Second Reading Speech, Treasury Laws Amendment Bill 2022

I’m really excited to introduce this bill today, and in particular to follow the Minister for Climate Change, who has just introduced some of the broader climate change bills in Parliament.

The Minister’s introduction of these Bills today, together with this Electric Car Reduction Bill today, sends an unequivocal signal to this Parliament, to Australian industry and to the people of Australia and beyond that Australia now has a government that understands the economics of a cleaner car and cheaper, more reliable energy, and recognizes the generational imperative we have to act on climate change.

The communities we represent also recognize this. They rejected the fear campaigns of the past and embraced action knowing that the cost of inaction is rising every day. And understand the historic opportunities presented by climate change – climate action in particular: a future with cleaner, cheaper energy and a more resilient energy grid; a future with hundreds of thousands of new clean energy jobs, leveraging our traditional strengths and also creating new and growing industries; and a future with a climate and environment that has been preserved, strong and secure for the generations that follow us.

Today, we are taking the first big steps towards that future.

And Australians will see this new approach across government – ​​and the Treasury is no exception.

We know Australian businesses desperately need clearer guidance on reporting climate risks affecting their operations.

That’s why we’re working closely with regulators to develop a standard approach to corporate climate disclosure – for a clear, credible and globally comparable framework.

We are registered supporters of the G20’s ambitious sustainable finance agenda – and we’re doing more work here at home, working with our regulators too.

And, most importantly, our government, with the agreement of the minister, will restore the Treasury’s role in modeling climate risks and opportunities for the Australian economy – rebuilding that capacity after it was let down by the previous government.

Cash flow modeling will help us ensure that we chart a course that seizes the opportunities for growth and jobs that climate action offers. And the bill I am introducing today is also about seizing those opportunities.

It implements the Albanian government’s election commitment to provide tax exemption from social benefits for eligible electric cars that are made available by employers for employees.

It amends the Employee Benefits Tax Assessment Act 1986 to provide an exemption from employee benefits tax for this purpose.

The exemption applies to battery electric cars, hydrogen fuel cell electric cars and plug-in hybrid electric cars that are below the luxury car tax threshold for fuel-efficient cars.

The waiver will apply to fringe benefits arising from the use or availability of a qualifying electric car on or after July 1, 2022 – provided the car was made available for first use on or after that date this date.

These changes will ensure that employers providing employees with a qualifying car will not have to pay benefits tax – and the cost for employees to enter into wage sacrifice agreements in order to rent a qualifying electric car will now be lower. to what it was before. have been.

If a model worth approximately $50,000 is provided by an employer under this arrangement, our benefits tax exemption would save the employer up to $9,000 per year . For people using a salary sacrifice arrangement to pay for the same model, their savings could be as high as $4,700 per year.

The employee benefit tax exemption for eligible electric cars will be implemented on an ongoing basis. It will be reviewed after three years, given the increase in the rate of adoption of the electric car, to ensure that it remains effective.

The Benefits Tax Exemption is one component of the Government Electric Car Reduction and is part of our Powering Australia plan. I again give credit for this plan to the Minister of Climate Change and Energy.

The electric car rebate also includes the removal of the 5% tariff for eligible electric cars with a customs value below the luxury car tax threshold for fuel-efficient vehicles.

The package aims to ensure and encourage greater uptake of electric vehicles and reduce our transport emissions – as part of the government’s wider climate agenda.

These measures help reduce the upfront and ownership costs of electric cars, removing a significant barrier to purchasing them in Australia.

This is one of the first new initiatives in the government’s plan to improve uptake of electric vehicles, and we’ll have more to say about what other measures will be put in place under the National Vehicle Strategy. electrical.

This includes a $500 million investment to bolster charging infrastructure across Australia.

Our Government has also committed to ensuring that 75% of new Commonwealth fleet purchases are electric by 2025. This will also increase the number of used electric vehicles on the market, giving consumers more options. and lowering prices in the years to come. .

The transport sector is one of the fastest growing sources of emissions in Australia, and the increased adoption of electric vehicles can have a substantial impact on our efforts to combat climate change.

Yet, at present, Australia lags far behind our international peers when it comes to the use of electric vehicles.

Around 15% of cars sold in the UK are electric and plug-in hybrids. In Australia, it’s only about two percent.

Obviously, we are very different countries in terms of transport networks and needs – but even so, 2% is much, much less than it could be, and much less than it should be. ‘be.

More and more Australians are interested in the benefits of owning an electric vehicle if they can – but they are out of reach for too many Australian motorists.

There are only 10 electric and plug-in hybrid cars on the domestic market selling for less than $60,000 at the moment – whereas in the UK there are around two dozen under that price, as they have policies and incentives to help increase uptake. rise of electric cars.

And soon, with the passage of this legislation, Australia will be too.

Accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles will help pave the way for a cost-effective transition to our emissions reduction goals.

This bill is good for motorists, it’s good for employers, it’s good for workers, and it’s good for climate action.

Full details of the employee benefits tax exemption measure are contained in the explanatory memorandum. I commend this bill to the House.

/Public release. This material from the original organization/authors may be ad hoc in nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author or authors. See in full here.

#Reading #Speech #Treasury #Laws #Amendment #Bill

Add Comment