Jun 02, 2022
Australia’s first Labor Prime Minister since Kevin Rudd in 2013 is in The Lodge, thrust into power by a wave of Teal voters who abandoned the Liberal Government in favour of independents.
Anthony Albanese is Australia’s 31st Prime Minister and is poised to oversee a majority in the House of Representatives despite a primary vote which fell to an astonishingly low 32 percent.
But what does the changing of the guard mean for the average South Australian?
South Australian Labor senator Penny Wong has already restated her party will be “focussing on our infrastructure commitments and our plan to ensure the Murray gets the water that has been promised”.
But what about on a more personal level?
We cut through the political speak to detail what you can hope for and need to brace for over the next three years.
Neither the ALP nor the Coalition has any magic wand to address the $1 trillion debt that Australia is facing with warnings that could double in coming decades because of rising interest rates.
Much of this debt was accumulated pre-pandemic.
Labor’s election promises would cost a further $18.9 billion, partially offset by budget savings of $11.5 billion.
A deficit isn’t necessarily a bad thing but how big is too big?
Specialised lecturer in finance at Macquarie University Hamid Yahyaei has some thoughts: “The problem is when that deficit gets so large that it begs the question, is this going to actually impinge upon the economic performance of the country?”
Off the back of a housing boom and at the forefront of rising interest rates, housing looks more unaffordable than ever before, especially for first-home buyers.
Labor dubbed its bold solution the “Help to buy” scheme. It promises to subsidise up to 40 percent of the cost of a new home and up to 30 percent of the cost of an existing home.
Homeowners can then buy that equity back off the government during the loan period.
It’s expected to help around 10,000 Australians who will then only need to find a 2 percent deposit.
Labor’s Regional First Home Buyer Support Scheme aims to help an additional 10,000 Aussies in the bush by providing guarantees of up to 15 percent of the price of the property.
Buyers will need just a 5 percent deposit for this scheme which is expected to become available in January, 2023.
It is still not clear if Labor will support a boost to rental subsidies with rent prices increasing as vacancy rates plummet.
Cost of living
Labor will support the Coalition’s plan for a $420 tax offset for low and middle income workers.
The 37c tax bracket will be eliminated meaning people earning between $45,000-$200,000 will all be taxed at 30c in the dollar.
This still represents a 2.5c saving for workers at the lower end of that bracket.
Labor promises to reduce the cost of childcare by up to $1600 a year for families, lifting the childcare subsidy cap to 90 percent for the first child of families.
It also vows to increase childcare subsidy rates for every family with one child in care, up to a household income of $530,000.
The Albanese Government says it will reduce power bills by an average of $275 a year by 2025.
And it will slash the cost of scripts by $12.50 and match the Coalition’s commitment to expand the eligibility of the seniors’ health card, as well as protect payments for 900,000 pensioners by freezing deeming rates for two years.
But the new government won’t extend the fuel excise tax relief established by the Liberals.
Come September, prices will spike again when the full 44c per litre tax is reinstated, rather than the 22c currently being charged. This was also Scott Morrison’s intention, had he remained in office.
Minimal changes are planned with a 12 percent employer guarantee by 2025 to remain in place.
Labor is also supporting new rules allowing people aged 60 (down from 65) who downsize by selling their family home to boost their super by taking advantage of a post-tax contribution of up to $300,000 per person.
The plan is that this will in turn free up more housing for younger families.
While people aged between 67-74 will no longer need to pass the work test for salary-sacrificed and non-concessional contributions to super.
A majority Labor government will give the share market some much needed confidence but volatility is likely to remain for the foreseeable future.
Soaring inflation has had the double whammy of seeing actual wages fall in real terms as skyrocketing prices outpace wage increases.
Labor will support a rise of 5.1 percent in the minimum wage to help cushion the blow, if it is recommended by the Fair Work Commission. But there are fears this could put a squeeze on jobs if employers are unable to absorb the cost.
Labor will also try to impact wages by supporting wage reviews as well as pushing hard its goal of making gender pay equity an objective of the Fair Work Act.
It also wants to beef up its powers to order pay increases for workers in industries that rely on low-paid female workers.
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Written by CWM founder and adviser Ben Calder.
The information contained on this article is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from a financial adviser.
Taxation, legal and other matters referred to on this website are of a general nature only and are based on Calder Wealth Management’s interpretation of laws existing at the time and should not be relied upon in place of appropriate professional advice. Those laws may change from time to time.
Calder specialises in wealth management with a focus on advice, investment, sustainability, insurance and finance.
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