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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: Superannuation

Despite no major new superannuation measures in the 2017-18 Federal Budget, the Government continues to tinker with Superannuation rules. In particular, the introduction of the $300K additional non-concessional contribution for older downsizers creates an exception to the recently-introduced Total Superannuation Balance $1.6m cap, and the concessions for first home-buyers to use super to save for a deposit sends mixed messages about the purpose of superannuation.

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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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2017-18 Federal Budget: Personal Taxes and Medicare

Personal taxes

The option of claiming a standard tax deduction for work expenses has long been talked about, in the hope of simplifying personal tax returns. It was speculated to be delivered in this year’s Federal Budget, however was not to be.

The 2017-18 Budget also contained no changes to the personal income tax rates and thresholds. This means that the Temporary Budget Repair Levy (2% on incomes over $180,000) will still expire at the end of the 2016-17 financial year.

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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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