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2019 Budget: a “boost” for retailers

The Government’s 2019 Budget is being hailed as welcome news for retailers, with income tax cuts and relief for small business sparking hopes of a pickup in consumer sentiment.

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Retailers are pinning their hopes on the Morrison Government’s proposed personal income tax cuts and an increase in the small business asset write-off after weathering a year of tough market conditions.

The Federal Government’s 2019-20 budget has been praised by Aussie retailers, with hopes that tax cuts in the form of the tax offset being doubled to $1,080 for low to middle income earners will see consumer spending pick up.

Josh Frydenberg’s maiden budget, presented on Tuesday evening, also saw the announcement of an asset write-off for small business being increased from $25,000 to $30,000 for those with a turnover of up to $50 million.

Dominique Lamb, CEO of the National Retailers Association on Wednesday told Retailbiz that the write-off for small business and the tax relief could drive consumer spending.

“Having a stimulus package into the economy is certainly a good thing and ultimately what we need is people to have more money in their pockets to boost what they’re spending. It will be good to see this happening so we can see improvements in retail,” she said.

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In a move hoped to drive consumer spending in the long-term, the Budget also saw the government pledge to reduce the 32.5 per cent tax rate to 30 per cent in 2024-25.

Russel Zimmerman from the Australian Retailers Association on Wednesday told Retailbiz the budget was a “boost for retailers.”

“We’re fairly positive about a number of things in the budget,” he said, citing the tax cuts, small business write-off and money to apprenticeships as welcome.

Additional funding for apprentices and trainees was heralded as particularly good news, with a $525 million package to revive the vocational education and training sector and boost the number of apprentices.

“We did see some really good things in terms of investment in youth training with apprenticeships,” Ms Lamb said.

Additional funding to the Fair Work Commission’s Workplace Advice Service to help 35,000 small business employers access free legal advice on employment law alongside $4.3 million to fund the appointment of more members for the Fair Work Commission was also welcomed.

“Education for business is certainly important. I know our members struggle to understand what their rights are and it’s a complex system so those things are definitely going to give them more piece of mind and help them to navigate the system,” Ms Lamb said.

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