Several changes are set to happen from 1 July which will impact individuals. Here’s a quick summary of the major changes:
Power Prices Go Up
Power prices are again set to increase in NSW, Queensland, and South Australia from July 1, with major energy companies like Origin AGL and Energy Australia all announcing increases of up to 20 per cent. In Queensland price increases for residential customers are expected to be about $130 a year more.
Digital Streaming Tax
Customers of digital streaming services such as Netflix can expect to pay more from July 1. The levy on international suppliers of digital products and services is designed to even the playing field for local businesses making them more competitive.
Less Paperwork for Travelers
Travellers leaving Australia after July 1 will no longer have to complete the green outgoing passenger card. Unfortunately, the incoming passenger card remains for now.
Minimum Wage Increase and Penalty Cut Rates
The national minimum wage is set to increase by 3.3 per cent from July 1, giving 2.3 million of Australia’s lowest-paid workers their biggest pay rise in six years. The increase of 59 cents per hour to $18.29 — or $22.20 per week to $694.90. From the same date fast food, hospitality, retail and pharmacy workers will have their Sunday penalty rates cut by five percentage points.
Bulk Billing Incentives and Cheaper Drugs
Patients are more likely to be bulk-billed from Saturday, after the federal government partially unfroze the Medicare rebate to tie bulk billing incentives to inflation in last month’s budget, giving doctors a slight pay rise. The rebate for standard doctor visits won’t be unfrozen until next July, however, and specialists will have to wait until 2019.
The price of some medicines could also become cheaper as a result of a deal with pharmaceutical companies, which will see the government pay less for subsidised medicines in exchange for longer-term funding certainty.
First Home Buyers Benefit
A number of changes are coming for first homebuyers from July 1, including changes to state-based first homeowner grant schemes and stamp duty reduction. In Queensland, the grant was set to be reduced from $20,000 to $15,000, but the state government announced an extension until December 31.
From July 1, first home buyer savers will be able to salary sacrifice extra into their superannuation account above the compulsory contribution, up to a maximum of $30,000 in total and $15,000 in a single year. They will then be able to withdraw that cash from July 1, 2018, onwards, along with any associated earnings, to go towards a home deposit.
Property Investors Slugged
A number of state and federal changes affecting foreign and local property investors will apply from 1 July. In NSW, the Foreign Investor Surcharge Duty will be doubled from 4 per cent to 8 per cent from July 1, while the annual land tax surcharge on foreign buyers will rise from 0.75 per cent to 2% a year.
Should you have any queries in relation to these changes or you are in need of Sunshine Coast bookkeeper that will handle your payroll, BAS preparation or Xero setup and integration, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.