Below is a link to the summary of the 2018 budget delivered by the Government on Tuesday night.
Undoubtedly the headline item is tax relief for individuals by lifting the 32.5% tax bracket to $90,000 from 1 July 2018 and the Government’s announcement of its intention to abolish the 37% tax bracket in 2024-25. In the 2022-23 financial year we will also see the Low Income Tax Offset increased to $645 and the 19% tax rate from $37,000 to $41,000.
Health & aged care was a key focus for this announcement. In the build up to the budget, we heard that there will be no increase to the Medicare levy, as the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has been funded from other sources of revenue. Whilst we do not know the exact details of where this extra money has been found, the abandonment of this proposed increase is certainly welcomed. The Medicare rebate is increasing by 55¢ for a visit to the GP after a four year freeze and the Royal Flying Doctors Service given an additional $84 million to expand its services.
The Government is also tackling the sin taxes in this year’s budget. After crackdowns in recent times on the black economy, the Government’s next project to recoup lost revenue is to establish a tobacco task force – expected to raise an additional $3.6 billion in additional revenue – to crack down on the “chop-chop” tobacco trade. With regards to alcohol, the excise charged on craft beer kegs over eight litres will be equalised. This is intended to level the competition between small craft breweries and large multinational beer producers.
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