Priority 1: Competition in the home lending sector

Recommendation 1: Implement recommendations from the Home Loan Price Inquiry.

Recommendation 2: Design shared equity schemes to include choice for prospective home buyers to utilise the services of mortgage brokers.

Recommendation 3: Expand Government schemes to positively increase home ownership rates.

Recommendation 4: Ensure regulatory costs on small broking businesses are proportionate and fit for purpose.

Recommendation 5: Continue to facilitate a more adaptive, efficient and navigable financial services regulatory environment.

Budget outcome

  • Home Guarantee Schemes: From 1 July 2023, eligibility for the First Home Guarantee and Regional First Home Guarantee will be expanded. Find more details head to the NHFIC website.
  • Social and Affordable Housing: $2 billion increase in guaranteed liabilities of NHFIC to support more social and affordable housing.
  • Build to Rent: Incentives to encourage supply of housing through tax incentives.

Supporting small broking businesses:

  • Instant Asset Write-Off: $290 million in cash flow support through the $20,000 instant asset write-off. Find out more on the ATO website.
  • GST relief: for eligible small businesses, halving the increase in quarterly tax instalments for GST and income tax in 2023–24. Instalments will only increase by 6% instead of 12%. More information about eligibility is on the ATO website.
  • Industry Growth Program: A $392.4 million program to support small to medium-sized businesses and startups develop new products and services to grow their operations.
  • Small Business Energy Incentive: Deliver up to $3billion to enable up to $500 in electricity bill relief for eligible households and up to $650 for eligible small businesses. Find out more on the ATO website.
  • Reducing regulatory red tape: Includes $21.8 million over four years from 2023–24 to the ATO to lower the tax-related administrative burden for small businesses.

Priority 2: Continue to invest in financial and digital literacy initiatives

Recommendation 6: Deliver greater levels of financial and digital literacy, in particular in rural and regional areas by co-investing with the MFAA.

Recommendation 7: Increase funding for financial counselling services across Australia.

Recommendation 8: Enhance consumer protections through regulating Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) as credit within the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (Cth).

Budget outcome

  • Digital ID: $26.9 million to expand Digital ID – to help increase efficiency and consumer protection, reduce fraud and make it easier for people to access services online.
  • Foundational skills: Redesign the Commonwealth foundation skills program to improve access to training for all Australians seeking to develop their language, literacy, numeracy and digital skills from 1 July 2024. More information can be found on the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations website.

Priority 3: Cybersecurity protections for small businesses

Recommendation 9: Provide grants to eligible SMEs to invest in cyber software solutions and training programs.

Recommendation 10: Provide funding to the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) to deliver education and training to small businesses on good cybersecurity practises.

Recommendation 11: Continue funding the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) to monitor and report on specific cyber-security threats to small and medium businesses, and to continue to deliver technical guidance materials.

Recommendation 12: Digitise and modernise government infrastructure to facilitate better user experience – this includes continued prioritisation by ASIC on updating and upgrading its online services and regulatory portals.

Recommendation 13: Continue to prioritise investment technology related training to build a skilled cyber workforce, for example through funding for cyber apprenticeships, improved vocational pathways for cyber careers and increasing public-private partnerships (for example co-investing with the MFAA) in upskilling and educating small businesses.

Budget outcome

  • Cyber training: $23.4 million to help small businesses build their resilience to cyber security attacks by training in-house cyber wardens. The small business Cyber Wardens program will be delivered by the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia. Go to the Cyber wardens website for information on how to access the program.
  • Scams: $86.5 million to establish a National Anti-Scam Centre, boost the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s work to disrupt investment scam websites, and establish Australia’s first SMS Sender ID Registry to prevent scammers imitating trusted brand names.

Priority 4: Digital innovation

Recommendation 14: Continue to invest in take-up of the Consumer Data Right (CDR) including through co-investing in consumer education with the MFAA.

Recommendation 15: Support digital transformation in home lending.

Recommendation 16: Increase funding to improve digital literacy for specific sectors of the economy to provide equal and safe access to the digital economy.

Recommendation 17: Establish a digital modernisation fund to address the digital gap between large and small business and encourage SMEs to invest in technology and digital innovation.

Budget outcome

  • Consumer Data Right: $88.8million investment in CDR over 2 years to support the CDR in banking, energy, and the non-bank lending sectors and deliver a cyber security uplift.

Priority 5: Diversity and inclusion

Recommendation 18: Invest in female led small broking businesses to grow and scale through targeted training-based resources centred around effective business management.

Recommendation 19: Incentivise the recruitment of talent through government sponsored pathways.

Recommendation 20: Continue to expand the skilled migrant visa program in a targeted way to plug gaps within the labour market.

Budget outcome

Migration: Developing a migration strategy and boosting skilled migration by:

  • allocating around 70% of places in the 2023–24 permanent Migration Program to skilled migrants
  • providing an extra two years of post-study work rights to Temporary Graduate visa holders with select degrees, to improve the pipeline of skilled labour in key sectors
  • increasing the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold to $70,000 to ensure skilled migration settings are better targeted

Skills: Investing in skills and training through:

  • funding a further 300,000 TAFE and vocational education training places to become fee-free.