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NEWSLETTER SPECIAL: What the 2021 Budget means for Warringah

11 May, 2021

The Federal Government released their 2021 Budget that outlines how it plans to allocate funds. My team and I have been analysing what it means for you and your families in Warringah.

To best understand your views on the Budget, please complete this survey that will take about two minutes: CLICK HERE

TAX CUTS  
Low and middle income tax cuts will be extended by a year meaning everyone earning less than $126,000 will get more back in their tax up to a maximum of $1,080 over the year. Based on the median income in Warringah ($59,619), many local residents will benefit by the extension of the offset. 

Independent Brewers and Distillers of Manly and Brookvale will get tax relief with full remission of any excise they pay on the alcohol they produce up to a cap of $350,000/financial year. Digital games developers will also get a 30 per cent tax offset for Australian games expenditure up to $20 million.  
 
A PROGRESSIVE AND INNOVATIVE ECONOMY 
The focus on a digital economy with $1.2 billion over 6 years, innovation with  and skills, with $258.6 million over four years, will ensure we have the right tools and training for a dynamic Australian economy in a challenging COVID-19 world. 
 
The extension of the $20.7 billion temporary loss carry back and full expensing measures from last budget will continue to spur much needed investment including by the many small businesses in Warringah. With the Governments backing, small business will provide a powerful base for Australia’s continued recovery. 

For business owners in the community – now is the time to upgrade your equipment, vehicles, and machinery. You can create your own green recovery by investing in efficiency measures.

INTEGRITY 
The Australian National Audit Office have had their funding freeze lifted with an additional $61.5 million over the forward estimates and 49 additional staff. No new money has been set aside for a National Integrity Commission. 
 
The Government has also established a Freedom of Information Commissioner which will get $3.9 million over the forward estimates.  
 
ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE
Like last year there were some small measures for the environment including $100 million over 5 years for oceans, $67 million over four years for organic waste processing, $11 million over four years for recycling and $30 million over 4 years to overhaul Australia’s environmental federal law the EPBC Act. Unfortunately, overall support for protecting our biodiversity is not commensurate with the challenges we face. 
 
On climate impacts and natural disasters, there was $1.2 billion over five years to improve our capability to prepare and respond to natural disasters. This is not enough to cover adaptation across the Australian continent. This equates to $240 million per year as compared to the $39 billion natural disasters are projected to cost each year by 2050 (Deloitte Access Economics report).  

To reduce emissions, there was some support for speculative low emissions technologies including controversial blue hydrogen (that is made of gas, as opposed to green hydrogen made with renewables), carbon capture and storage, agriculture and a carbon offsetting scheme with $1.6 billion over 10 years. 

Details around the specific breakdown on much of that funding are fuzzy and the Government needs to clarify where, by when and how the money is being spent – and how such spending will reduce emissions.  
 
Overall, the funding is still not commensurate with the challenges we face and unfortunately the Government is still pursuing a gas-fired recovery with $173 million for gas industry roads in the Northern Territory, $60 million over four years to fast track access .  
 
GENDER EQUITY  
The treatment of women in the last couple of months and last October’s ‘Blokey Budget’ has generated a strong reaction from the Government with a headline figure of $3.4 billion for women over the next 5 years, half of which is for childcare packages. 

The focus on a more gender equitable budget this year compared to last year is welcome and I am pleased that the Government listened to the call I and many others made last year for a Women’s Impact Statement on the budget measures that impact women. 

 
The headline of $1.8 billion for women’s economic security sounds impressive, $1.7 billion of this is for childcare.  
 
The investment of $998.1 million over four years for women’s physical safety is welcome along with additional funding support for family law reform implementation.  
 

The Government’s response to the Human Rights Commission’s [email protected] report which looks at sexual harassment in the workplace, received a welcome $20.5 million to support the implementation of the recommendations.

While most of this is allocated internally to various Commonwealth Departments and it was disappointing that the Human Rights Commission did not receive additional funding and will actually see a reduction in staff, the Government’s implementation efforts are a step in the right direction.  

 
The $350 million labelled ‘women’s health’ seems a bit of a misnomer, this is simply health and has been singled out unnecessarily for the sales pitch.  
 
CHILDCARE AND PRESCHOOL 
Childcare will get a boost, young families in Warringah will benefit from the removal of the subsidy cap, currently in your family earns over $189,390 the annual subsidy received is capped at $10,560 per child, which means that many pay full rate for 3-4months of the year. From July 2022 that cap will be removed.

Families will also get a 30% top-up subsidy for the second child in care so if you are currently getting 65% back, you will get 95% back but again, not until July 2022. 
 
In addition to the boost to childcare, the Government has committed to $2 billion for preschool education, providing for 15 hours/week for the year before school for the next 5 years.  
 
YOUTH 
The JobTrainer package will be extended by a year, creating more places for 17-24 year olds to get vocational training after school. Boosting Apprenticeships Commencements wage subsidy will inject $2.6 billion over four years to improve access to vocational on the job opportunities for young people. 
  
AGED CARE 
A big boost for the Aged Care sector, the Government has issued its response to the Royal Commission findings and accompanied that response by $17.7billion in new funding including an additional subsidy of $10/day/resident and a total of 80,000 additional homecare packages (40,000/year for the next two years).  This is important money to help the sector which is short of the $40 billion that the Grattan Institute said would be needed to implement the Royal Commission but it’s a step in the right direction.  
 
MENTAL HEALTH 
I was pleased to see an $2.3 billion additional support for mental health and suicide prevention. I will be pushing strongly for some of this to be allocated to prevention measures in Warringah and especially up at North Head.  
 
WHAT ISN’T IN THERE 

  • Tourism - Unfortunately there was no new money set aside to support travel agents despite the borders now staying closed until 2022
  • No funding for Electric Vehicles 
  • University Funding 
  • Beaches Link Tunnel – The BLT did not see any additional funding in this Federal Budget. 
  • Quarantine facilities
  • Arts – On top of the $300 million announced in March, There was nothing new for the Arts and Entertainment sector in this budget. 

 
To best understand your views on the Budget, please complete this survey that will take about two minutes: CLICK HERE

To read the full Budget CLICK HERE

My team and I will continue to advocate on your behalf to fairly represent Warringah.

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