The Tasmanian Liberal Government welcomes the strong investment in the 2021 Federal Budget that will help create jobs, strengthen our economy, and deliver the essential services that Tasmanians need.
With the economy bouncing back and significant increases in consumer spending, the Australian Government has forecast GST pool growth averaging 6.7 per cent from 2019-20 to 2024-25. This includes growth of 15.8 per cent in 2020-21.
Tasmania’s share of the GST pool is expected to remain relatively consistent at approximately 4.1 per cent over the Budget and Forward Estimates period, providing increased GST revenue to Tasmania of $846 million to that estimated in the recent Pre-Election Financial Outlook.
Total Payments for Specific Purposes to Tasmania have also increased by $163 million over the same period, including $53 million for education and $10.5 million for the extension of the Jobtrainer program.
We particularly welcome that the Budget provides additional support for addressing women’s safety and family violence, as well as other measures to support women.
Changes were announced to superannuation to help women boost their retirement savings. The removal of the $450 per month superannuation threshold will expand the superannuation guarantee, improving coverage and increasing retirement savings, particularly for women.
The Budget includes a statement on women’s safety and health, with funding of a further $1.1 billion through the Women’s Safety Package to address and prevent family and domestic violence. The Commonwealth Government is also committing $146 million to enhance national law enforcement child protection capabilities.
There is also $10.7 million over four years from 2021-22 to establish Veteran Wellbeing Centres in Tasmania and South-East Queensland that will provide veterans with access to local support services.
The Tasmanian Government also welcomes the retention of the Low and Middle-Income Tax Offset for the 2021-22 financial year to stimulate the economy and put downward pressure on the cost of living across the State.
This will impact almost 210,000 Tasmanian taxpayers with the average earning full-time worker in Tasmania to receive the full benefit of $1080 per year.
Further, a major measure to continue to support all Tasmanian businesses includes the one year extension to 30 June 2023 of the instant asset write off for the full cost of capital assets to help businesses with cashflow.
The Budget also includes an additional $322.6 million investment in roads and infrastructure that will reduce congestion and travel time, while creating jobs for Tasmanians across the long term.
We also welcome the massive investment into aged care, with over $17.7 billion committed across the Budget and forward estimates to employ more staff into the sector, and reduce the backlog for those needing help to stay in their own home.
With an older and more vulnerable population and with an estimated over 8000 Tasmanians utilising aged care services, this is very good news for Tasmanians and their families and will address skills and staff shortages, helping the sector with their needs well into the future.
Additionally, the changes to superannuation will allow retirees to downsize their family home five years earlier at age 60, allowing them to boost their super while importantly, freeing up more housing stock for Tasmanian families.
The first-home guarantee will also be expanded with another 10,000 places made available, allowing even more people to build a new home, or purchase a newly built home with a deposit of as little as five per cent.
These measures will complement our initiatives to boost housing stock and alleviate housing stress across the State, including boosting the First Home Owners Grant from $20,000 to $30,000 and increasing the property value threshold for our 50% stamp duty concession for first home buyers and pensioners downsizing.
The changes to childcare will also be warmly welcomed by Tasmanian families. These changes mean that over 7000 Tasmanian families will receive a 95 per cent subsidy for their second and subsequent children.
This Budget delivers for Tasmania and is another demonstration of State and Federal Governments working together to Secure Tasmania’s Future.