Labor handed down its first Budget and the second for Australia in 2022. From addressing skills shortages to increased childcare support, these are the top-line items that hold the most relevance to Australia’s small to medium-sized businesses.
Childcare Subsidy Changes
In what is probably the most significant measure in the Budget, the Government are investing $4.9 billion to expand the childcare subsidy. The increase is aimed at improving female workplace participation.
“Cheaper child care is a game-changing investment in families, our workforce, and our economy” – Treasurer Jim Chalmers.
Subsidy rates will increase for all families earning less than $530,000 in household income. Currently, families earning more than $356,756 are not eligible for CCS.
There are at least two measures that aim to address the current labour shortages in the market:
- More TAFE and University Places – Over five years, 480,000 fee-free TAFE and 20,000 additional university placements will be created. These will be focused on industries and regions facing the worst skills shortage.
- Investment in skilled migration – $42.2 million over two years will be invested in increasing the efficiency of visa processing for skilled workers.
Small business mental health support
Business owners battling staff shortages and soaring costs have had a tough time. In an effort to address the effects of this, nearly $15 million in funding will be put toward mental health.
A service delivered by Beyond Blue, called NewAccess, will provide six free sessions to Small Business Owners with no GP referral.
Companies looking to increase their energy efficiency will also be eligible to receive a grant, with the Government investing $62.6 million into a new program.
These payments will cover feasibility studies, planning measures, and equipment and facility upgrades designed to boost efficiency, lower emissions, or smooth out power demand.