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Why digital wins in Budget 2015

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Information Age

It's been called "softer", "confused and contradictory", "packed with policy backflips" and strong hints of political recovery, but Budget 2015 has put digital firmly on Australia's economic roadmap.

Small businesses with a turnover of less than $2 million, a year are one of many digital beneficiaries.

Treasurer Joe Hockey introduced "an immediate tax deduction for each and every item they purchase up to $20,000." It would mean "innovation", he said. Or, on a more practical level, "If you're a tradie, it might be ... a computer for the home office."

"In a further new policy initiative which is just common sense in the digital age, we are abolishing Fringe Benefits Tax on all portable electronic devices used for work, like mobile phones, laptops and tablets," Hockey said. Again, though, this applies to small businesses.

Other entrepreneurship measures that had been leaked prior to Budget 2015 were talked up: proposed employee share scheme changes and relaxed rules on equity-raising using crowd funding.

Those measures count support from the ACS, among others.

"ACS congratulates the Government on initiatives announced in last night's budget to support start-ups and entrepreneurs," the society said.

"Start-ups are drivers of innovation and jobs. It is critical therefore that Government create an environment that supports and encourages them and, very importantly, keeps them in Australia."

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