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2017-18 Federal Budget: Economic outlook, infrastructure and development

The 2017-18 Federal Budget delivers an overall optimistic economic and fiscal outlook for Australia. After a 2016-17 budget deficit of $37.6bn, the deficit for 2017-18 is forecast to be down to $29.4 billion. Following that comes a projected surplus in 2020-21 of $7.4bn.

The Budget also anticipates an economic rebound, with growth at 3.0% from 2018-19. Forecast tax receipts for 2017-18 have been revised up by $6.4bn over the forward estimates to 2019-20 due to a range of new policy measures announced in the budget.

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2017-18 Federal Budget: Housing affordability and supply

Housing affordability has been one of the major components of this year’s Federal Budget, which featured a comprehensive package of tax and superannuation measures aimed at increasing housing availability and improving affordability. The government has also reigned in tax breaks enjoyed by many residential property investors in the hope of providing Australians with confidence that tax concessions are correctly targeted. These measures will be complemented by a number of supply-side initiatives including the release of Commonwealth land and housing supply targets.

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Small and medium business: the big Federal Budget winners

Delivering his first Federal Budget on 3rd May 2016, Treasurer Scott Morrison said that tax breaks have been given to small businesses first as they are “more likely to reinvest their earning and more likely to be Australian owned.”

Australian Small Business Ombudsman Kate Carnell says “… this year’s Budget certainly provides a framework for SMEs to grow and prosper.”

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Tasmania’s promising economic growth

Tasmania’s economy has grown equal-second fastest in Australia in the December 2015 quarter – equal with New South Wales (0.6%) and second only to Victoria (0.8%) – according to state final demand Trend figures released by the Australia Bureau of Statistics (ABS) this week. Seasonally adjusted figures also show solid growth (0.7%), placing Tasmania fourth in the nation behind Victoria (1.2%), NSW (1.1%) and the ACT (1.0%).

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Federal Budget 2015: Individuals & Families

There were few particularly notable budget impacts for personal taxation; personal tax rates will not change, however changes were announced for work related car expenses, Medicare levy thresholds, and the Zone Tax Offset. For families, a new childcare package was announced and parental income testing for allowances to young people will be amended.  The budget announcement which will have the most significant impact on middle Australia is the child care reform package.

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Federal Budget 2015: Superannuation

As promised, there were no new changes for superannuation. However, a number of measures affecting pensions were announced including: rebalancing asset test thresholds and ‘taper rates’; improving the integrity of social security income tests arrangements; a decision not to proceed with elements of the previously announced measure to maintain eligibility thresholds for Government payments; and a decision not to proceed with pension indexation to CPI.

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Federal Budget 2015: Small Business

Small business is a sector that came out a clear winner from this year’s Federal Budget. In an effort to support growth and employment, announcements included: tax cuts for every small business; accelerated depreciation for assets less than $20,000; an immediate tax deduction for professional expenses; CGT roll-over relief; and FBT changes for electronic devices.

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Federal Budget 2015: General Business and Tax Administration

General business announcements include: expansion of tax concessions for Employee Share Schemes; changes to the R&D tax incentive; a new tax system for managed investment trusts; streamlined business registration; and facilitation of crowd sourced equity funding. For tax administration: establishment of a Serious  Financial Crime taskforce; the value of penalty units will increase; GST will apply to imported digital products and services; and salary sacrificed meal entertainment and entertainment facility leasing expenses will be capped.

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