Memo from Mayo - Budget 2021/22
Welcome to my Memo from Mayo 2021/22 Federal Budget edition. The devil is always in the detail with budgets. However, at first glance, this appears to be a pragmatic budget with some key announcements for South Australia and the electorate of Mayo. I would grade this budget a 'B+' because it attempts to deliver on bushfire and aged care Royal Commission recommendations, and funding to veterans, but it fails to deliver when it comes to renewable energy, social housing, and a much-needed increase to the Commonwealth Rent Assistance Program.
Locally, I was pleased to see the Government allocate funding to a number of projects I have advocated strongly for, including $5 million to finish upgrading the emergency department and renal dialysis unit at the Southern Fleurieu Health Service (the Victor Harbor Hospital) and $5 million for a planning study for a possible 'Greater Adelaide Freight Bypass'. The following is a short snapshot of the Federal Budget.
- $5.1 million to finish the upgrades at the Southern Fleurieu Health Service in Victor Harbor. The Government promised $8.4 million for the project in the 2019 election but a shortfall of $5.12 million was identified by local health authorities earlier this year, prompting Rebekha to advocate for additional funding.
- $5 million for a planning study into a ‘Greater Adelaide Freight Bypass.
- $5.4 million for the 'Southern Materials Recovery Facility' recycling plant at McLaren Vale.
- Extended financial counselling support for regional small businesses in drought and bushfire-affected areas.
- $32 million for road upgrades on Kangaroo Island, including Hog Bay Road and the Playford Highway.
- $40 million in Supplementary Road Funding over two years for South Australia. This will deliver more than $4 million to Mayo councils for local roads. South Australia has 11% of Australia’s identified local roads and 7% of its population, but only receives 5.5% of Federal local roads funding. To account for this inequity, South Australia received Supplementary Road Funding from the Federal Government until it was cut in the Abbott Government Budget in 2014. Rebekha has successfully advocated for the retention of this funding in 2017/18, 2019/20, and again this year.
- Amendment to the Excise Refund Scheme for craft distillers and brewers so eligible businesses can receive the full remission of any excise they pay up to $350,000, instead of the previous threshold of $100,000. This is expected to return $225 million to distillers and brewers over four years.
- 80,0000 extra home care packages over two years – total to 275,598 by June 2023.
- $200M to introduce a star rating on providers aged care.
- Mandated 200 minutes a day including 40 minutes with registered nurse front line aged care.
- Creation of a new Aged Care Act – (Rebekha: "Four-year timeframe is too long).
- Introduction of a new star rating system to provide senior Australians with choice and control.
- Increased funding for workforce training including in managing dementia and palliative care.
- 13,000 places for training aged care workers and funding to recruit aged care workers in regional, rural, and remote areas.
- More supports including respite and payments for informal carers.
- Introduction of nationally consistent worker screening, register and Code of conduct for care workers.
- $698.3m for improved governance and regional access including the establishment of regional offices and improving access for consumers in regional, rural and remote areas.
- $80.9 million for incentives and opportunities to work and train in rural and regional Australia, and public dental services.
- $878.7m over five years to reduce out of pocket costs for new/amended PBS listings including medications for chronic migraines, eczema and breast cancer.
- Reallocation of $1.2 million for an outreach nurse service on Kangaroo Island.
- $107.9M extension one year of the national partnership agreement on public dental services.
- $278.6 million enhanced and expanded headspace centres across Australia.
- $100.8 million to support parents and early intervention for children aged under 12 years of age and to establish child mental health and wellbeing hubs.
- $111.2m for expanded/improved high-quality low cost digital mental health services.
- $487.2 million for a network of Head to Health Adult Mental Centres and phone assessment service.
- $158.6 million to provide at least three months of follow-up care for suicide-prevention patients.
- $9M over four years to establish an independent statutory Environmental Assurance Commissioner.
- $615.5M a Preparing Australia program for disaster risk reduction projects.
- $209.7 million over four years to establish the Australian Climate Service.
- $61.1 million to establish the National Recovery and Resilience Agency.
- 12-month extension of expensing to allow eligible businesses to deduct the full cost of depreciable assets.
- Temporary loss carry-back extension to allow eligible companies to carry-back tax losses to offset previously taxed profits as far back as 2018-19.
- $1.6M over two years to amend relocation assistance to provide extra support for jobseekers relocating to the regions.
- $6.1M over two years to establish the Rebuilding Regional Communities Program for community groups and small enterprises to recover from COVID.
- Personal income taxes to benefit for low and middle-income earners through an offset in 2021-22 worth up to $1080 for individuals and $2,160 for dual-income couples.
- Additional tax relief through stage 2 cuts: up to $510 for individuals earning up to $37,000; $510-$2,160 for individuals earning between $37,001 up to $48,000; $2,160-$2,295 for individuals earning between $48,001 up to $90,000; $2,295-$2,745 for individuals earning between $90,001 up to $126,000.
- Increase to the Medicare levy low-income thresholds for singles, families, seniors and pensioners from 1 July 2020. Singles $22,801 to $23,226; Families $38,474 to $39,167; Single seniors/pensioners $36,056 to $36,705 Families seniors/pensioners $50,191 to $51,094.
- Increasing Childcare subsidy rate by 30 percentage points for the second child.
- Removing the Childcare subsidy cap of $10,560 per child per year.
- Removing $450 per month minimum income threshold for superannuation guarantee payments enabling approximately 300,000 individuals, mostly women, to receive superannuation payments.
- Reducing eligibility age for downsizer contributions from 65 to 60 years. This allows people to make one-off, post-tax contribution to their super of up to $300,000 per person from the proceeds of selling their home.
- Flexible super: Repealing the work test for voluntary superannuation contributions. Allows individuals aged 65-74 years to make non-concessional or salary sacrifice contributions without meeting the work test.
- Extra $302.8 million over four years to support Department Veterans Affairs.
- $84.4 million in additional funding for veteran healthcare.
- $60.7 million for wellbeing and support funding.
- $145 million over two years for a Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide.
- $1.1 billion to improve women’s safety and end violence against women under a long term intergenerational National Plan.
- $164.8 million for women escaping Family and Domestic Violence.
- $129 million for increased legal assistance funding enabling women to access justice.
- $21.6 million for improved maternal, sexual and reproductive health outcomes including for endometriosis.
- $261.4 million in new agreements with states and territories for frontline Family, Domestic and Sexual Violence supports.
- $13.2 billion NDIS to expand from the current 450,000 people and bring in additional people as they become eligible.
- No further funding cuts to the ABC.
- $80M for Round 6 of Mobile Black Spot Program.
- Extra $4 million a year for the Community Broadcasting Association, in addition to the existing allocation of $16.1 million.
- 2.2M over two years to design a cell broadcast national messaging system to provide nationally significant public messaging.
- $16.4M over three years to establish the Peri-Urban Mobile program to improve mobile phone reception in peri-urban fringe areas that are prone to bushfire.
- $7.7M over four years so ACMA can keep monitoring fixed wireless broadband services.
- $15 million over two years to support Australian Associated Press.
- $22.7M for the seventh round of the Stronger Communities Programme.