Tonight, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will hand down the first Federal Budget since April 2019. And it’s easily the most important one in living memory.

With Australia officially in its first recession since 1991, the entire nation will eagerly anticipate the blueprint for an economic recovery that the government will unveil tonight. Both the Prime Minister and Treasurer are already promoting it as a ‘jobs budget’, with an estimated $140 million in stimulus spending over four years to be announced.

It has been reported that the Government will, amongst other things, announce the following:

  • Bring forward personal income tax cuts initially legislated for 2022 in a bid to boost consumer spending;
  • Introduce a business investment allowance;
  • Announce a wage incentive for small and medium-sized businesses to take on new workers; and
  • Provide $800 million to help individuals and businesses work online.

Following tonight’s Budget, the NRA will provide an in-depth rundown of all initiatives, particularly those affecting the retail sector.

Meanwhile, the NRA raised its concerns last week about the impact of industrial action at Australian ports on the retail industry. Australian retail is significantly reliant on imports, and the industrial action that had been occurring at a number of Australian ports threatened the recovery of the sector as it comes out of COVID and into its peak trading season. Whilst the industrial action has since been suspended by the relevant union and stevedores, the impacts reported by our members are wide reaching. The NRA will keep you updated on any future developments regarding this issue and our advocacy work in this space.

Finally, we are gradually beginning to see border restrictions lifted. Within the next fortnight New Zealanders will be able to travel to New South Wales or the Northern Territory without having to quarantine, a promising step in boosting Australia’s tourism dollar. Queensland has announced it will open its border to New South Wales on November 1st and Tasmania will allow residents from South Australia, Queensland, Western Australia, the Northern Territory and the ACT to travel to their state from October 26th. Hopefully this bodes well for getting the domestic economy moving as we head into the very important Christmas season.

All the best for the week ahead.