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How the Federal Budget might Influence Your Next New Car

This week’s Federal Budget has been chalked up as one of seismic proportions. Such is the magnitude of expenditure, the country’s debt levels are set to skyrocket over the coming years. Like any budget, however, there are ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ on both sides of the equation, and in this instance, that certainly includes motorists as well.

Winner: Business owners

Businesses were clearly one of the biggest beneficiaries to emerge from the Federal Budget. In among all sorts of subsidies and tax breaks, the rules around asset write-offs and temporary full expensing provisions bode well for business owners who depend on their car.

From 6 October 2020 to 30 June 2022, small, medium and larger businesses across the country earning up to $5 billion in revenue a year will be able to instantly write-off each of their asset purchases. They will be able to claim an immediate deduction of the full value of all new, eligible, depreciable assets of any value that are first used or installed before June 30, 2022.

While businesses will be able to use this for machinery, computers and the like, it also applies to vehicles used for business purposes, be it sedans, utes, 4WDs, trucks, vans – you name it.

Up to 99% of Australian businesses are expected to be eligible under the revised policy, which the government will foot until June 30, 2022.

Meanwhile, for those businesses eyeing up new fleet under instant asset write-off incentives, the extension of the policy sees businesses with turnover of up to $500 million able to instantly write-off multiple assets worth up to $150,000 each, with the end date now set six months later at June 30, 2021.

For more details on the changes, including other tweaks, refer here.


Loser: Clean energy vehicle owners

Whereas billions has been allocated to funding of new roads, and even the development of new diesel fuel storage infrastructure to the value of over $200 million, clean energy has been somewhat left on the outer once again.

Little new funding has been assigned to hasten or progress the roll-out of electric vehicle charging networks across the country, currently one of the biggest barriers or impediments to many owning an electric vehicle. There has been $5 million allocated for an advanced manufacturing facility to assemble EVs in South Australia, and a trial of vehicle-to-grid-charging, but otherwise, nothing else.

Furthermore, little if any spend has been set aside for infrastructure that would be supportive of a transition to hydrogen-powered cars.

To date, the only major funding planned for clean energy vehicles relates to the previously announced Future Fuels Fund, with $74.5m assigned for electric vehicles, as well as hydrogen and biofuels. This is primarily aimed at businesses, prompting them to give clean energy 'a fair go', but unfortunately, without any direct structure to promote uptake among everyday motorists.


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