Some of the highlights of the Federal Budget on the not-for-profit sector are covered below:
Tax cuts for individuals:
- A key component of the budget is delivering tax cuts to low and middle income earners, which will be phased in from 2019.
- Up to 10 million workers will save up to 4530 a year from 2018-19 under a new tax offset.
- More than 200,000 taxpayers won’t be paying 37 cent tax rate when the 2.55 tax bracket is lifted to those earning $90,000 from July 1, 2018.
- The government has increased its robodebt strategy and it will be extended for another three years.
- Newly-arrived migrants access to some welfare benefits will be extended from three years to four years from July 2018. This is expected to save $202 million over five years from 2017-18.
- Focus on recovering Centrelink debts over $10,00. Fines will be automatically deducted from the payments welfare recipients that have unpaid fines.
- Welfare payments for people with outstanding arrest warrants will also be cancelled or suspended.
- Newstart payments will not increase.
- The Government has committed to fully funding the NDIS.
- The Medicare Levy increase (from 2% to 2.5%) has been dropped, which means the NDIS will now be contingent on ongoing revenue.
- An extra $92.1 million had been allocated to help those who aren’t eligible for the NDIS but are currently in programs transitioning towards the scheme.
- Further announcements included $9.9 million for Disability Employment Service (DES) providers to transition to the new DES system and $64.3 million to establish an NDIS Jobs and Market Fund to expand the NDIS workforce and service providers.
- The Government has committed to an increase of $338 million in mental health funding. This includes $33.8 to Lifeline Australia and $37.6 million to expand beyondblue’s Way Back Support Service. The increase in funding focuses on suicide prevention, research, care for older Australians and advancing the Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan.
- $83.5 million from 20107-17 to 2021-22 for a new rural health strategy. This will support teaching, training, recruitment and retention.
- An extra 14000 home care places over the next four years to support people to remain independent.
- The Government will provide an additional $4.8 billion investment to Medicare. This is as a result of the Medicare rebate freeze ending.
- The Government will deliver more than $30 billion in additional public hospital funding under a five-year National Health Agreement. This restores funding cuts that would have otherwise commenced in 2020.
- $550 million commitment to address remote housing need in the NT and $1.7 billion through our primary health care model.
- The foreign aid budget has been frozen again at $4.2 billion a year.