The recently announced 2023 Federal Budget presents a range of proposals aimed at supporting small businesses, alleviating the cost of living burden, and enhancing welfare provisions. While these changes are currently in the proposal stage and subject to legislative approval, they signify the government’s commitment to fostering economic growth, providing relief to households, and ensuring a fairer society. In this article, we will explore the key initiatives outlined in the budget and their potential impact on various aspects of the economy and society.
Small Business Taxation – Federal Budget
The 2023 Federal Budget introduces measures to stimulate growth and encourage energy efficiency in small businesses. Eligible small businesses with an annual turnover of less than $50 million may benefit from a 20% additional tax deduction on spending related to electrification and energy efficiency. This incentive aims to promote the adoption of sustainable practices, such as upgrading to energy-efficient appliances, installing batteries and heat pumps, and electrifying heating and cooling systems.
Furthermore, small businesses with an annual turnover of less than $10 million will continue to enjoy the $20,000 instant asset write-off scheme. This allows businesses to immediately deduct the full cost of eligible assets worth less than $20,000, promoting investment and providing financial relief.
Cost of Living Relief
The budget acknowledges the need to address rising living costs and offers several measures to alleviate the financial burden on individuals and families. One of the key initiatives is the energy bill relief program, which provides an electricity bill credit of up to $500 for eligible households. Small businesses and various concession cardholders, including pensioners, veterans, and recipients of carer allowance, will also receive credits tailored to their circumstances.
In addition, changes to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme will enable individuals to purchase twice the amount of common medicines for the price of one script. This initiative is expected to result in significant cost savings for patients, with general patients saving up to $180 per year and concession cardholders saving up to $43.80 per medicine.
Moreover, the budget increases access to free healthcare services by tripling bulk billing incentives for children under 16, pensioners, and Commonwealth concession cardholders. This includes face-to-face, telehealth, and video conference consultations, ensuring that essential healthcare remains affordable and accessible to all.
Housing Support – Federal Budget
Recognising the challenges faced by individuals and families in accessing affordable housing, the 2023 Federal Budget proposes changes to eligibility criteria for home buyer guarantee schemes. Starting from July 1, 2023, joint applications will be allowed from friends, siblings, and other family members under the First Home Guarantee and the Regional First Home Buyer Guarantee. Non-first-home buyers who have not owned a property in Australia within the last ten years will also be eligible. The Family Home Guarantee will extend its eligibility to include single legal guardians of children, such as aunts, uncles, and grandparents. These changes aim to broaden access to housing opportunities and support diverse family structures.
The budget places a strong emphasis on strengthening the welfare system and enhancing support for vulnerable individuals and families. JobSeeker Payment and certain other benefits will see a $40 increase per fortnight from September 20, 2023, benefiting recipients and providing greater financial security. The eligibility for the higher rate of JobSeeker Payment will also reduce from age 60 to 55 and over, allowing more individuals to access additional financial support.
Furthermore, Rent Assistance rates will be increased by 15%, providing up to $31 extra per fortnight to recipients and easing the financial strain of rental costs.
The budget also addresses the need for improved in-home aged care by increasing the number of Home Care packages by 9,500 in 2023/24. This investment aims to reduce wait times for individuals seeking essential care and support within their own homes.
The 2023 Federal Budget presents a range of proposals designed to provide support for small businesses, reduce the cost of living, and enhance welfare provisions. These measures, if implemented, have the potential to foster economic growth, relieve financial stress for households, and ensure that vulnerable individuals receive adequate support. However, it is important to note that these changes are currently in the proposal stage and may be subject to revision or not become law. For a comprehensive understanding of how these proposals may impact you, it is advisable to consult a Vogue Advisory Group adviser who can provide personalised guidance based on your specific circumstances.
HOW VOGUE ADVISORY GROUP CAN ASSIST YOU
To fully understand and leverage the potential benefits and opportunities presented by the 2023 Federal Budget, we encourage you to take action and reach out to Vogue Advisory Group today. Our team of experienced advisers is well-versed in the proposed changes and can provide personalised guidance tailored to your specific circumstances.
Whether you are a small business owner seeking to capitalize on the tax incentives and support for energy efficiency, an individual looking to navigate the cost-of-living relief measures, or someone in need of housing support or welfare enhancements, Vogue Advisory Group can provide the expertise you need.
Contact us now to schedule a consultation and gain valuable insights into how the proposed budget changes may impact you or your organisation. Our advisers will work with you to understand your goals, assess your eligibility, and develop strategies to maximise the benefits available to you.