Coulton’s catch-up

New wholesale pricing on the National Broadband Network is delivering a better broadband experience for consumers.
New wholesale pricing on the National Broadband Network is delivering a better broadband experience for consumers.

New NBN pricing delivering better broadband for consumers

New wholesale pricing on the National Broadband Network is delivering a better broadband experience for consumers, according to the ACCC’s latest Wholesale Market Indicators report.

The report shows the introduction of new wholesale pricing has resulted in a substantial 37 per cent boost to the amount of broadband capacity that internet retailers are delivering to users.

There are now more than three million Australians enjoying greater capacity on their NBN connection, and the Coalition’s policy is helping keep internet bills down for Australian families.

The 37 per cent jump is the largest Connectivity Virtual Circuit (CVC) increase since the ACCC’s reporting began. It shows broadband retailers are allocating more capacity enabling more users to have a seamless broadband experience, even during the busiest periods of the day.

The Nationals-Liberal Government recently announced a range of new protections to ensure broadband customers get the level of service they expect from their retail service provider as they transition to the network.

In addition, the ACCC has commenced a Broadband Performance Monitoring and Reporting program, which will provide users with data on actual broadband speeds experienced from various RSPs. Further increases in the speed tiers being purchased and network capacity are expected in the next quarterly ACCC report. The report is available on the ACCC’s website.

Improving the integrity of the small business capital gains tax concessions: exposure draft released

The Coalition Government has released exposure draft legislation and explanatory material for public consultation on integrity improvements to the small business capital gains tax (CGT) concessions.

It is committed to supporting small businesses and helping them invest and grow through tax cuts and initiatives such as the $20,000 instant asset write-off, which were extended for a further 12 months to 30 June 2018in last year’s Budget.

The small business CGT concessions measure was announced in the Budget as part of our tax integrity package. It will ensure that these important concessions continue to benefit those who need them most - hard-working small businesses.

These concessions will continue to be available to genuine small business taxpayers with an aggregated turnover of less than $2 million or business assets less than $6 million. Under the proposed amendments, from 1 July 2017, the small business CGT concessions can only be accessed in relation to assets used in a small business or ownership interests in a small business.

This is an integrity rule designed to prevent taxpayers from accessing these concessions for assets which are unrelated to their small business, such as by arranging their affairs so that their ownership interests in larger businesses do not count towards the tests for determining eligibility for the concessions.

The exposure draft legislation and explanatory material are available on the Treasury website. Interested stakeholders are encouraged to provide their views by Wednesday, 28 February 2018.

Submissions can be emailed to SBCGTintegrity@treasury.gov.au during the consultation period.

New apprentices to benefit from intensive support

More than 40,000 apprentices in industries undergoing structural change are set to benefit from intensive support in their first two years of training.

Twenty-four organisations have been selected through a comprehensive tender process to deliver the new Industry Specialist Mentoring for Australian Apprentices (ISMAA) program.

The new program, funded by a $60 million investment from the Nationals-Liberal Government, will substantially build upon support provided through the Australian Apprenticeship Support Network and aims to significantly increase retention and completion rates for apprentices in industries undergoing structural change.

An industry specialist mentoring service will be provided to Australian Apprentices in industries as diverse as automotive repair, manufacturing, mining, construction, tourism and health.

Mentors will be highly skilled and possess detailed knowledge that will allow them to address particular career and skills development concerns related to their industry.

The successful organisations will provide regular one-to-one mentoring services with their expert knowledge of the industry and support for apprentices in the crucial first two years of training.

The new industry mentors will help both apprentices and businesses, especially those who need it most to stay on track to complete their apprenticeship. As well as assisting apprentices in industries going through structural change, around the country the mentoring program will also support people who’ve been retrenched, those who have experienced long term unemployment, those previously not engaged in employment or training, mature aged Australians, and people from regional areas.

For more information, visit: https://www.australianapprenticeships.gov.au