Growth on the cards for recent budget
THE budget is completely different from last year.
No longer an exercise in cutting costs to pay down debt, this is a budget aimed squarely at boosting economic growth.
Focus off debt reduction for the time being and focus on employment and investment.
A large part of this budget is about stimulating small business with the expectation of increased growth and investment.
The stimulation is by way of tax cuts and incentives for further business investment.
Over 60% of small businesses are run by individuals through partnerships, trusts or just as sole traders.
They are a significant employer group and this budget certainly recognises this.
A notable reference in the budget was to a special allocation of funds for water infrastructure, which means dams.
This has positive implications for Emu Swamp Dam but we will need to wait for more details to be released.
A concern is the decision to remove the tax-free threshold for backpackers.
Our area employs around 5000 overseas workers in the ag sector during the year and this change can be detrimental to the industry.
Why would a backpacker work here and pay tax of up to 32.5 cents in the dollar when they can go to New Zealand and pay no tax?
There are positives, negatives and unknowns, but overall this budget is a sigh of relief.