in any 30-day period in the financial year in order to keep making contributions to superannuation – this is known as the work test.


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Important things you should know

Source: budget.gov.au

The information contained in this report is of a general nature and is not intended to be nor should it be considered as professional advice. You should not act on the basis of anything contained in this report without first obtaining specific professional advice. To the extent permitted by law, Bankwest, a division of Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 AFSL/Australian credit licence 234945, its related bodies corporate, employees and contractors accepts no liability or responsibility to any persons for any loss which may be incurred or suffered as a result of acting on or refraining from acting as a result of anything contained in this publication.