The expanded instant asset write-off scheme and new JobMaker initiative, together with wage subsidies for new apprentices and additional tax cuts, has been welcomed by Barossa businesses.
Mr Brad Brook, Juncken Joinery Manager said announcements in last week’s Federal Budget would be helpful in the industry he’s been in for more than 13 years.
“The instant write-off means we can upgrade our machinery,” Brad said.
“We’ve already upgraded our wide belt sander and bought a new joinery installation van…you can only do so much at anyone time, but the tax write off obviously helps.”
With the scheme allowing businesses to be able to write off the value of eligible assets until June 2022, Brad said more things on their wish list could become reality.
“It’s always good to move with the times and improve on what we’ve already got,” said Brad. “Upgrading helps productivity and also the overall quality of what we produce and with some of these handouts and incentives from the government, it definitely helps in making decisions to upgrade easier.”
The new JobMaker Hiring Credit initiative is encouraging businesses to hire younger people currently on JobSeeker by providing either $200 a week for eligible under 30 year olds or $100 for under 35s; whilst a 50% wage subsidy is being offered as an incentive to take on apprentices and trainees.
With Juncken Builders and Joinery having just advertised for someone to help with administration in the joinery department and a replacement carpenter for the building side of the business, Brad said the two government measures have delivered
“There’s an incentive there to take someone on in that younger generation, but you don’t necessarily base your decision to hire somebody just to get $200 a week back for a year,” said Brad.
“If they do happen to fall into that age-group category, well then it’s a bonus for sure, especially if they need some additional training to get them up to speed, which is often the case in this industry.
“If we can’t find a suitably qualified carpenter, we may need to go down the apprenticeship path….with the government paying half their wage for the first 12 months, we can teach that person the way we want to teach them.
“Since this came in last week, it has made us talk about putting on an apprentice whereas we weren’t really thinking about that option two weeks ago.”
Juncken’s workload remained steady throughout the COVID-19 lockdown and, if anything, it was even busier due to a number of government projects being brought forward.
Together with last week’s budget announcements, Brad is pleased with how the government has responded to the pandemic.
“I think what they’ve come up with will not only help the general public, it will help business too and hopefully encourage people to spend some money – that’s what they are obviously trying to do to keep the economy going,” he said.
There is only one “possible negative” that Brad has noticed in the budget.
“If you are taking on anyone new, maybe there should be a subsidy regardless of their age,” he said.
“I think there are a lot of people between 35 and 65 that are in exactly the same boat as the younger generation and it could be argued that it’s more critical that the older age group stays in employment.”
On the home front, tax cuts for lower and middle-income earners, with up to $2,745 relief for workers compared to 2017-2018, has been welcomed by families.
“My wife, Jessica works part time and we have a 16 month old child – if it means I have an extra $1,000 or so in the pocket, it can only be a good thing,” Brad said.
“There are always projects you are saving for, maybe it’s a holiday or home improvements….Anything extra in your pocket is helpful.”