Home > Industry > Big Budget Push For Cyber-Security, Overseas GST Drive

Big Budget Push For Cyber-Security, Overseas GST Drive

Huge spending on cyber-security, introduction of GST on small online purchases from overseas vendors, and a push for e-invoicing by government departments are among the measures unveiled by Treasurer Scott Morrison last night in the 2016-17 Budget.

The cyber-security package was one of the biggest revealed by Morrison, with spending estimated at $230 million. This will include $2.7 million for establishment of a globetrotting “cyber ambassador” – exact duties yet to be defined;  and $36.4 million to assist the Australian Federal Police and Australian Crime Commission in their fight against online crime.

Some $38.8 million will be spent moving the Australian Cyber Security Centre from its current home in ASIO’s Canberra HQ, while $12.3 million is being set aside to assess vulnerabilities in government systems and $3.5 million will go towards establishment of more cyber security educational institutions.

The Department of Education will establish six “academic centres of cyber security excellence” for a cost of AU$3.5 million.

Morrison said the package, developed in response to a recent cyber security review, would also feature public-private partnerships “to back Australian businesses to develop and promote their cyber security capabilities globally”. Maybe the cyber ambassador can help.

On a move already under way to crack down on tax avoidance by large overseas corporations  – including a number in the IT industry – Morrison said the Australian Taxation Office will receive an extra $679 million to hire 390 staff to form part of a 1000-person team to monitor large companies.

The Government will also introduce a UK-style “diverted profits tax” which will penalise multinationals found to be shifting income offshore with a boosted tax rate of 40 percent.

The ATO will target companies with global revenues above $1 billion and where the ATO believes it is “reasonable to conclude” its corporate structure has been designed to secure a tax cut. Companies booking less than $25 million a year in Australia will be exempt.

On extending GST to low-value goods imported by consumers, the Government estimates measures to be introduced will bring in around $300 million over four years. Previously, sub-$1000 online purchases were exempt.

Overseas suppliers with an Australian turnover of A$75,000 or more will be required to register for, collect and remit the GST, though it’s unclear how the Government will enforce this.

Some other tech-related items in last night’s budget included:

– Extra funding – actual amount not revealed due to “commercial-in-confidence” terms – to improve the Bureau of Meteorology’s supercomputer data and services;

– Some $2.4 million over two years from 2016-17 to bring forward the opening of so-called IT “landing pads” for emerging Australian tech-oriented companies in Singapore and Berlin;

– A total of $50.5 million over five years to enable the Department of Human Services and the Digital Transformation Office (DTO) to support operations of the “myGov” online information service; and

– Some $32.6 million to the second phase of the Australian Federal Police’s new datacentre strategy.

You may also like
ACT QR Codes Tampered With
“Major” Security Issues In Apple iMessage
Iconic ACT Landmark Left To Deteriorate
Massive GST Fiddle Sends Melbourne Man To 5 Years In Jug
China ‘Angry’ Over Huawei OZ Treatment Dossier Reveals