Media Release 13 May 2021
Tuesday night’s Federal Budget addressed some of the concerns about the continuation of economic stimulus packages for business, as Australia strives to recover from the impacts of COVID 19. However very little was mentioned to further social housing initiatives, environmental commitments or measures to address some of the more problematic gender, cultural, all-ability and older-age employment disparities in the current “Build Back Better” environment.
QSEC President Richard Warner said, "There are some wide and broad announcements for women's economic, health and wellbeing, training in STEM, addressing superannuation, child care, housing and an attempt to address workplace bullying through program support. However, the built infrastructure focus of the economic stimulus may find those who are most in need still struggling to contribute meaningfully to a sustained and thriving economic solution.”
There were a range of tax incentives and initiatives in the government spending package which aims to accelerate the economic growth of businesses through support for job creation and training.
Key business takeaways included;
- $134.6 M (over four years) to help reduce the regulatory burden on business and their interaction with government. QSEC will help identify initiatives which may impact our members.
- Extended Job Trainer Fund ($506.3 M over two years) which may assist members who are looking to utilise the training and skills short course pathways for their beneficiaries, or to locate skilled employees.
- Extended JobMaker Plan for temporary carry-back for tax losses (2022 - 23) against previously taxed profits for eligible businesses (back to 2018-19 tax year) and some allowances for depreciable assets, although there are eligibility restrictions.
- Digital economy strategy including training and development for AI tech.
- Agri business incentives which may interest some of our eligible food business members and their partners.
Social Enterprises and regional interests included:
- $13.9 M (over four years) for an Early Stage Social Enterprise Foundation which will provide support and finance to an estimated 30 indigenous women entrepreneurs (per year).
- Prime Minister and Cabinet commitment for social impact initiatives ($12.1 M over 4 years).
- Rescue packages for tourism and aviation to increase regional traffic may benefit members who are reliant on tourism.
- Multi-million dollar regional infrastructure commitment, when paired with social procurement incentives may result in an increase in tender opportunities for social enterprises in the relevant fields.
- Removal of the taxing point on cessation of employment for employee ownership share schemes.
- A commitment to provide funding to state government to trial social impact investments which aim to assist vulnerable youth at risk of homelessness.
- A range of incentives to encourage recycling behaviours and environmental protection and biodiversity.
- $59.8 M over four years to deliver grants through state government to boost existing organic waste and processing infrastructure and $7.2M for education programs.
- A raft of extended and renewed commitments to secure youth employment through Transition To Work, and Career Information schemes.
- Streamlining New Employment Service Model with the New Enterprise Initiative Scheme (NEIS) to assist self employment through business ownership.
- Insurance subsidies for North Queensland.
- Disaster mitigation projects for impact areas.
While this range of broad packages and incentivised programs address some of the focus areas of most concern to social enterprises, QSEC believes there is still much work to be done to ensure Australia’s most disadvantaged citizens are considered in a fair and regenerative economic environment. QSEC also anticipates that the Queensland Government’s own $8M Social Enterprise Jobs Fund (SEJF), announced in December 2020 will contribute to bridging some of these disparities for social enterprises operating in Queensland.
”We will continue to work alongside our national partners to further promote social enterprise as a viable and essential part of the broader economic solution. In partnership with our sector leaders and the Queensland State Government, QSEC will seek to leverage these federal budget opportunities for social enterprises through the SEJF programs, which we anticipate will be released shortly." Mr Warner continued, "There has never been a better time to go beyond business as usual to address the more persistent environmental, societal and cultural inequities”.END OF MEDIA RELEASE
Contact: Elise Parups, CEO