Federal Budget 2017 – The balancing act
The problems that any Australian Government is expected to resolve and the wish list they are supposed to fulfil, is extensive regardless of which party is in power. This Budget delivers a series of measures to attempt to please as many people as possible. It tackles the issues currently in focus across the Australian community – gaps in healthcare, first home ownership, foreign workers, investment and bank accountability to name a few of the pressure points. It also delivers an economic ‘sugar hit’ in the form of $75 billion in infrastructure projects.
Key measures include:
- Extension of the $20,000 immediate deduction until 30 June 2018
- Contractors in the courier and cleaning industries face greater compliance
- Access to small business CGT concessions tightened
- Banks slugged with ‘major bank levy’
- Super concessions for over 65s to downsize – up to $300,000 per member
- The ability for would-be first home owners to salary sacrifice into super to save a deposit
- An array of housing affordability measures including: a CGT discount increase to 60% for investments in affordable housing, and Managed investment Trust investment opportunities in affordable housing.
- Deductibility of investment property travel costs to end and restrictions on depreciation deductions
- A series of restrictions on foreign property investments
Individuals & Families
- Medicare levy increase to 2.5% from 1 July 2019.
- Help with energy bills for some social security recipients
- Demerit system for jobseekers
Overall the 2017-18 Budget will not offend anyone (except perhaps the banks) and there are plenty of give-aways. The only danger is the level of optimism in the economic projections in a climate of uncertainty.
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