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Treasurer for Australia Josh Frydenberg will hand down the 2022 Federal Budget on Tuesday 29 March, as Australia continues its uphill battle for economic recovery.
The measures outlined in the budget will be a pivotal factor of consideration for all Australians as polling day for the 2022 Federal Election draws nearer, as the Morrison government seeks to widen the popularity gap between them and the Labor government.
The 2022 Budget is anticipated to contain key measures to address a range of prevalent issues including the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian war, Australia's transition out of the COVID-19 pandemic, the record-breaking catastrophic floods in New South Wales and Queensland, reviving international tourism, and wavering economic security.
Naturally, an area of the budget that is bound to face thorough scrutiny is in regards to business and technological development.
The government has pledged to aid small to medium Australian enterprises to become more resilient to recuperate from the lingering devastating economic effects of the pandemic, announcing several measures businesses can anticipate.
This includes slashing excessive red tape, reducing PAYG and GST uplifts, and increased tax relief for the technology industry, which could potentially result in hundreds of millions of dollars in savings for businesses.
However, are these measures all that businesses need?
Technology CEOs weigh in on their expectations for the 2022 Budget and how the government can most effectively address current affairs and rampant issues pertaining to their sector.
Carl Hammerschmidt, CEO of Joust
"We're hoping to see the government decrease spending back to normal levels as the pandemic comes to an end. The economy really needs to slow in response to high inflation, which is likely to be further exacerbated by rising fuel costs in the medium term and increased economic activity from weather events in the short term. Although it will present a challenge to the government and households across Australia, given the cost of living increases and inflation, the RBA will need to play its part in this by raising interest rates.
Housing markets might be slightly cooling in some areas but with rates going up, there is still a big challenge for first home buyers to enter the market. The Australian government really needs to provide relief to pensioners and other beneficiaries, including middle-income earners, to ensure they stay afloat."
Andrew Jackson, Australia Country Manager of First AML
"Criminals deliberately abuse the tax and superannuation systems for their financial benefit, having a serious economic impact on the community and depriving it of funding for essential services. We'd like to see tighter anti-money laundering laws introduced which would surely decrease the level of agitation amongst Australians about tax rates.
We'd like to see it address how the cost of housing in Australia has increased due to billions of criminal dollars being laundered through it every year. Australia has recorded the fourth-fastest house price growth out of the world's advanced economies over the past 20 years and it is having a serious impact on everyday Australians who just want the chance at a 'fair go'.
Environmental crime is estimated to be among the most profitable proceeds-generating crimes in the world, generating billions of dollars in criminal gains each year. Proceeds from illegal waste trafficking, forestry, and mining account for up to two-thirds of all profits from environmental crimes. If the Australian government is really serious about keeping the environment healthy, then it must introduce anti-money laundering legislation to clean it up."
Jason Waller, Founder and CEO of InteliCare
"The Federal Government can no longer rely on existing models of aged care and service delivery, particularly as we face labour shortages in the wake of the pandemic. The budget is now substantial but is misdirected. More money isn't going to address delivering aged care services where a critical workforce shortage exists. We need to work smarter, using technology, to deliver these services or the budget simply goes unspent and services continue to go undelivered.
Health outcomes and access to care and hospital services should not be determined by location or access to capital. Equity demands that all Australians, irrespective of where they live, have access to the same standards of aged care and support. This is particularly difficult for the thin markets for aged and health care outside metropolitan Australia. Increasing technology will be required to play a part in delivering equitable, efficient, and economic outcomes and services thereby permitting limited human health resources to address critical care issues. Equally, important technology will enable early interventions before situations develop into medical crises.
We want to see investment in technology like in-house intelligent monitoring and predictive solutions for older Australians. The kind of technology that will ensure early intervention and stop situations that can become a medical crisis and prevent an older person from remaining at home. This is particularly important in rural and regional areas where moving into a care facility often means moving hundreds of kilometers from friends and family. Investment in technology also helps the Budget bottom line. Ensuring older Australians age safely at home (where they want to be) reduces Government spending on aged care facilities and early intervention means fewer unplanned hospital admissions."
Stephen Crispe, CEO of Racing and Sports
"A key priority for tech companies like RAS Technology is Government support for upskilling staff and their continued development. Particularly in this era of the "Great Resignation" we need help to keep staff engaged and alleviate the burden for businesses to recruit in what is a very hot employee market.
We'd also like to see increased support for the Racing industry and participants as a whole. The Racing industry is supporting a huge number of businesses directly and indirectly which employ an enormous number of people. Continued support from state, territory, and federal government is essential in maintaining the world-class standard we have in Australia.
Finally, support for businesses that employ ex-military personnel is also very important for us. These people bring a wealth of transferable skills as well as resilience and integrity. We need to support their transition to the civilian world better. Finally, extending R&D grants to the overseas development teams of Australian companies would hugely benefit tech companies like ours, especially with the current skills shortage."
Tony Thrassis, CIO of Frollo
"It's been 20 months since the Consumer Data Right launched in Australia, at last count 107 bank brands are live and sharing data, 29 businesses have been accredited as Data Recipients and 17 of these are live. With an ecosystem ready for take-off, it's time to educate Australian consumers about the benefits of CDR.
Unfortunately 'build it and they will come' doesn't apply to a government-regulated regime for sharing financial data. Education is required and the government will have to join banks, fintechs, and lenders in raising awareness and building trust. CDR is not a simple concept for consumers and will not be a success without this."
Carl Hartmann, co-founder and Chairman of Compono
"With unemployment rates at historical lows, the acute talent shortage across nearly every industry in Australia is one of the biggest issues impacting business. Businesses of all sizes are struggling to find and retain the right people, but this is especially hindering the recovery of small to medium businesses, who have already struggled to keep their heads above water over the past two years. Alongside continued support and packages to stimulate business recovery and growth, we hope that this budget will specifically address workforce shortages and further investment in building skills and capability."
James Fielding, MD and CEO of Audeara
"We value the support we've received from the federal government to facilitate opportunities locally and internationally with government grants playing a pivotal role in our growth, but the future of our industry will be based on quality talent being able to deliver incredible innovation. Staff shortages are cross-industry concerns but are especially amplified in technology where so many skilled workers were migrants, many of who returned overseas in 2020. As the country recovers from the pandemic, we hope the federal government will address the skilled migrant shortage in the budget with more accessible and flexible visas, along with improved pathways to employment for those looking to migrate. Arriving engineers are reported to struggle breaking into the Australian jobs market – despite employers reporting skills shortages – due to industry biases. Skilled engineers, qualified researchers, and world-class facilities for manufacturing and research will continue the proud legacy of health innovation in Australia, so it's important for the government to prioritise addressing the skills shortage from multiple angles.
It's our hope that there is continued support for organisations like ours with our sights set on improving the lives of people all around the world while still calling Australia home."
Ian Lowe, CEO of Dacxi
"While we're glad to see the Federal Government is beginning to recognise the mainstream adoption of crypto through recent proposed legislative changes, the Australian licensing regime for crypto businesses is already late to the party. Other Asian and EU countries are way ahead, and this has resulted in a shortage of skilled workers in the blockchain industry.
We would like to see business support packages for the blockchain industry so that we can fast-track the training of new workers. The industry is still in its infant phase compared to more traditional industries, so we would hope the Federal Government can follow through on recent promises to support us to grow and flourish. This could be achieved through tax incentives, as well as via special long-term visa options to get skilled workers to come and work in Australia."
Online article taken from Dynamic Business, published on Monday, 28th March 2022, Author, Yajush Gupta.