Budget boost for Mayo's small business economy
Local Federal MP Rebekha Sharkie says the 2019 budget will boost Mayo’s small business-driven local economy, help young people into apprenticeships and offer opportunities for infrastructure projects across the region thanks to the continuation of major grant programs.
“I welcome the news of the small business tax cut to 25 per cent and the instant asset write-off increase from $25,000 to $30,000 with an expansion of the write-off to include businesses with a turnover to up to $50 million,” Rebekha said.
“Mayo has nearly 12,000 businesses and over 99 per cent of them have a turnover of less than $10 million per annum so our local economy is driven by small business.
“I also know that many of our businesses with a turnover to up to $50 million include our independent supermarkets and service stations which have high turnover and slim profit margins so this is a measure that will assist them too.
“Centre Alliance also welcomes the $525 million skills package to create new apprenticeships.
“Apprentice numbers have dropped significantly in recent years and Centre Alliance has consistently advocated for mentoring and other incentives to address this problem.
“The continuation of the Building Better Regions Fund, the Stronger Communities Program, Road Black Spot Program, the Mobile Black Spot Program and others offer the opportunity for our region to build our infrastructure and community capacity.
"I am also really pleased that the Government has set aside a further $40 million over two years for Supplementary Road Funding in South Australia, giving Mayo councils over $4.6 million to upgrade local roads.
"Centre Alliance (formerly NXT) successfully fought for the reinstatement of Supplementary Road Funding following the cut of this special funding stream for South Australia in 2014.
"Supplementary road funding topped up the shortfall in road funding for South Australia. The funding recognised that South Australia has more than 11% of the nation’s local road network, 7% of the population but received less than 5% of the nation’s share of road funding.
"This funding was due to end on 30 June 2019 and so I am really pleased to learn it will continue for another two years.
"It is disappointing the funding hasn't been indexed and is only for another two-year period. Regardless of which party wins government, the discrepancy in local road funding for South Australia will need to be addressed."
But the Member for Mayo says not enough is being done to address the burgeoning waiting list for Home Care Packages for older Australians.
“I am concerned that the extra 10,000 Home Care Packages announced in the budget will not meaningfully address the current waiting list of 128,000 people,” Rebekha said.
“I would have thought the Government would have made more of a dent in the waiting list numbers if they were really serious about keeping older Australians in their own home."
Rebekha said pensioners and Newstart recipients in Mayo would benefit from the Government’s once-off Energy Assistance Payments of $125 for couples and $75 for singles but this measure did not address rising energy prices and other cost-of-living pressures.
“Back in 2017, my Centre Alliance colleagues and I negotiated the same once-off Energy Assistance Payment as a stop-gap measure to help some of the most vulnerable people in our community manage their rapidly rising energy bills, on the basis that the Government might actually be able to achieve something substantial in bringing down energy prices,” she said.
“That hasn’t happened, and this Government still hasn’t addressed the underlying problem of a lack of investment in the energy sector thanks to the policy vacuum on climate change.”
Budget highlights for Mayo include:
- Double low and middle-income tax offset from 2018/19; taxpayers up to $126,000 will receive a tax cut; up to $1080 per taxpayer
- $525 million skills package to boost apprenticeships
- Once-off Energy Assistance Payments ($125 for couples, $75 for singles) for pensioners and Newstart recipients
- Further $40 million, two-year Supplementary Road Funding deal for SA councils
- $73.6 million for duplication of South Road to McLaren Vale
- $2.2 billion for road safety including $550 million for Black Spot Program
- $1.4 million for redevelopment of Strathalbyn and District Aged Care Facility
- Continued funding for the Commonwealth Home Support Packages for older Australians
- $160 million for Rounds 5 & 6 of the Mobile Black Spot Program
- $206.2 million for the Round 4 for Building Better Regions Fund
- $28.3 million for Communities Environment Program
- $25 million over four years to set up a National Centre for Coasts, Environment and Climate
- The Government will do an ecological assessment of wetlands to meet its obligations under the Ramsar Convention
- $3.3 million to continue Music Count Us and two other programs.
Budget low-lights for Mayo include:
- Not enough Home Care Packages for older Australians
- No extra funding for public dental care
- No further MRI licences for Mayo
- No funding restored to the ABC
- No serious action on climate change
- No Horticultural Netting Scheme
- No funding for TAFE capital works.
“This is a predictable pre-election budget for a Coalition Government,” Rebekha said.
“Most of the funding announcements come as no surprise, however, because they have already been pre-announced by the Government.
"It should also be noted that many of these budget measures announced by the Government require legislation and we're about to go into an election."