CWB Budget recap

With the year that has been, last night’s Budget announcement was heavily focused on jobs. The announcement also included the Government’s Second Women’s Economic Security Package, with recognition that women have made up the majority of those who have lost their jobs during this year’s crisis.

We’ve penned this recap to help you navigate the Budget and any support that might help you as you continue to navigate these uncertain times.

Second Women’s Economic Security Package

Announcing the Second Women’s Economic Security Package last night, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the Government is determined to increase female workforce participation to its pre-Covid-19 record high, and create more opportunities and choices for women.

The $231 million package includes $35.9 million to increase the number of co-funded grants to women-founded start-ups under the Boosting Female Founders Initiative and create a new service to provide access to expert mentoring and advice for women entrepreneurs.

The Boosting Female Founders Initiative page on the business.gov.au site is not yet updated, but we expect more information will be provided on the site soon. We’ll be in touch with the Department of Industry to ensure we get any information to ensure you, our Canberra Women in Business can access these services where you are eligible.

In addition, the Women’s Economic Security Package includes:

  • $90.3 million for concessional work test arrangements for Paid Parental Leave in response to COVID-19.

  • $47.9 million to increase grants for the Women’s Leadership and Development Program, including funding for the Academy of Enterprising Girls and Women Building Australia.

  • $25.1 million to establish a Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Industry Cadetship program to support 500 women working in STEM industries.

  • $24.7 million to streamline the servicing arrangement of ParentsNext and modify the eligibility to provide assistance to parents most in need.

  • $14.5 million to extend or expand existing initiatives that support girls and women to gain STEM skills and capabilities, including the Women in STEM Ambassador, the Women in STEM Entrepreneurship Grants Program and the Girls in STEM Toolkit.

  • $2.1 million to establish a Respect@Work Council to assist in addressing sexual harassment in Australian workplaces.

Other key announcements which have taken our interest include:

JobMaker

This measure supports job creation for young Australians, the Government has announced a new JobMaker hiring credit, encouraging businesses to take on young people who have been receiving Job Seeker payments. You can receive between $100 and $200 per week for each person you employ who is between 16 and 35.

Tax cuts

As expected, the Treasurer has announced that stage two of the income tax cuts (announced last year) will be brought forward and backdated to July 1. The cuts see the 19 per cent tax threshold lifted to $45,000 and the 32.5 per cent threshold lifted to $120,000.

Small business mental health and financial wellbeing

The Government will provide $7 million to support the mental health and financial wellbeing of small businesses impacted by COVID-19, including:

  • $4.3 million to provide free, accessible and tailored support for small business owners by expanding Beyond Blue’s NewAccess program in partnership with the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman

  • $2.2 million to expand a free accredited professional development program that builds the mental health literacy of trusted business advisers so that they can better support small business owners in times of distress, delivered through Deakin University.

In addition, Australians accessing mental health services will get a boost with the number of Medicare supported appointments with a psychologist doubling from 10 to 20.

Fair Work Ombudsman

The Government will provide funding for the Fair Work Ombudsman to enhance its advice and education services for businesses and employees about workplace laws, including in the context of COVID-19.

Instant asset write-off

Business with up to $5bn in turnover are able to write-off the full value of any eligible asset they purchase until June 2022.

Apprenticeships

The Government is committing $1.2bn to create 100,000 new apprenticeships and traineeships through a 50 per cent wage subsidy.

We’re here for you

We hope this gives you some useful information to support your business decision making through the uncertain time we are operating in.

And remember, if you need to talk, we’re always here for you!

We hope you can join us at our Awards night on 5 November to celebrate the remarkable tenacity and support of business women across the region.

We’ll also soon announce our AGM, end-of-year event and more opportunities for us all to come together.

Wishing you a lovely week,

Maryanne and the CWB Committee