The 2018 Federal Budget was released on May 8, promising a greater focus on improving many essential services in Australia, like transport and health, and offering a bit of money back to tax payers on the lower end of the income scale. Here are the six most important takeaways.
- Tax returns for low to middle income earners. From July 1, those earning $37,000 or less will be able to receive up to $200 back in tax, and those on less than $90,000 will receive an offset of $530. The 32.5 percent marginal tax rate will also be shifted to $90,000 from $87,000 in July, providing more tax savings.
- Nation-wide infrastructure improvements. In addition to the $75 billion transport investment program, the government also announced a $1 billion Urban Congestion Fund to tackle congestion in cities around Australia. This should result in improved traffic flow and safety.
- Increased home care. Over the next four years, Australia's ageing population will see an extra 14,000 home care places created. There will also be $146 million invested to improve aged care access in remote areas.
- Business savings. Businesses with a turnover of under $10 million will see the $20,000 asset write-off extended until the next financial year.
- Better hospitals and mental health services. A new public hospitals agreement will deliver $30 billion in additional funding over five years across states and territories. Additionally, mental health service Lifeline Australia will receive $33.8 million in funding over the next four years, with additional funding provided for mental health research as an industry.
- Improved national safety. Border control will be receiving major upgrades as part of the Budget. Regional airports — 64 of them — will receive improved screening technologies as part of a $50 million security investment, with an additional $200 million put towards improving the presence of border forces and advanced mail and cargo screening.