Tourism sector big loser in Federal Budget

Published May 12, 2021 (last updated January 25, 2022) -
Budget Response

While the Federal Budget presented some wins for business owners, ultimately there will still be a financial struggle for years to come, according to Employsure, Australia’s largest workplace relations advisor to more than 28,000 small to medium-sized enterprises.

Among the incentives announced by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is the extension of business tax breaks. Businesses with a turnover of up to $5 billion will be able to continue to deduct the full cost of depreciable assets for another year until 30 June, 2023. This accounts for more than 99 per cent of Australian businesses.

However, by the government not laying out a rough timeline for when international borders open, it casts a shadow over those in the tourism sector who have been doing it tough for more than a year.

“While these extended tax breaks and incentives are welcome in this time of economic recovery, many businesses rely heavily on international travellers to help drive financial growth,” said Employsure Business Partner Josh Paterson.

“There are urgent gaps that need to be filled in workplaces across the country, and a delay to opening the international border will only put more pressure on small businesses.

“While it is important we open the borders only when our health experts give the all-clear, there will come a time we will have to look at this pragmatically, or risk losing international travellers, and even workers, to other countries.”

Earlier this year, the government unveiled its $1.2 billion tourism package to help drive recovery following JobKeeper’s end. This gave Australian travellers access to 800,000 half price airfares to 13 tourism-reliant regions.

Businesses in the tourism sector have stated while the package has been mildly helpful to operators in the 13 regions, there are still many tourism reliant areas elsewhere in the country that have missed out. Employsure has seen this reflected in calls to its advice line in recent months, from clients still needing extra support.

“We’ve heard concern from a number of businesses that without more support to hire workers, and without tourists, they will be forced to close their doors,” continued Mr Paterson.

“This lack of any extra funding in the budget will make it tougher for businesses, especially when we see states themselves close the borders at the first sign of a local COVID-19 cluster.

“What we need is more certainty provided to SMEs so they can budget accordingly and operate with confidence until the time international borders can open. Without that, employers won’t be able to take on more workers, and there will be far fewer Australian businesses for tourists to support once the pandemic ends,” concluded Mr Paterson.


Further enquiries:

Matthew Bridges

[email protected]

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