Queensland Budget 2021-22

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Queensland Budget 2021-22

Tax summary

On 15 June 2021, the Queensland Treasurer announced the state budget for 2021-22.  Broadly, the budget builds on the Queensland Government’s Economic Recovery Plan with a transition over time from shorter-term support and stimulus, to measures aimed at enhancing productivity and competitiveness to drive ongoing private sector growth and jobs.

Surprisingly, the budget has not brought any significant reform to the state tax base, or changes to the tax rates.  However, there was significant focus directed towards a number of grant and funding initiatives.  The Government expects to be able to pay for these initiatives through increased land tax and payroll tax revenue in FY22 as a consequence of removal of COVID-19 stimulus packages and general improvement in the economy.  The Government is also banking on a rebound in the economy to boost transfer duty revenue by AUD 905 million to around AUD 4.6 billion in 2021-22, being about a 25% increase on estimated actual transfer duty revenue for FY21.

Taxation changes in the budget were limited to a further extension to the 50% payroll tax apprentice and trainee rebate scheme, which will now see this scheme continue to operate until 30 June 2022.  Briefly, the scheme provides an additional 50% rebate to taxable wages for wages paid to eligible apprentices and trainees, in addition to those wages being exempt from payroll tax.

Notable budget grant/funding programs include:

A $3.34 billion investment in the Queensland Jobs Fund, which brings together the Government’s key investment attraction and industry development programs. Key initiatives comprise:

  • $350 million in funding for the Industry Partnership Program, providing small to medium-sized enterprises and research institutions with support that aim to strengthen local supply chains and grow the industry footprint
  • $2 billion Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs Fund to increase investment by Government-owned corporations in commercial renewable energy and hydrogen projects, along with supporting infrastructure - including in partnership with the private sector.

The QLD Government will invest in skills and training and small business including:

  • $100.5 million matching investment as part of the JobTrainer Fund
  • $320 million over 4 years to extend the Skilling Queenslanders for Work (SQW) program
  • up to $140 million in additional funding over 4 years for a revitalised Back to Work program
  •  A $140 million Big Plans for Small Business commitment, which has a strong focus on helping small business to innovate, grow and access new markets. This includes $100 million for the Business Investment Fund (BIF) to support established small and medium businesses innovate and realise their potential.

Key regional infrastructure programs in the Budget include:

  • $200 million in additional funding as part of a total $1 billion Works for Queensland program for maintenance and minor infrastructure projects by regional councils
  • Up to $71.4 million over 4 years for the Drought Assistance and Reform Package, and a further $50 million per annum for 4 years in drought preparedness and emergency drought loans
  • $70 million in additional funding over 3 years to deliver Building our Regions (Round 6)
  • up to $12 million in additional funding over 3 years for the Mobile Black Spot Program to help increase the connectivity of Queensland’s regions and provide access to essential telecommunications.

In addition to the $2 billion Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs Fund, the QLD Government will invest:

  • $270.1 million, including $162.9 million in additional funding, over 5 years to continue the Queensland Reef Water Quality Program
  • $93.6 million in additional funding over 4 years, for the Queensland Waste Management and Resource Strategy
  • $61 million in additional funding allocated to environmental markets and investment initiatives
  • $500 million in the Carbon Reduction Investment Fund, with its returns used to support the existing Land Restoration Fund to leverage private finance and investment and support financially sustainable carbon markets.

Additional initiatives include:

  • $2.5 million towards Collaborative Exploration Initiative grants and a further $2.2 million for the development and expansion of the New Economy Minerals Industry to help explorers discover new economy minerals that are crucial for renewable technology such as electric vehicles and batteries
  • $71 million to support the Queensland screen industry, including $53 million to continue the Screen Queensland Production Attraction Strategy, $10 million for the Post, Digital and Visual Effects incentive, $4 million for the Screen Finance Program, and $4 million for a North Queensland Regional Program
  • $20.6 million over five years ($5.3 million in 2021-22) for Rural Economic Development and Rural Agricultural Development Grants
  • $1.6 million in grants to small and medium sized businesses to reach new markets or use eCommerce platforms
  • Extension of the Apprentice and Trainee payroll tax rebate for another 12 months until 30 June 2022.

We are currently engaging with the relevant departments and program owners to further understand key eligibility requirements for the above grants and programs.

Should you have any questions or would like to discuss any of the above announcements, please feel free to contact us.

 

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