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2015 Federal Budget

Despite being tamer than last year, the 2015 was a real mixed bag for families.  If all the measures pass the Senate some families will be better off others worse off.  So here are the 5 main proposed budget changes that you really need to know about.!

(1) If you have a child in childcare – there are big changes you need to know about.

From 1 July 2017, a new Jobs for Families childcare package is expected to come online and replace the Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate with a single child care subsidy.  This subsidy will be paid directly to child care providers, reducing upfront fees.

The government estimates that the changes will save working families $30 per week on average.  Families with an income of under $65,000 per year are guaranteed a minimum of 12 hours subsidised child care per week with 85% of their child care costs covered, up to an hourly cap. The subsidy gradually tapers to 50 per cent for families earning around $170,000 or more.  There will be no annual cap for families earning less than around $185,000.  Families earning around $185,000 or more will have a $10,000 annual cap on the total amount of assistance provided per child per year. This is $2,500 more than the current Child Care Rebate annual cap per child.

However, the catch is that the amount of subsidy that each family receives is going to be subject to an “activity test” that is tied to the amount of paid work, study or volunteering that the primary carer does.  The primary carer must perform a minimum of eight hours work or study per fortnight to receive any child care support.  The more hours worked the higher the subsidy will be.

Given the above “activity” test the big losers from this reform are families with a stay at home parent.  If their family income is between $65,000 to $170,000 per year income bracket will lose the Child Care Benefit that they are currently entitled to, with no compensation under the new system. These families will have to pay the full cost of child care without any government subsidy

(2) There will be a limited nanny trial

If you have a combined income of less than $250,000 and find it difficult to access mainstream childcare services – because you would shift work, or are in a rural or remote area or are a parent of a child with special needs – you will be eligible to use your childcare subsidies on in-home nannies. Payments will be paid directly to the childcare provider.

(3) If you receive Family Tax Benefit payments there are several changes you need to know…

As of July 1, families where one parent earns more than $100,000 will no longer be eligible for Family Tax Benefit B.   This is one of the few changes from last year’s budget that has actually passed the Senate.

However, to fund the new childcare measures the government is looking to enact some other changes including:

  • Restricting the Family Tax Benefit B to families with children under six.  To help single-parent families receiving Family Tax Benefit A and no longer eligible for Family Tax Benefit B there will be an additional annual payment of $750 for each child aged between six and 12.
  • Freezing the indexation on both the Family Tax Benefit A and B for two years ie. the benefit won’t go up with inflation.
  • Also the large family supplement which is paid to those with 4 or more children will be cancelled.

(4) If you’re planning to have a baby… you could be worse off than under the current system.

If you receive paid parental leave through your employer you will no longer be eligible to receive the government funded scheme which is worth a maximum of $11,538.90.

(5) If you run a small business you could be a big beneficiary.

The government has announced a $20,000 limit for immediate asset write-offs for small businesses with annual turnover less than $2 million from 1 July 2015.

Lots of these measures will have to pass the hostile senate and as we know now, lots of the things that were announced in last year’s budget simply did not make it through.  So, what the budget actually means for families could be completely different story when the political process is finished, so I will let you know how actually things go!!!

If you liked this you might also like:

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Disclaimer:

The information contained in this post is general in nature and does not constitute financial advice.  Please see your financial advisor for advice specific to your individual circumstances.

 

 

21/05/2015 7 comments
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superannuation co-contribution

I am so excited – this year I qualify for the government’s superannuation co-contribution scheme and I am absolutely going to take it up!!  Let’s face it, there are not many ways you can get $500 for free, particularly from the Government!!!  However, this is one of them and it is really easy!!! Who would have thought!!!

So here is how you do it!  Pretty much to qualify for the full benefit of $500 you have to earn less than $33,516 and put an after-tax contribution of $1000 into your superannuation fund by the 30th of June 2014.  As long as you have put the contribution into your fund and you file your tax-return, the $500 will automatically be paid into your fund by the government.  (Click here to see the full criteria).

If you earn between $33,516 and $48,516, you will still get some benefit just not the full $500.  (Click here to check the calculator on the ATO site to see how much you will get).  So at its best the superannuation co-contribution scheme means you put in $1,000 and they give you $500 for free! There are not too many legitimate investments that I know of in which you can a 50% return, for zero risk, guaranteed.  It is the closest thing I have seen to money for nothing.  Nothing is better than that 🙂

Try and take advantage of this if you do qualify.  This is a fantastic scheme to help those of us who are working part-time while looking after our little-ones to continue to build our superannuation balances.  Sadly stay at home mums do not qualify for the co contribution, as while they are doing amazing work, this work is unpaid (unless the ATO start counting hugs and kisses :-)).  However, click here if you are a stay at home mum to read about other ways you can boost your superannuation balance instead.

p.s To find out how to make an after tax contribution to your superannuation fund give them a call.  I rang mine and the process is really easy.

If you liked this you might also like:

How to boost your superannuation balance while you are a Stay At Home Mum

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Disclaimer:

The information contained in this post is general in nature and does not constitute financial advice.  Please see your financial advisor or accountant for advice specific to your individual circumstances.

19/06/2014 13 comments
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Federal Budget 2014

Ok if the 2014 Federal Budget was all a bunch of gobbledy gook to you then do not worry you are certainly not the only one!!!!  Here is my take on what you really need to know about what was announced in the Budget and how it will impact you and your family!

  • If you get the Family Tax Benefit part B the rules have changed.  Only Families on a income of less $100,000 with children under six qualify.  Though existing recipients of Part B with children six or older will continue to receive payments for two years.
  • Planning to have a baby?  The new paid maternity scheme to start in July 2015 will have scheme payments capped at a payment of $50,000, as opposed the originally promised $75,000.
  • Going to the Doctor will cost you more:  Anyone who sees a doctor and gets bulk billed will pay $7 every time they go.  Non-bulk-billed patients will pay an extra $5 per visit.  Children under the age of 16 and concession card holders will have the payment capped at 10 visits.
  • You will pay more for medicines:  Medication covered under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) will increase by $5 and PBS safety net thresholds will kick in only after increased out-of-pocket expenses.  Concession card holders will pay 80c more for PBS medicine, and spend an extra $61.80 before the safety net kicks in.
  • Petrol Prices will rise:  The government will raise the petrol tax (fuel excise) twice per year in line with inflation.
  • Compulsory employer super contributions to pause at 9.5% for three years.  They are currently at 9.25%, so will go up once more in July 2014.  The previous plan was to increase them to 12% by 2019.
  • Pension age has increased to 70 for anyone currently under 50.
  • First Home Saver Accounts (FHSA) have been axed.  No more new accounts can be opened and as of July 1 the government will end its 17 per cent co-contribution.  In July 2015 the tax and social security concessions associated with the scheme will be withdrawn and the restrictions on withdrawals will be removed.
  • If you work for the public service, there are plans to cut 16,500 public service jobs.
  • Those earning over $180,000 will pay an extra 2% per annum tax for the next three years, this is the “Budget Repair Levy”.
  • For those with kids at university or thinking of going:  Our children will have more debt and start paying it back sooner.  Universities will have the ability to set their own fees, so prices will most likely rise. Scholarships will be available to disadvantaged students.  From July 2016, students will have to pay their loans back sooner, starting once they earn over $50,638 a year.
  • For the unemployed:  Those aged under 25 will need to “earn or learn”. People under 30 will need to wait six months to be eligible for Newstart and once on payments will be subject to a work for the dole scheme.

So there it is and it was a tough one!!!!  Of course there was lots more bits and pieces, but these are the essentials that I think could have the greatest impact on your family.

If you liked this post, you might also like:

How To Pay Off Your Mortgage Faster

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3 Things You Should Know When Saving And Investing For Your Children

 

Disclaimer:

The information contained in this post is general in nature and does not constitute financial advice.  Please see your financial advisor for advice specific to your individual circumstances.

16/05/2014 15 comments
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On June 18th last year it was my birthday, a day like pretty much any other.  My husband and I dropped our beloved daughter, Miss Money at childcare and I went off to work.  About mid-morning, I passed a team mate in the photo copy room and we had a quick chat when he confided in me that he was scared that he was going to be made redundant.  I told him that if anyone in the group was going to be made redundant it was going to be me.  I returned to my desk to finish my research report and not more than half an hour later it happened to me!  My boss pulled me into a room and that was it.  I was told it wasn’t anything to do with my performance, it was cost cutting and there would be several of us who would be going.

For me it wasn’t completely unexpected, things had been tough since my return from maternity leave 11 months prior and let’s face it I am not the first mother to return from maternity leave only to be made redundant.  In our case, Miss Money had been sick a lot.  When I say a lot I mean at least every second week and to the point where I remember sitting in the doctor’s office on my third visit for the week saying “I am not the Munchausen lady, I promise” (Munchausen by proxy syndrome is form of child abuse that involves the overstatement or fabrication of illnesses or symptoms by a key caretaker.)  On the journey we found out she had an egg allergy, asthma and an intolerance to wheat all of which were not helping but we found juggling everything with a sick child very difficult.

 For me I saw my redundancy as one big birthday present – a great opportunity.  It was my chance to get off the merry go round for a minute or two, catch my breath and not only enjoy more time with Miss Money but assess what I wanted to do next.  They say you have several careers during your working life and I am just starting to embark on a new one.  From stock market analyst to mummy blogger with a passion for helping parents get the most from their money.  I have always wanted to run my own business so I am standing on the edge and have decided to jump, I might fall, I might fly but I am certainly not going to waste the opportunity my birthday present has given me.

05/03/2013 0 comment
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