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Local News

2021 Federal Budget a win for many, not so much for specific Hunter projects though

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It’s good news for low to middle tax income earners in the Upper Hunter with the Federal Government’s budget extending the tax offset from last year - just over a thousand dollars for singles and double that for couples.

The other winners include $17.7 billion will be spent over five years on the aged care sector, $2.3 billion on mental health services, and the government will reduce the $10,560 cap on the childcare subsidy from July 1, 2022 and increase the subsidy for second and subsequent children.

Specifically for the Hunter region there’s a revised estimate of $42.2 million to be spent updating Singleton army base, with $23.7 million estimated spending this year and $9.8 million in 2021-22.

In Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack's ministerial documents the project is mentioned for remediating trunk infrastructure, and delivering new and refurbished buildings for base support and logistics in the Singleton Military Area.

This project commenced construction in late 2020 and is scheduled for completion in late 2021.

The Government said this project is maximising opportunities for local industry to be involved as subcontractors throughout the construction of the works.

There’s nothing else really specific aside business case to be developed for a pipeline between Lostock Dam and Glennies Creek Dam, with funding of $11.1 million over three years and there’s no mention of funding or the project in general mentioned of the gas power station at Kurri Kurri.

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New England MP Barnaby Joyce said the Budget will rebuild our economy and create more jobs to ensure we come back stronger from the COVID-19 induced recession, including in the New England.

As part of our COVID-19 response, the Coalition Government has committed $291 billion or 14.7 per cent of GDP in direct economic support for Australians, including thousands of individuals, households and businesses in the New England.

“Our plan to secure Australia’s recovery will create more jobs, rebuild our economy and set the country up for the future”, Barnaby Joyce said. 

To secure Australia’s recovery the Budget provides an additional tax cut to more than 10 million low and middle income earners, including about 55,500 people in New England.

It will see low and middle income earners benefit by up to $1,080 for individuals or $2,160 for couples.

To support further job creation, Barnaby Joyce said the Coalition Government will extend temporary full expensing and the loss carry-back measure announced in last year’s Budget for another year.

"This will allow more than 99 per cent of businesses employing 11.5 million Australians, including about 20,100 businesses in the New England, to deduct the full cost of eligible depreciable assets of any value in the year they are installed until 30 June 2023."

"Additionally, around 4,700 businesses in New England will be able to use the extended loss carry back measure to support cash flow and confidence. This has helped businesses invest more in the local economy and to create local jobs."

The Government is doubling its commitment to the JobTrainer Fund to support a further 163,000 new training places to upskill job seekers and meet skills shortages. The Budget also funds more than 170,000 new apprenticeships and traineeships, 5,000 higher education short courses and 2,700 places in Indigenous girls academies to help them finish school and get a job.

"We will also accelerate digitals skills training for job seekers with low levels of reading, writing, maths and computer skills. Women will also benefit from STEM scholarships and programs to help them to break into non-traditional trades," said Barnaby Joyce.

“The Government is building the infrastructure our community needs for the future, with a record 10-year $110 billion infrastructure pipeline, which is already supporting 100,000 jobs across the country, including vital local projects such as our quarter of a billion dollar investment in a new Dungowan Dam near Tamworth and a $140 million upgrade of the New England Highway,” he said.

“This also includes local road safety upgrades such as $6 million in funding to improve transport corridors like Bald Nob Road between the New England Highway and the Gwydir Highway and Sunnyside Platform Road north of Tenterfield.”

The Coalition Government will increase the child care subsidies available to families with more than one child aged five and under in child care, benefitting around 250,000 families; and abolish the $10,560 cap on the Child Care Subsidy, benefitting around 18,000 families.

For those families with more than one child aged five and under in child care, the level of subsidy received will increase by 30 percentage points to a maximum subsidy of 95 per cent for their second and subsequent children.

In last year’s Budget, the Coalition Government invested $1.5 billion in a Modern Manufacturing Strategy to ensure our international competitiveness and to create more jobs.

The 2021-22 Budget goes further with a new ‘patent box’ starting on 1 July 2022. Under the patent box, income earned from new patents that have been developed in Australia will be taxed at a concessional rate of 17 per cent, applying to the medical and biotech sectors, and consulting on expanding it to the clean energy sector. Our comprehensive manufacturing plan will help Australian businesses to develop the next bionic ear or cervical cancer vaccine.

For more information, visit: www.budget.gov.au