25th October, 2022
The second Budget Night for the year delivered a very different set of announcements to the first, with clear outcomes for housing, construction and more.
Both the political and economic environment has changed significantly since the Morrison Government handed down its final Budget in March this year.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Treasurer Dr Jim Chalmers have made it known for some time that this Budget would be fiscally responsible, delivering sensible cost of living relief without adding to inflationary pressures.
So how does it all stack up? Here is MYOB’s take on the major Budget Night announcements.
Chalmers announced a five-point cost of living relief package in tonight’s Budget that offers tangible opportunities for many Australian business owners, especially those in the construction sector.
Beyond cheaper childcare, medicines and expanding paid parental leave, this plan also includes an affordable housing program, which entails:
These, in combination with the $2.4 billion investment to expand NBN connectivity will create new communities and create future opportunities for existing and emerging small and medium businesses (SMEs).
“The blending of these two investments could well be the gift that keeps on giving for small and family run businesses. For each new community, there will be cafes, restaurants, hairdressers, retail centres, childcare and more – as these hubs grow, small businesses will take shape alongside them,” said MYOB Chief Employee Experience Officer Helen Lea.
“As well as stimulating new business growth and boosting the economy, what’s key is that businesses have the enabling infrastructure to support their survival and growth.
“More than ever, that infrastructure is digital – with recent MYOB research finding 28 percent of small business respondents are challenged in accessing a stable internet connection.”
For businesses struggling with soaring energy prices, $61.6 million in supporting SMEs to improve their energy efficiency and reduce energy usage will help provide welcome relief.
In June, 35 percent of SME respondents to an MYOB survey reported utilities as the cause of ‘a lot’ to ‘extreme’ concern, as revealed in the MYOB Business Monitor.
While the Budget may have been short on direct, broad-based support for small businesses, there was one measure that stood out in this regard.
$15.1 million will be put towards extending mental health and financial counselling programs for small businesses, as delivered by NewAccess for Small Business Owners and the Small Business Debt Helpline programs.
This funding combines with measures designed to support communities and businesses impacted by COVID-19 and natural disasters, which continue to be a major impediment to sustainable business across Australia.
It may read like there’s not much for small businesses to take away from tonight’s announcements, but the targeted measures outlined focus on the fundamentals of a healthy economy and are designed to sustain a thriving small business community.
“The measured and pragmatic outcomes delivered this evening will provide ongoing support for small businesses across the country as they continue to weather a tough time,” said Lea.
“With the sector already contributing around $700 billion for the economy, support to assist further, crucial economic contribution is welcomed.”
Lea also highlighted the delivery of the Technology Investment Boost, Skills and Training Boost (both of which were announced in the previous Budget, and are yet to be legislated) remain critical in order to incentivise businesses to adopt digital tools, while the Instant Asset Write Off is also due to finish at the end of 2022-23.
“Getting these businesses thriving again will be encouraged by measures we know are already on course – the Technology Investment Boost and Skills and Training Boost.
“While the Instant Asset Write Off is a notable exclusion, the swift legislation of these Boosts would greatly assist businesses as these Budget measures set out to provide ongoing relief.”