Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey has thrown $5 billion of tax relief at small business and farmers and given $4.4 billion in support for families to stimulate the economy and kickstart the coalition’s electoral hopes.
“This is a budget that unleashes our nation’s potential,” the Treasurer declared as he delivered his second budget on Tuesday. A deficit of $35.1 billion for 2015/16 defied economists’ expectations, and the government still expects to return to surplus in 2019/20.
But the budget papers still forecast a jobless rate of six per cent or over until 2018/19, despite a 0.5 per cent lift in economic growth. Sensible savings, prudent spending and redirected funding to small business, child care, infrastructure would boost growth and jobs, Mr Hockey said. Small business will get a corporate tax rate cut of 1.5 per cent, an annual five per cent tax discount of up to $1000 a year for unincorporated businesses and, from budget night, an immediate tax deduction for all items purchased by a small business up to $20,000.