Weekly Digest – 6 April 2022

Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas to help us all move forward.

Central Bank Opens Its Door to Interest Rate Hike

The central bank dropped its previous pledge to be “patient” on policy, signalling a step towards an eventual tightening. While the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) kept its cash rate at 0.1%, it noted inflation had picked up and was likely to rise further, while unemployment had fallen faster than expected to 4.0%.

AU-India Trade Deal

Australia has signed a historic trade agreement with India, further strengthening our relationship while making Australian exports to India cheaper and creating new opportunities for workers and businesses. Under the Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement, tariffs will be eliminated on more than 85% of Australian goods exports to India, rising to almost 91% over 10 years.

Analytics to Support the Wine Industry

A $989,000 grant to a wine industry consortium led by Wine Australia will help build an interactive online pricing and market-data digital analytics platform for greater transparency throughout the supply chain.

Locally Made Medicines

Under the Collaboration Stream of the Modern Manufacturing Initiative, the government has announced $23 million support for the $71.2 million Australian Precision Medicine Enterprise. Global Medical Solutions Australia will work with Monash University and Telix Pharmaceuticals for the production of precision medicines for the treatment of cancer, kidney disease, and other illnesses, building Australia’s medical manufacturing capability.

Support for Mental Health and Wellbeing of Kids

Parents will soon have access to new tools to better support the mental health and wellbeing of their kids, as part of the $40.6 million government funded Parenting Education and Support grant. The program will be available nationally and address different parenting needs as children progress through key development milestones from ages 0-11 years.

Bonus Tax Deductions for Small Businesses

The Technology Investment Boost allows small businesses to claim 120% of the costs of new technologies and training courses to upskill staff as deductions. An annual cap of $100,000 will apply to eligible technology expenditure, with the initiative set to last until 30 June 2023.

Super to Cover More Employees

From 1 July 2022, you will need to pay super to your employees who earn less than $450 per month, provided they meet other eligibility requirements. This expands super guarantee eligibility so employees can receive super regardless of how much they earn.

Upcoming Key Dates

  • 21 April- March monthly BAS due
  • 28 April- March quarter super guarantee due
  • 28 April- March quarterly BAS due
  • 28 April- March quarter PAYG instalment due

New Zealand Opens Borders to Australians

Fully vaccinated Australians will be able to travel to New Zealand from April 12. New Zealand borders will start to open for other countries from May 1.

Business Assistance Package for WA Businesses

The Level 2 COVID-19 Business Assistance Package is available for businesses in Western Australia most impacted by restrictions. The assistance includes a $66.8 million Small Business Hardship Grants Program, $2.8 million of payroll tax relief for large hospitality businesses, and $2.1 million for a COVID-19 Commercial Sporting Franchises Support Program.

Safe Transition Industry Support Package

The WA Government has launched a $77 million Safe Transition Industry Support Package to assist eligible businesses and individuals in sectors most affected by the decision to delay the full reopening of WA’s borders. It includes nine support programs for the international education, tourism, aviation and events sectors.

Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment

People who are forced out of work to isolate due to being infected or being a close contact are eligible for the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment.

You are also eligible if you are caring for a child under 16 years old who is a close contact or infected, or someone with a disability or a severe medical condition who is a close contact of someone with COVID-19.

You can find more information about Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment conditions specific to your state or territory here.

Support for Small Businesses

If your business is struggling, the ATO offers a wide range of support for those affected by the pandemic, natural disasters, mental health issues, or financial difficulties.

Learn more about the available support, and the small business debt helpline for free, independent advice.

Get in touch

Contact us if you have any questions or want to discuss the next steps for your business.