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Small Business Share of the Federal Budget

Updated: Aug 2, 2023

Small Business
  • 3.8 million small businesses with annual turnover of less than $10 million will be eligible for Small Business Support which includes $20,000 instant write-off for eligible assets.

  • 5 additional tax clinics have been funded from 1 January 2025, with at least 2 of these additional clinics delivered through TAFEs. The expansion of free clinics to TAFEs aimed at regional areas is an attempt to assist small business with their tax compliance and administration.

  • $23.4 million support for small businesses to build resilience to cyber threats. This is aimed to support 15,000 small business through the Cyber Wardens program to equip small businesses with the foundational skills they need to improve cyber safety.

Energy Bills
  • $3 billion in energy bill relief in the form of credits will be provided for eligible people and small businesses.

  • 5 million households and 1 million eligible small businesses will be given up to $650 in assistance for energy bills.

  • $314 million has been allocated for businesses that invest in clean energy initiatives and energy-efficient equipment. This includes efficient electric goods, heating and cooling systems, and installing batteries.

  • A $12/GJ price cap on domestic gas prices until 1 July 2025. This is expected to reduce inflation by 0.75% in 2023-24.

Industrial Relations, Skills and Training
  • Superannuation will need to be paid to employees during the pay cycle instead of quarterly. This transition will come into effect from 1 July 2026.

  • The government will save over $15.8 million over 4 years from 2023–24 by reducing the departmental operating funding of the Office of the Fair Work Ombudsman by 2.5%. This will have a negligible impact on the activities of the Fair Work Ombudsman.

  • The Government has again recommended that the Fair Work Commission ensures the real wages of Australia’s low-paid workers do not go backwards. This decision will be decided by the Fair Work Commission in June 2023.

  • Employers with 100 or more workers will be required to publish gender pay gaps from early 2024.

  • There is funding for 300,000 TAFE and vocational education training places to become fee-free.

  • The Federal Government along with states and territories are negotiating a new 5- year National Skills Agreement to commence from 1 January 2024. $5.5 million has been allocated in 2023–24 towards negotiating this long-term skills funding agreement with the states and territories.

  • There are references to further changes to workplace relation changes including:

Casual employees

Criminalising wage theft

Minimum standards for gig economy workers o Labour hire workers

Skilled Migration
  • Net migration is expected to increase from 184,000 in 2021-22, to 400,000 in 2022- 23 and 315,000 in 2023-24.

  • 70 per cent of places in the 2023–24 permanent Migration Program will be allocated to the Skills stream.

  • There will be an improvement in pathways to permanency for temporary skilled migrants. Restrictions will be removed for Temporary Skills Shortage subclass 482 to access permanent residence through the Employer Nomination Scheme subclass 186 visa. There will be a special category visa for New Zealand residents.

  • There will be an extra 2 years of post-study work rights for Temporary Graduate visa holders with select degrees.

  • Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold will increase to $70,000 from 1 July 2023. This will increase the minimum salary for skilled migrants for certain visas.

  • There will be an investment of $75.8 million over two years from 2023–24 to assist with the processing turnaround times for visas.

  • There will be an increase in $50 million of government spending over 4 years from 2023-24 on enforcement and compliance activities aimed to counter temporary migrant worker exploitation.

  • There will be an increase for Visa Application Charges from 1 July 2023 by 6 percentage points, in addition to CPI indexation. There will be an additional 15 percentage points for select visitor and temporary visa subclasses. Pacific Engagement Visa and Pacific Australia Labour Mobility scheme will be exempt from the VAC uplift. This will result in increased revenue for the government by $100 million in 2023–24 and by $665 million over the 5 years from 2022–23 to 2026–27, which will be used to wards improving visa processing times.

  • International student visa holders will be restricted to working 24 hours per week from 1 July 2023. There is an exemption for aged care workers until 31 December 2023.

Childcare and Paid Parental Leave
  • The paid parental leave scheme paid and funded by the Federal Government will go through the following changes in the coming years. Please note, this is not paid by the employer, but the employee will be entitled to take unpaid parental leave while receiving this payment from the government. The changes are as follows:

Paid parental leave will increase 2 weeks each year from 1 July 2024 until 1 July 2026 in accordance with this schedule:

  • From 1 July 2023 - 20 weeks

  • From 1 July 2024 - 22 weeks

  • From 1 July 2025 - 24 weeks

  • From 1 July 2026 - 26 weeks

  • Parental Leave Pay and Dad and Partner Pay will combine into one 20-week payment that can be shared between parents. Either parent will be able to claim Paid Parental Leave first.

  • The Government will also introduce a new combined family income limit of $350,000 per annum. Nearly 3,000 additional parents become eligible for Paid Parental Leave from this new threshold.

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