Budget 2017 delivers wins for small businesses
Budget 2017 has delivered a number of measures supporting small businesses. Below are the highlights:
The government is reducing the tax burden on small businesses and has already secured a fivefold increase in the small business threshold to $10 million as well as tax cuts for around 3.2 million small businesses that employ around 5.6 million people across the country.
The government is now extending the $20,000 instant asset write-off for a further 12 months to 30 June 2018 for businesses with annual turnover less than $10 million, improving their cash flow and helping them to reinvest in their business and replace or upgrade their assets.
The move will give a big boost to the electrical contracting, and building and construction industries. According to NECA (National Electrical and Communications Association) around 90% of businesses in the electrical contracting sector fall into the small and medium-sized business category.
“The Budget’s small business measures will particularly benefit the building and construction industry, which is 98% made up of small businesses. The building industry is a big winner from the extension of the accelerated depreciation measures by one year and to businesses turning over up to $10 million,” said Denita Wawn, CEO of Masters Builders Australia.
A new 1.5 billion Skilling Australians Fund will be established through a new levy on foreign workers in order to train Australian workers in new skills.
Employers that sponsor migrants under the new temporary skill shortage visa and certain permanent skilled visas will be required to pay a levy which will provide revenue to the Fund. Until now, employers have had to contribute 1 or 2% of their payroll to training if they employ foreign workers. These requirements have proven difficult to police. These requirements will be replaced with an annual foreign worker levy of $1200 or $1800 per worker per year on temporary work visas and a $3000 or $5000 one-off levy for those on a permanent skilled visa.
Priority will be given to occupations in high demand that currently rely heavily on skilled migration, future growth industries and rural and regional areas.
“Master Builders welcomes the announcement of the $1.5 billion Skilling Australians Fund and the additional training of 300,000 apprentices in partnership with state and territory governments. The funding should enable the training that leads to strong employment outcomes for young Australians in industries where there is jobs growth, such as the building and construction industry,” said Wawn.
Cutting red tape
Through its National Partnership on Regulatory Reform, the government will provide up to $300 million over two years to states that reduce unnecessary regulatory restrictions on competition and small businesses.
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