Federal Budget 2017: Implications for Australian businesses

ANZ’s Head of Small Business, Kate Gibson gives us her top takeouts from this year’s budget

Supporting businesses with the ‘$20k asset write-off’ policy

The first takeout of the 2017 Federal Budget came as no surprise – the ‘$20k asset write-off policy’ has been extended to 30 June 2018. That means businesses with turnover of up to $10m now have another year to take advantage of tax rebates on purchases up to $20k. Examples of assets you can claim include tools and equipment, vehicles, fixtures and fittings for shopfronts and computer hardware.

This initiative was first introduced in 2015 and was due to expire this year. We believe its extension is very sensible. In fact, we’d like to see the policy become permanent.

A potential skills-gap with the new foreign worker levy

The Government has announced a new foreign worker levy with the funds to be used to implement programs that will upskill Australia’s workforce.  Although, we appreciate the Government’s intent on creating new jobs and local opportunities, these benefits won’t be seen overnight and the measure, combined with recent visa changes, could create an interim skill shortfall for small businesses.

More opportunities thanks to $75b of expenditure in infrastructure

The Government has approved several new landmark projects that will create opportunities for businesses in construction services and support businesses to operate efficiently into the future. Some of the key projects include the development of a second Sydney airport (Badgerys Creek) and a railway line between Melbourne and Brisbane.

Uncertainty around measures that will lessen red tape

Red tape is a real pain point for small businesses so we look forward to seeing what changes are implemented as part the Government’s $300 million plan to cut red tape and reduce unnecessary regulatory restrictions on small businesses. Essentially the Government will reward States and Territories that make it easier for small businesses to operate and grow.  What these measures will look like is yet to be seen.

In summary: Better days ahead

Australia’s economy is supported by more than two million small businesses, employing around 4.5 million people. Measures that help small businesses to grow, create jobs and operate efficiently are therefore vitally important for all Australians. What small businesses also crave is stability. While confidence measures have been high and interest rates low, business investment has been flat. We’d like to think the Budget gives business owners a level of certainty and encourages investment in the future.

Download the full infographic here (PDF, 100kb)

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