One-off $250 cost of living payment

The Government will make a $250 one-off cost of living payment in April 2022 to 6 million eligible pensioners, welfare recipients, veterans and eligible concession card holders.

The $250 payment will be tax-exempt and not count as income support for the purposes of any Government income support. A person can only receive one economic support payment, even if they are eligible under 2 or more of the categories outlined below.

The payment will only be available to Australian residents who are eligible recipients of the following payments and to concession card holders:

  • Age Pension
  • Disability Support Pension
  • Parenting Payment
  • Carer Payment
  • Carer Allowance (if not in receipt of a primary income support payment)
  • Jobseeker Payment
  • Youth Allowance
  • Austudy and Abstudy Living Allowance
  • Double Orphan Pension
  • Special Benefit
  • Farm Household Allowance
  • Pensioner Concession Card (PCC) holders
  • Commonwealth Seniors Health Card holders
  • Eligible Veterans’ Affairs payment recipients and Veteran Gold card holders.

Temporary reduction in fuel excise

The Government will reduce the excise and excise-equivalent customs duty rate that applies to petrol and diesel for 6 months by 50%. The excise and excise-equivalent customs duty rates for all other fuel and petroleum-based products, except aviation fuels, will also be reduced by 50% for 6 months.

The Treasurer said this measure will see excise on petrol and diesel cut from 44.2 cents per litre to 22.1 cents. Mr Frydenberg said a family with 2 cars who fill up once a week could save around $30 a week or around $700 over the next 6 months. The Treasurer made a point of emphasising that the ACCC will monitor the price behaviour of retailers to ensure that the lower excise rate is fully passed on.

Date of effect

The measure will commence from 12.01am on 30 March 2022 and will remain in place for 6 months, ending at 11.59pm on 28 September 2022.

Streamlining the administration of fuel and excise requirements

The Government intends to streamline the administration of fuel and alcohol excise and excise-equivalent customs goods. From 1 July 2023, the changes will:

  • enable fuel and alcohol businesses with an annual turnover of less than $50 million to lodge and pay excise and excise-equivalent customs duty on a quarterly basis, rather than weekly or monthly as at present. These businesses will lodge returns and pay excise by the 28th day of the month after the end of each quarter;
  • streamline and align licensing requirements across the excise system, by removing all renewal requirements for excise and excise-equivalent customs goods licences and removing licence fees;
  • amend the excise and excise-equivalent customs duty regime for fuel by introducing a refund provision, similar to that in the excise law, for excise-equivalent customs duty on petroleum-based oils used in the further manufacture of petroleum lubricants, ending double taxation of these oils;
  • amend the excise law to provide a targeted exemption from excise licensing requirements, up to a threshold of 10,000 litres per year, for licensed hospitality venues to fill beer from kegs into sealed, non-pressurised containers of no more than 2 litres capacity and not designed for medium- to long term storage.

 Apprentice wage subside support extension

The Budget confirms the Government’s earlier announcement to extend the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencement (BAC) and Completing Apprenticeship Commencements (CAC) wage subsidies by 3 months to 30 June 2022.

The Budget also includes funding over 5 years to introduce a new Australian Apprenticeships Incentive System from 1 July 2022 as further support to employers and apprentices in “priority occupations”.

Company registration and lifecycle management system to be modernised

The Government confirmed that Australia’s Business Registers (ie its company registration and lifecycle management system) will be moving to a modernised platform by September 2023. The reforms include:

  • removing the companies annual late review fee;
  • reducing the number of fees paid for ad hoc lodgements under current requirements;
  • removing fees for searches conducted on the new registry website; and
  • providing funding to Treasury to redesign wholesale business register search services (facilitated by third-party services).

First Home Guarantee Scheme: additional places announced

The Government has announced that it will expand the Home Guarantee Scheme in the 2022-23 Budget to make available up to 50,000 places each year, including 10,000 places for a new Regional Home Guarantee open to non-first home buyers.

Under the expanded Scheme, the Government said it will make available:

  • 35,000 guarantees each year (up from the current 10,000), from 1 July 2022 under the First Home Guarantee, to support eligible first homebuyers to purchase a new or existing home with a deposit as low as 5%;
  • 10,000 guarantees each year (from 1 October 2022 to 30 June 2025), under a new Regional Home Guarantee, to support eligible homebuyers (including non-first home buyers and permanent residents, to purchase or construct a new home in regional areas), subject to the passage of enabling legislation; and
  • 5,000 guarantees each year (from 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2025) to expand the Family Home Guarantee to help eligible single parents with children to buy their first home or to re-enter the housing market with a deposit of as little as 2%.

The Treasurer said the Home Guarantee Scheme seeks to ensure part of an eligible buyer’s home loan is guaranteed by the Government so they can buy a home sooner with a smaller deposit and without needing to pay lenders mortgage insurance.

Under the existing Scheme, eligible first home buyers can obtain a loan to build a new home or purchase a newly built home with a deposit of as little as 5%. The Scheme provides a Government-backed guarantee equals to the difference between the deposit and 20% of the purchase price. Applications can be made as part of the standard home loan application process through participating lenders.