The 2019 Federal budget has been delivered. The emails about the budget started flowing in to my inbox last night, with plenty of analysis and commentary. It seemed like journos and professionals in the Budget Lockdown tasked with providing insight and opinion for media outlets and professional associations were pretty excited.
However, I have to say my feeling was it was all a bit benign, again! Anything remotely interesting for women had previously been announced. And despite Kelly O’Dwyer, the Minister for Woman, announcing the Budget “includes a number of important, practical measures to support women to increase their participation in paid work and improve their financial security”; I didn’t see anything mind-blowing to get excited about (more on this below).
And really, there’s no good reason to get excited in an election year, because the odds aren’t great any of this will ever be law.
We’ve picked out some relevant proposals, but much of it may be nothing! And when it is something, like always, your Financial Adviser will offer advice on how to best apply it to your circumstances.
Flexibility for Older Australians voluntary superannuation contributions (both concessional and non-concessional) will be allowed to be made by those aged 65 and 66 without meeting the work test from 1 July 2020. People aged 65 and 66 will also be able to make up to three years of non-concessional contributions under the bring forward rule. Those up to and including age 74 will be able to receive spouse contributions, with those 65 and 66 no longer needing to meet the work test.
Elder Abuse: a national plan to Respond to the abuse of older Australians. $18 million to create a new National Hotline (1800 ELDERHelp or 1800 353 374) and conduct trials of frontline services for victims of abuse. The Government is also contributing $1.5 million towards developing a Serious Incident Response Scheme.
Instant Asset Write Off will increase the instant asset tax write-off from $25,000 to $30,000 and making this available for medium-sized businesses (those with an aggregated annual turnover of between $10 million and $50 million) as well as small businesses. The increased threshold and eligibility apply from the release of the budget at 7:30 pm on 2 April 2019. The write-off will operate until 30 June 2020.
The Low- and Middle-Income Tax Offset (LMITO) will be increased. The base amount from $200 to $255 and the maximum amount from $530 to $1,080. Those with incomes between $48,000 and $90,000 will be eligible to receive the maximum offset of $1,080. The offset phases out at $126,000.
The changes are to apply for the current financial year, which means if the Government can legislate these changes the offset will apply to tax returns lodged from 1 July 2019.
Tax Rate Changes: From 1 July 2024, a reduction in the 32.5 percent tax rate to 30 percent, abolishment of the 37 percent tax rate and increase the threshold for the 30 percent tax rate to $200,000. This tax bracket will apply to incomes between $45,001 and $200,000.
What wasn’t in the Budget
Nothing visionary for women
Nothing addressing the vulnerability of women
Nothing addressing childcare costs or parental leave
Nothing addressing the circumstances of women at risk of/or homeless
The 2019 Federal Budget should have clarified and extended measures announced in November’s Women’s Economic Security Statement, but nothing!
Maybe next year we’ll see something bold…..
This represents general information only. Before making any financial or investment decisions, we recommend you consult a financial planner to take into account your personal investment objectives, financial situation and individual needs.