The Australia Institute

Restaurant & Catering Australia has commented on the Albanese Goverment’s Federal Budget, stating it has “missed an opportunity to assist a sector that is already in pain”.

Treasurer Dr Jim Chalmers handed down the 2024-2025 Budget on Tuesday, with hospitality businesses set to benefit from just a handful of policies.

The instant asset write-off scheme has been extended for another year after it was due to expire on 30 June 2024.

Businesses with an annual turnover of less than $10 million can deduct the entire cost of assets up to the value of $20,000.

There’s relief on the way when it comes to energy bills. Eligible small businesses will see a quarterly $325 rebate on bills that will commence from July.

The Budget has also supported mandatory country of origin labelling for seafood in hospitality settings, allocating $3 million over four years from 2024.

The Government will provide $27.5 million over four years to support the Fair Work Ombudsman’s work to respond to self-reported non-compliance.

The Government will also provide an additional $60 million of funding over four years for the Productivity, Education and Training Fund grant program.

However, overseas migration is forecasted to halve to 260,000 in the next year.

The government will limit places to 185,000, with 132,000 places allocated to skill stream. The number of places for international students is also being limited.

Overseas workers form a large part of the local hospitality workforce, with the limitations sure to affect businesses.

R&CA has released a statement slamming the Budget, stating that other industries have received greater support than the foodservice sector.

“The Budget provided an opportunity for the Federal Government to demonstrate their care and support for Australia’s hospitality industry, but the announcements have overlooked the restaurant and catering sector for the second year in a row,” says R&CA CEO Suresh Manickam

“It is disappointing that other sectors received substantially more in terms of education and training than our sector, all the more so given the need to reskill and retrain a sector that has not yet returned to pre-covid employment.

“This year’s Budget leaves a bitter taste in the mouths of Australia’s restaurant and catering sector.”