The peak business organisation representing dental product manufacturers and suppliers, the Australian Dental Industry Association (ADIA), has endorsed the 2017 Australian Government budget as a stable, predicable document.
"The Treasurer has handed down a budget that's largely unremarkable for the dental community, something that on balance could be viewed as a good thing", said Troy Williams, ADIA Chief Executive Officer.
Small businesses will continue to be able to immediately deduct purchases of eligible assets costing less than $20,000 first used or installed ready for use by 30 June 2018.
"Businesses across the dental industry will be pleased to see the instant asset write-off extended to June 2018. For those businesses with turnover of up to $10 million, this is a great measure that encourages them to make new capital purchases of up to $20,000," Mr Williams said.
The Government will provide $300.0 million over two years from FY2017‑18 to establish a National Partnership on Regulatory Reform (NPRR) with the States and Territories to remove regulatory restrictions on small businesses and competition.
"ADIA welcomes this measure builds on the Government's response to the Harper Competition Policy Review. It will provide payments to the states and territory governments to fund the reforms that will drive Australia's economic performance and living standards, with a focus on small business regulatory reform," Mr Williams said.
With respect to dental spending, the Government will provide $163.6 million over five years from 1 January 2017 to increase the two year cap on benefits available for eligible families under the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS) from $700 to $1,000, and to maintain prices for items on the CDBS for a further two years to 31 December 2020.
"Naturally, ADIA would welcome more funding to support the provision of dental care for those Australians most in need. That said, this additional funding is welcome and will help improve dental and oral healthcare outcomes for eligible children," Mr Williams said.
ADIA, like many business organisations, is critical of the budget outcomes and the continued increase in debt. The underlying cash deficit is expected to be $29.4 billion in FY2017-18 and improve over the forward estimates to a projected surplus of $7.4 billion in FY2020-21.
"The budget documents highlight the difficulty the Government faces in getting spending under control. It's pleasing to see action to achieve a surplus by 2020/21, but it's concerning that improvement to the bottom line comes from more taxes rather than less spending," Mr Williams concluded.