The tricky thing with this week’s budget is it’s just before an election.
So, the government is definitely looking to endear itself to us and everything they’ve proposed is just...a proposal.
Which makes delving into the figures not a terribly interesting pastime (ie. when it’s policy about to be made into law, then let’s talk about it…).
So instead we’ve found some odd bits and pieces that might pique your interest.
Down with ants
The budget contains a promise to allocate $9.2 million to “controlling” yellow crazy ants in Queensland, which is frankly a relief.
Christmas Island tourism
There is a $1 million commitment to review the Christmas Island tourism sector.
This is somewhat surprising, given the federal government operates a controversial immigration detention centre there
Cricket bag carrier
If you are a cricket player (or bag carrier) for any of the teams playing in the International Cricket Council’s T20 World Cup in Australia in 2020; you can come visit for free.
The government plans to waive all visa applications, at an expense of around $1.3 million.
Pacific TV eyeballs
$17 million is flagged for broadcasting Australian television content to the Pacific Islands.
While that might seem expensive, if Married At First Sight is beamed, I expect those island nations will begin paying us to stop. So, could be a possible Australian revenue stream?
Odds are, you’re a young person! So these are some proposals that might benefit you:
There’s a $525 million package for the vocational education and training (VET) sector which includes creating 80,000 new apprenticeships over five years and incentivising businesses to hire apprentices.
There’s $100 million for a new ‘Environment Restoration Fund’ to help threatened plant and animal species, manage erosion and boost recycling programs.
For 10 million low and middle-income workers there will be a reduction in the tax they pay.
That means, if you're earning between $48,000 and $90,000 today, you'll receive a tax offset of $1,080 when you lodge your tax return for this financial year (provided the changes are legislated in April). A tax offset is available for people earning up to $126,000.
The tax offset rates announced last year will double, and will remain in place until previously legislated changes to the tax rates come into play in 2022-23.
These cuts will cost $158 billion over 10 years.
Check out this tax calculator to check out your situation this current financial year as well as the next couple.
Urban congestion, roads, fast rail, freight and airports around Australia are set to enjoy a boost in infrastructure investment.
The plan is to increase spending from $25 billion to $100 billion over the next ten years.
The Government will match Labor’s promise on boosting Medicare rebates.
News and the ABC
And the ABC gets $44 million of funding over the next three years to keep its ‘enhanced news gathering’ program.
Let us know if there’s something else you noticed in your own deep, penetrating look at the budget.
Enjoy your week,