All the talk of no real wage growth and a new living wage being introduced is hard to fathom when our industry has actually paid 3% plus (3.5% in 2018) for 3 consecutive years under the HIGA award.
Real wage growth however can be delivered by income tax cuts and we welcome the Treasurer Josh Frydenberg MP budget statements on delivering both tax cuts and lifting the tax thresholds, ensuring more Australians have additional discretionary funds to spend.
Structural change of the income tax system is fair, equitable and overdue.
- More than 10 million taxpayers will benefit from tax cuts, with 4.5 million receiving the full amount of the tax cuts which will mean more demand in our sector
Infrastructure investments in the country's busiest roadways, particularly in Victoria and South Australia – and in key freight corridors across Queensland, Victoria, NSW and Tasmania, will encourage dispersal of tourists beyond the CBD, not just freight.
- 2 billion for Melbourne fast rail between Melbourne and Geelong - making the journey only 32 minutes, which will increase productivity and help move tourists to achieve regional dispersal to areas such as Geelong and beyond.
The vast majority of accommodation operators are businesses with turnover of less than $50 million, therefore the increase of the instant write-off is welcome, and in future budgets, could potentially be higher to encourage more investment into business.
- Small business instant asset write-off will be extended to June 2020 and increased from $25,000 to $30,000 and expanded for a further $22,000 for those with a turnover up to $50 million. This is a good start but realistically needs to be closer to $100,000 for the accommodation sector.
The accommodation industry is forecasting strong growth; and skilled and non-skilled workers are sought after for jobs that provide strong career paths in our industry.
- Targeting youth unemployment in regional areas, the Government has also promised to establish 10 Training Hubs - investing $50.6 million in the industry pathways in areas of local skills shortages.
- The commitment by the Coalition to 80,000 new apprentices over five years is very welcome, given that for example the demand for chefs in accommodation will see projected employment growth in this profession exceed 16% to the year 2023.
- The AAoA via the AAoA Academy is working closely with the Federal Government Department of Jobs and Small Business and we support any measure that encourages more unemployed youth or mature age workers into employment.
- Visa reforms that allow regional sponsored migration schemes to work for up to five years is a bonus for regional accommodation operators struggling to find employees.