Retail was a big winner in last week’s Federal Budget.
Following sluggish sales figures in successive ABS retail trade reports it was imperative that measures were put forward to restore consumer confidence. The NRA was therefore very pleased that the Government has pledged to double the low and middle income tax offset for the current financial year for those earning up to $126,000 per year. This means that single income earners will receive tax relief of up to $1,080 and $2,160 for dual income households.
In addition, the Budget outlined a plan to permanently lower the 32.5 per cent tax rate to 30 per cent by 1 July 2024 for those earning between $45,000 and $200,000 a year.
Lower personal tax rates, particularly for low and middle income earners, is instrumental in providing shoppers with more money in their hip pocket to spend on retail items. The fact that Labor has by-and-large also adopted these measures is very good news for all retailers.
Meanwhile, another big announcement for small business is the extension of the instant asset write-off. Not only will the scheme operate for another financial year, but it will now include assets valued up to $30,000 with the eligibility extending to businesses with a turnover of up to $50 million. Many of you will now be able to make investments in equipment that would otherwise have been unaffordable, and we encourage all small business owners to take full advantage of this initiative.
Other positive Budget announcements included: an extra $100 billion on infrastructure projects across the country over the coming decade; offering employers $8,000 to hire apprentices in occupations with skills shortages as part of a plan to create an additional 80,000 apprenticeships; and a trial of a new Jobactive model to better assist job-seekers with vacancies.
The good news, however, did not end with the Budget. Last Wednesday the ABS released its monthly retail trade report for February and it showed there was a spike in sales of 0.8 per cent. Hopefully this positive news was reflected in your sales performance for the second month of the year.
Although one hot day does not make a summer, the ABS figures do bode well for the period ahead.
I hope you have a great week!