Federal Budget 2024


14th May, 2024

What the 2024 Federal Budget means for you

The highly anticipated 2024 Federal Budget has promised to address the continued rising cost of living stress, with energy bill relief at the forefront of these measures.

Treasurer Dr Jim Chalmers handed down the government’s third Budget, determined to deliver cost of living relief without adding to inflation.

Our latest MYOB Business Monitor research of 1,000 small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) shows Budget measures that relieve cost-of-living pressure are at the top of the list for SMEs, above the removal of red tape and lowering of the company tax rate. 

A separate survey of 1,000 consumers, commissioned in the weeks leading up to the Budget, found cost-of-living is impacting 56% of Australian consumers. Sixty-five per cent said they’re spending less on food delivery or going out for meals and 62% are spending less on entertainment. This in turn impacts the bottom line of the nation’s 2.5+ million SMEs. 

Federal Budget 2024

Businesses to benefit

MYOB General Manager of SME, Emma Fawcett, said the Federal Budget demonstrated a focus on balancing challenging economic conditions with initiatives to boost productivity and growth.

“Our latest MYOB Business Monitor research shows measures that relieve cost-of-living pressures were the number one item SMEs wanted in the Budget, and measures like the energy and tax relief will be welcomed.”

The Energy Bill Relief Fund and confirmed tax cuts will be welcome news for both the average Australian and SMEs.

“Small businesses are feeling the impact of cost-of-living on two fronts,” Emma says.

“Their customers are spending less with them and the cost of doing business is growing. More money in the hip pockets of all Australians means more will flow through to small businesses and help them drive Australia’s economic recovery.

“We’re pleased to see targeted incentives that encourage businesses to make investments that will enhance their productivity, improve innovation, and contribute to the growth of Australia’s vibrant and important SME community.”

Measures the Government announced this evening that will be of interest to medium-sized businesses include the Future Made in Australia Innovation Fund and tax incentives for critical and green materials.

“At a time when businesses globally need to achieve more with less, it’s great to see more support for businesses to navigate these challenging times in the short term, positioning them in a leadership role for Australia’s future economic growth,” Emma says.

“Australia’s 2.5+ million small businesses employ over 7.4 million Australians and make up 99% of Australian private enterprises. They are the lifeblood of the economy and it is pleasing to see the Government deliver support for them to ensure Australia’s future prosperity.”

Key takeaways from the Budget

  • SME Support
  • Bigger Business Support
  • Skills Development
  • Migration Changes
  • Financial Services and Superannuation Reforms
Federal Budget 2024

What’s in it for SMEs

The 2024–25 Federal Budget has introduced several measures aimed at supporting small businesses in Australia. Here are the key takeaways:

  1. Tax Cuts and Incentives:
    • Once enacted, extension of the $20,000 instant asset write-off until June 30, 2025, will enable small businesses to deduct the cost of new assets immediately. There will be an expected $290 million in cash flow support for up to four million small businesses to help with immediate financial pressures.
  2. Energy Bill Relief:
    • The Budget allocates $3.5 billion in new energy bill relief, affecting one million small businesses. This includes a rebate that helps reduce operational costs associated with energy prices.
  3. Support for Innovation and Sustainability:
    • The introduction of the $22.7 billion Future Made in Australia package, which includes production tax incentives and funding for innovation, particularly in green industries, offers opportunities for small businesses to innovate and adapt to new technologies.
  4. Infrastructure and Housing Investments:
    • Significant investment in housing and infrastructure has been announced, including efforts to clear local infrastructure bottlenecks and fund more social and affordable housing. This can stimulate local economies and create opportunities for small businesses involved in construction and related services. 
  5. Enhanced Competition and Regulatory Relief:
    • Measures to boost competition and reduce compliance costs, including strengthening the mergers regime and abolishing nuisance tariffs. This will help small businesses by lowering barriers to entry and reducing regulatory burdens.

These initiatives are designed to ease cost of living pressures, support economic growth, and enhance the capabilities of small businesses to thrive in a changing economic landscape.

Federal Budget 2024

What the Budget means for bigger businesses

For larger businesses, the 2024-25 Federal Budget includes several significant initiatives aimed at supporting growth, innovation, and sustainability.

Here are the main takeaways:

  1. Investment in Key Industries:
    • The government is changing the framework for investment by focusing on transformational opportunities. This includes creating a new Act to ensure that investments are aligned with national interests and support community benefits, enhancing private investment in skills and local supply chains.
  2. Renewable Energy and Sustainability:
    • A substantial focus on making Australia a renewable energy superpower, with $13.7 billion in production tax incentives for green hydrogen and processed critical minerals. This initiative is designed to reward industries for scaling up and achieving success in renewable sectors.
    • The establishment of a $1.7 billion Future Made in Australia Innovation Fund to develop new industries like green metals and low-carbon fuels.
  3. Support for Manufacturing and High-Tech Industries:
    • Support for industries critical to economic security, such as battery production and the development of a commercial-scale quantum computer. These initiatives are aimed at moving Australia up the value chain in critical minerals and supporting the next generation of high-tech manufacturing.
  4. Infrastructure Development:
    • Investments in infrastructure to support housing and transport, including new rail links and improvements to regional and remote airports. These projects will help improve connectivity and accessibility, benefiting businesses involved in construction, transportation, and logistics.
  5. Regulatory Improvements and Investment Discipline:
    • Strengthening and streamlining approvals across environmental, planning, cultural heritage, and foreign investment to facilitate smoother operations and expansions for large businesses.

These measures are designed to foster a conducive environment for large businesses to grow and adapt, aligning with global trends towards sustainability and innovation while ensuring economic and national security.

Federal Budget 2024

Skills and Education

Tertiary goals

  • Setting a national target of 8 out of 10 workers achieving a tertiary qualification by 2050.
  • $350 million for fee-free, uni-ready courses to offer places to those seeking tertiary qualifications.
  • $500 million for priority industries like clean energy, construction and manufacturing and supporting women in careers in these fields.
  • $88.8 million over three years for 20,000 new free-free TAFE places.

Student debt

  • Wiping $3bn in student debt from 3 million Australians – average saving of $1200.

Migration changes

The Government will implement a new National Innovation visa, replacing the current Global Talent visa (subclass 858) from late 2024, to target exceptionally talented migrants who will contribute to sectors of national importance.

The Business Innovation and Investment visa program (BIIP) will cease. Refunds of the visa application charge will be provided from September 2024 for those who wish to withdraw their BIIP application. 

This measure includes $1.4 million in 2024–25 for necessary system changes for the implementation of a new visa and closure of the BIIP.

Federal Budget 2024

Financial services and superannuation changes

$1.1 billion has been allocated to pay superannuation on Government-funded Paid Parental Leave, with funding allocated to SMEs to support this initiative.

$187.4 million is being provided to better protect taxpayer data and Commonwealth revenue against fraudulent attacks on the tax and superannuation systems. Funding will upgrade the ATO’s information and communications technologies and increase their fraud prevention capabilities. This will ensure the ATO has dedicated resources to manage increasing risk, prevent revenue loss, and support victims of fraud and cyber crime.

The Government will provide $7.5 million over four years from 2024–25 (and $1.5 million per year ongoing) to modernise regulatory frameworks for financial services to improve competition and consumer protections for services enabled by new technology.

The Government will develop and consult on legislation to licence and regulate platforms that hold digital assets and progress related reforms, including continuing exploratory work on Central Bank Digital Currencies, asset tokenisation and decentralised finance.

There will also be a new regulatory framework for payment service providers (including digital wallets and electronic stored value providers), including licensing and a mandated ePayments Code. 

MYOB’s verdict

We asked Australia’s small business community what they wanted to see from the Budget, and one in five (23%) told us that measures to address energy costs were on their wish list.  

The Energy Bill Relief Fund will assist in some way to helping small businesses tackle rising costs. It’s a step in the right direction for the nation’s 2.5+ million SMEs, who are struggling with the rising cost of doing business. They feel the burden of inflation twice, with consumers spending less and operational costs on the rise. 

It’s our hope that cost of living relief more broadly will put more money in the hip pockets of Australians, which can flow through to the small and medium-sized businesses that together contribute more than half of the nation’s economy. 

Click here for more Federal Budget coverage.

Information provided in this article is of a general nature and does not consider your personal situation. It does not constitute legal, financial, or other professional advice and should not be relied upon as a statement of law, policy or advice. You should consider whether this information is appropriate to your needs and, if necessary, seek independent advice. This information is only accurate at the time of publication. Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of the information contained on this webpage, MYOB disclaims, to the extent permitted by law, all liability for the information contained on this webpage or any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.