Budget 20-21: Scott Morrison addresses Australia’s ethnic media

October 8, 2020 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison participated in a webinar with Australia’s ethnic media to discuss the Budget and to address any questions.

In his opening remarks, he reiterated his view that Australia “is the most successful multicultural nation anywhere on Earth”.

Scott Morrison said that today’s global economic challenge is 45 times greater than the GFC and in referring to the host countries represented by the ethnic media the effect of the coronavirus has had in their economies.

Australia is not immune “to the economic or the health consequences of the pandemic. But together with South Korea, with Taiwan as another economy, with Norway and Finland, Australia stands with that group of nations as the best performing on both health and economic terms throughout this pandemic”.

The Prime Minister added: “New Zealand, has had a 12 point two per cent fall in their economy in the June quarter. Australia was seven per cent in Sweden, for example, they have had not only a more open response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but they have had 5,000 additional deaths through their economy and through their nation, which would have been absolutely devastating. And still, Australia’s economic performance has been better.”

“But I make the point that Australia is together with just a handful of nations coming through this crisis better than most around the world today. Now, in this budget we are doing three things to address the economic challenges that we face that are on a historic scale. We are cushioning the blow with measures such as the JobKeeper and JobSeeker and cashflow supports and other support payments to get Australians through the worst of this crisis. And those measures continue in this budget. Secondly, we have an economic recovery plan to take back what has been lost. Already we’ve seen 760,000 jobs come back, 760,000 just in the last few months and that is jobs that were lost or jobs that were reduced to zero hours. And so we’re pleased with that progress. But there is still a long way to go. And in this budget, we bring forward some important plans. We bring forward Stage two of our tax plan that will put a thousand dollars additional this year in the pockets of those up to earning up to about ninety thousand dollars a year. It brings forward tax cuts that see those who are paying 19 cents in the dollar to be able to keep their tax rate at that level go from thirty-seven to forty-five thousand. And to keep only paying thirty-two and a half thousand for ninety thousand up to one hundred twenty thousand dollars.

Turning to business, Scott Morrison stated: “We’re also bringing forward through our investment incentives, investment decisions that will be made by business through our investment allowance, which allows businesses up to with a turnover of five billion dollars a year to immediately expense their capital investment. On top of that, we’re allowing cover losses to be offset against past profits against past tax paid. And so at the end of the year is tax returns are completed businesses can be confident of being able to take back the tax that they paid in previous years.”

The Prime Minister referred to migrants bringing our entrepreneurial spirit to Australia.

He said: “Our multicultural communities and citizens are more likely to start a business. They’re more likely to own a business. They’re more likely to employ other Australians. And we’ve seen that across so many different communities. On the social side in this budget, there are important things we’re doing to maintain the social cohesion as we keep our country together.”

Prime Minister Morrison responded a question on the significant reduction in income for self-funded retirees.

He responded: “The most effective thing we can do to support those who live off their investments and who have provided for their own retirement is to ensure that their economy that they’re investing in is stronger and for the businesses that they’ve put their savings into to be able to be more profitable and more successful. And so whether it’s the ability to write off COVID losses this year against previous incomes or the investment allowances which are significant over these next two years, these things will support better returns from their portfolios. And growing our economy will be a key part of supporting them in their retirement. The pension is there is a safety net in Australia and that will be there for those who need it. But for those who don’t qualify for the pension because their income is greater than that, we will continue to do all we can to ensure that their incomes are stronger in the future because of the economy that they’re investing in.

We’ve also changed the deeming rates and updated those to reflect current conditions. We’ve changed the minimum drawdown requirements for those who are concerned about eroding their capital base during a time of recession like this as well. So we’ve sought to give greater flexibility to those who are self-funded retirees and then just work to strengthen the economy to ensure that they’re able to achieve the returns that they would hope to.”

During the address, Scott Morrison said “migration will always be part of our future and it is a very important part of our past”.

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