Federal Budget 2018: All the winners … and losers



MORE than 10 million Aussie workers on low and middle incomes will get a tax break of up to $530 a year, or about $10 a week, from next year.

About 4.4 million workers earning between $48,000 and $90,000 are the biggest winners and will get the full $530.

It’s part of new tax offset announced in the budget that will be paid in addition to the Low Income Tax Offset.

Individuals will receive the payment as a lump sum after they lodge their tax return from next year.

The government will also lift the tax bracket from $87,000 to $90,000 from July 1, 2018, and then to $120,000 from July 1, 2022, preventing hundreds of thousands from paying more tax.

The 19 per cent bracket will also be lifted from $37,000 to $41,000 in that year.

Superannuation account exit fees will be banned, preventing Aussies getting hit with a charge when they change funds. The ATO will also be directed to proactively find lost super.

Taxpayers have also escaped a Medicare levy hike, which would have cost the average family about $600 a year.

The hike was announced in last year’s budget to fully fund the NDIS but a better fiscal outlook means the scheme will now be funded through general revenue.


Craft beer is likely to be cheaper with the government planning to axe a bizarre beer tax. Currently breweries that use small kegs, which is frequently craft breweries, are taxed at a higher rate than big breweries that use large kegs.

The government has committed $85 million over three years to extend the lower tax rates to kegs as small as 8 litres.


A massive tax break will be given to a subsidiary of the International Cricket Council to help it stage the ICC World Twenty20 in Australia in 2020.

The subsidiary will get a five year income tax exemption, and an exemption from interest, dividend and royalty withholding tax liabilities also for five years.

The tax break won’t cost the government anything but the revenue would have been a tidy windfall.



More than 10 million low and middle income earners get a tax break of up to $530 a year, or $10 a week, from next year.

Boutique brewed beer will be cheaper after a bizarre tax was axed that provided excise relief only to beer makers filling kegs over 48kg.

The government has committed to a $24.5 billion funding injection to road and rail projects across Australia.

The instant asset write offs for small business for purchases under $20,000 will be extended.

Retirees wanting to boost their incomes will be able to earn $300 a fortnight, up $50, without it affecting their pension.



A Tobacco Task Force has been created to target the illicit tobacco industry that will claw back $3.6 billion over four years.

Google, Amazon and Facebook will be forced to pay more tax under a crackdown on the digital economy.

A black economy crackdown aimed at tax avoidance and money laundering will make cash payments over $10,000 illegal.

The government has moved to further its crackdown on multinational tax avoidance by closing more loopholes.

The trial of cashless debit cards for certain welfare recipients to stamp out rorting and drug use will be extended.


Families and loved ones of the 298 victims of the Malaysian Airlines MH17 aeroplane tragedy will be given justice through a $50.3 million pledge to prosecute those responsible for the crime. The money will fund Australia’s participation in the Dutch National Prosecution.

Forty people who called Australia home were killed when the flight was shot down on July 17, 2014.


Drivers are set to benefit from smarter GPS across the nation with the government committing $224.9 million over four years to “accurate satellite-based positional, navigation and timing capabilities”.

Commuters will also benefit from road and rail projects across the nation getting a $24.5 billion funding injection. Melbournites are the big winners with a $5 billion rail link from airport to CBD. There will also be $1 billion to ease congestion on M1 between Brisbane and the Gold Coast, $150 million for a Bruce Highway upgrade, $3 billion for road and rail in WA, $390 million for a Sunshine Coast rail network upgrade, and $177 million for Adelaide’s North-South Corridor.

Retirees who want to boost their income will be able to earn up to $300 each fortnight.


The instant asset write-offs for small business for purchases under $20,000 will be extended.


Retirees who want to boost their income will be able to earn up to $300 each fortnight without it affecting their age pension, a boost of $50 from before.

Older workers who want to upskill to remain in employment will also benefit from $19.3 million for a new Skills and Training Incentive. To help older Australians remain in their homes longer, the government has also committed $1.6 billion to provide an extra 14,000 “home care packages”.


A massive cut to Australia’s corporate tax rate will benefit big businesses, if the government can pass the rate cut through the reluctant upper house. The government has pledged to continue to push to pass the cut to the rate from 30 to 25 per cent but because it was a 2016 budget measure, today’s budget does not reveal how much the cost has blown out to.


Hundreds of millions have been committed to help sick children and women with breast cancer among a raft of new health funding measures.

About 200,000 Australians will get genetic testing of their disease or cancer which would help improve their treatment.

The government has pledged $241 million to list the lifesaving medicine Spinraza on the PBS, which treats Spinal Muscular Atrophy. There will also be $700 million for the breast cancer drug Kisquali among others.

A further $84 million will extend and expand the Royal Flying Doctor Service and there will be $40 million for free whooping cough vaccine for expectant mothers.


Airport security measures will be boosted in the wake of an extremist plot to blow up an Etihad plane over Sydney last year.

The $293.6 million pledge includes $50.1 million to boost security at 64 regional airports, $121.6 million to enhance screening for inbound air cargo and international mail and $121. 9 million for more AFP and Border Force officers at nine major domestic and international airports.


$535.9 million has been allocated to protect the Great Barrier Reef.


$140 million for movie producers to make films in Queensland.


A Medicare Levy hike intended to fully fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme has been dumped, saving average Australians about $600 a year. But the NDIS will be funded for four years to the tune of $43 billion from the federal government between 2018-19 and 2021-22.


Farmers will benefit from more focus on securing them export market opportunities. The government has pledged $51.3 million for agricultural trade counsellors to help grow exports in Asia, Europe and Latin America, $128.2 million to help farmers “leverage” Australia’s favourable pest and disease status in export markets and $3.6 million over five years to help beef exporters maintain access to the Indonesian market. There will also be $226 million in grant funding and $50 million in concessional loans to help farmers access water.



Tech giants will be forced to pay more tax under a crackdown on the digital economy flagged in the 2018 budget. Treasurer Scott Morrison will release a discussion paper in coming weeks that will “explore options” for taxing digital businesses in Australia.


Global corporations have already been hit with multinational tax avoidance measures that have recouped billions. Now the government is extending the crackdown to close more loopholes.

The government will tighten thin cap rules, to stop multinationals from “fiddling with how they account for debt to reduce their tax liabilities”. Tax rules around stapled structures will also be tightened to prevent them being used to convert trading income to more favourably taxed passive income.


Smokers hoping to benefit from the illicit tobacco industry will lose out amid a government crackdown hoping to claw back $3.6 billion over the next four years.

From July 1 this year an Illicit Tobacco Task Force will be created to boost border security to catch out criminals. There will also be extra resources allocated to the Australian Taxation Office to help detect and destroy domestically-grown illicit tobacco crops


The government is overhauling the Research and Development Tax Incentive to stamp out rorting by dodgy consultants. From July 1, a new R & D premium will be targeted to companies with a turnover of $20 million or more. A cap of $4 million will also be put on cash refunds. The government will also convert the rate of R & D tax offsets to a premium above each claimant’s company tax rate.


A massive crackdown on the black economy will make it difficult for tax cheats to avoid cutting their tax implications, with the government making cash payments above $10,000 illegal.

Transactions exceeding $10,000 will have to be made electronically — or by cheque — so they can be tracked, impacting those attempting to hide their money.

It also means businesses will not be able to claim deductions for payments to their employees, including wages where they have not held back any amount of PAYG.

Anti-phoenixing methods will also implemented to prevent small businesses being cheated by other businesses.

The measures will come into effect from July 1 next year.


Welfare recipients whose payments are restricted primarily to debit cards to stamp out alcohol and drug problems will be forced to remain on the cashless debit card trial longer.

Trials already in place in Ceduna in South Australia and the East Kimberley in Western Australia will be extended to June 30, 2019.

Trials will also be launched in Bundaberg and Hervey Bay.

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