Full steam ahead for Tasmania in Federal Budget

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12 May 2015

It is full steam ahead for Tasmania with the Budget funding the expanded Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme, the Midland Highway upgrade, the irrigation schemes and the Hobart International Airport.

"Tasmania is a big winner in the 2015-16 Federal Budget," Leader of the Government in the Senate, Senator Eric Abetz said on behalf of the Tasmanian Liberal team.

"The Budget is the next step in the Liberals' plan of creating jobs and a secure economic future for our State.

"On top of that we have achieved a doubling of the payment for the Tasmanian Jobs Programme."

From tomorrow the Tasmanian Jobs Programme wage subsidy will increase from $3,250 to up to $6,500 over six months. Employers who currently have staff employed under the programme will also be eligible for the higher payment.

The $10,000 wage subsidies under the Restart programme for workers aged 50 or older can be combined with the Tasmanian Jobs Programme with employers being eligible for up to $16,500.

In addition to the Tasmanian Jobs Programme and Restart, from 1 November 2015, eligible employers will receive up to $6,500 if they hire an eligible young job seeker under 30 years of age, an Indigenous job seeker, a parent returning to the workforce, or a long-term unemployed job seeker.

Overall the $3.5 billion Jobs for Families child care package will help more Tasmanians to get into work, to be in work and to stay in work.

It also delivers a childcare system that is simpler, more affordable, more flexible, and more accessible.

Tasmanian families using child care in 2017, on family incomes of between $65,000 and $170,000 will be around $30 a week better off. Those on higher incomes will, on average, continue to receive the same level of support.

Families on incomes of less than $65,000 per year will receive ongoing access to early childhood learning, and can be eligible for additional financial support through the Child Care Safety Net.

The Growing Jobs and Small Business package will assist employers to grow and employ young job seekers, mature workers, parents and the long-term unemployed.

The Government is investing $6.8billion to establish jobactive to improve the quality of services delivered to job seekers and employers.

This includes a $1.2 billion national wage subsidy pool to support employers and assist job seekers into work.

The Government is improving wage subsidy arrangements to create more opportunities for job seekers, especially those aged over 50 years and parents returning to the workforce.

To make life easier for Tasmanian small businesses, from 1 July 2015, the Government will cut the company tax rate for businesses with annual turnover up to $2 million by 1.5 percentage points to 28.5 per cent and will provide a 5 per cent tax discount for over one and a half million sole traders, trusts and partnership structures which are unincorporated businesses with annual turnover up to $2 million, capped at $1,000, through their end of year tax return.

From tonight until 30 June 2017, small businesses with turnover below $2 million will be able to fully and immediately deduct every asset they acquire that is valued up to $20,000 for tax purposes - a substantial increase from the previous $1,000 threshold.

Infrastructure investment includes the Midland Highway $400 million with $57.1 million provided in 2015-16, Freight Rail Revitalisation: $ 59.8 million with $16.5 million provided in 2015-16 and the Brooker Highway (Elwick-Goodwood to Howard Road): $25.6 million with $8.9 million provided in 2015-16.

The Black Spot Programme will continue to reduce crashes on our roads with $60 million allocated annually nation-wide to target dangerous areas where crashes are occurring.

This builds on what the team has already delivered for Tasmania including:

  • $203 million expansion to the Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme.

  • $400 million funding was provided in the 2014 Budget to continue the Midland Highway upgrade.

  • $60 million to Tasmanian Irrigation's Tranche Two schemes. This investment will create 150 direct full-time jobs.

  • $38 million for the Hobart Airport

  • The University of Tasmania has been awarded $24 million funding for the Antarctic Gateway Partnership.

  • Progressing the acquisition of a new icebreaker and has provided $9.4 million to maintain Australia's presence in Antarctica.

  • $13 million of funding provided to the University of Tasmania for the Sense-T project. The Sense-T project will boost agriculture and create hundreds of high tech jobs. 41 Tasmanian businesses will benefit from the Innovation and Investment Fund, creating around 400 new jobs.

  • The Tasmanian Major Projects Approval Agency which is supporting projects with a total investment value of over $700 million.

  • Record funding to hospitals in Tasmania. Funding for hospitals in Tasmania has been increased by $99 million (34%) over four years - including additional funding for the Launceston General Hospital

  • More than 13,000 jobs were created in Tasmania in 2014 - compared to a loss of 5,000 jobs in 2013 under Labor and the Greens.

  • New trade agreements with China, Japan and South Korea will boost export opportunities and create more jobs.

  • Cuts to red tape will save around $2.4 billion in compliance costs nationally.

  • Record funding to schools in Tasmania. Funding has been increased by $111 million (37%) over four years.

The 2015-16 Budget is part of the Government's plan to build a strong, safe and prosperous future for all Australians.

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