Scott Morrison’s first Australian Federal budget has made headlines for changes to small business, income tax relief for some earners, cuts to super tax breaks, a huge cut to foreign aid and lack of mention of negative gearing and capital gains tax. While some say the changes are mild—or perhaps not a real budget at all—there are several budget items set to impact spatial businesses both small and large. Chief among them are changes to corporate tax and a number of big ticket infrastructure projects set to receive funding around the country.
Small Business Owners
The existing $2 million upper limit of annual turnover to qualify for ‘small business’ tax concessions has been upped to $10 million. The result, more small to medium spatial businesses will be eligible for a 27.5% tax rate, as well as any accompanying concessions and subsidies.
The lowering of tax will continue with the budget promising to reduce the rate a further 2.5% down to 25% by 2025-26.
Large Businesses and Corporations
Large multinationals will find it harder to avoid paying Australian taxes due to a new tax avoidance tax force focussed on the big end of town. The taskforce expects to find an estimated $3.7 billion of additional funding from multinational corporations, businesses and high wealth individuals.
To back this up, a new Diverted Profits Tax will be applied to multinational companies that attempt to shift profits offshore. This is also expected to raise an additional $650 million.
Cities and Infrastructure
In addition to the Smart Cities Plan announced by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Assistant Minister Angus Taylor last week, a number of key areas of city infrastructure projects were highlighted in this week’s budget.
Among them is $1.5 billion allocated for Melbourne’s EastWest Link will be allocated to M80 and Monash Freeway Upgrades, as well as the Murray Darling Basin Freight Rail project.
Linking Melbourne to Brisbane will be an Inland Rail project with funding of $594 million.
In Western Australia, airport rail and freight links will be funded by $751 million.
Sydney’s new airport in Western Sydney will be prepared with the help of $155 million.
Finally, $2 billion will be allocated for a National Water Infrastructure Loan Facility.
Many of these projects appeared earlier this year in Australia’s first comprehensive Australian Infrastructure Plan, which hints at which other projects might receive funding in the near future.