In his Federal budget speech delivered last night, the Treasurer Josh Frydenburg outlined numerous measures aimed at rebuilding a Covid-devasted economy by creating and supporting jobs and encouraging spending. So what were some of the highlights?
- Job Maker credits. These will encourage employers to hire people under age 35 who are currently on Job Seeker by providing up to $200 per employee per week
- Tax cuts for low and middle-income earners. This will work out to about $20 per week for lower-income earners.
- An increased focus on mental health with numerous packages including a doubling of the Medicare subsidised psychologist visits
What’s in it for Seniors?
There were some wins for Seniors
- Age Pensioners and Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC) holders will receive two $250 payments over the next few months. The first $250 payment will be made from December and the second from March 2021.
- The eligibility date for the first payment is the 27th of November
- the eligibility date for the second payment is the 26th of February
- There will be an additional 23,000 new home care packages at a cost of $1.6 billion enabling more older Australians to stay in their own home rather than entering nursing homes
- Some Seniors, including CSHC holders could see some benefits flowing through from the tax cuts. For example, someone with a taxable income of $30,000 would have a tax saving of $255
- There will be an increase in the low income tax offset from $445 to $700 and retention of the Low and Middle Tax Offset for the 2020-21 financial year (this was to be phased out as at 1 July 2020). If you are entitled to any offset, it is calculated by the ATO once you have lodged your tax return.
This has all come at an enormous cost with the budget deficit ballooning to $214 billion and gross debt growing to $1.1 trillion next year. Seniors might have hoped for a bit more given the freeze in Age Pension rates but in this economy, the cash payments are still a welcome boost. We’d love to hear your views on whether the budget delivered for Seniors. You can add your comments below.