Federal Budget 2017–18: what would you like to see changed?

What are you hoping will be announced on Budget night?

What are you hoping will be announced on Budget night?

Each year, YourLifeChoices is privileged to attend the Federal Budget Media Lock Up. This enables us to report immediately on the Budget measures that affect you, our 250,000 members.

Housing affordability is shaping up to be a major focus for Treasurer Scott Morrison in the Federal Budget 2017–18, but exactly how he will tackle it and whether any measures will assist older Australians struggling to afford housing on a limited income remains to be seen. 

Here’s our breakdown of the issues that most affect older Australians and what, if anything, we can expect to change.

Superannuation – after the changes that were pushed through last year and will take effect from 1 July this year, expect little change in superannuation. An extension of the freeze on the superannuation contribution guarantee is a possibility, but with the rate having been frozen at 9.5 per cent since 2014, this wouldn't be a popular move.

Age Pension – after the implementation of the 1 January 2017 asset threshold changes, there seems to be little more the Government could do to restrict access to the Age Pension. However, let’s not forget that while the family home has indeed remained an exempt asset, much like the $1.6 million limitation that a person can hold in a retirement account, a threshold on the value of the family home isn’t too much of a stretch.

GST – along with negative gearing, it’s one of the issues that just won't go away for the Government. In its latest research, the Grattan Institute once again advocates the benefit to the budget of raising the rate from 10 per cent to 15 per cent. In previous research, it suggested any increase could be offset by spending 30 per cent of the new revenue raised to increase the base rate of welfare payments and thus limit the adverse effect on low-income households.

Negative gearing – depending on which side of the property fence you sit, this could either be the solution to housing affordability and tax revenue increases or it could finally ‘pop’ Australia’s property bubble. Either way, as each successive budget fails to address the issue in any way, the calls for action will grow louder.

Capital Gains Tax – although the Government has refuted claims that tax concessions on capital gains tax are for the chopping block, the suggestion that we will see the concession cut from 50 per cent to 25 per cent in the May Budget won't go away. With Finance Minister Mathias Corman stating on 17 February that the Government had “no intention” of cutting the concession, it would be one very large and very swift backflip.

Income tax – with company tax cuts in limbo, personal income tax could be a potential revenue raiser. Due to end this financial year is the Budget Repair Levy paid by high earners on income over $180,000 at a rate of an additional two per cent. As few people are seemingly up in arms, there’s every possibility that this could be extended. Also, keep an eye on the Medicare Levy that could also be increased to fund Australia’s health services.

Of course, there are many more measures that the Government could be considering to try and wrestle control of the Budget. Are there any you would like to see announced? Do you think any of the above should or will be considered? Is there a particular measure that would really hit your personal budget?

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    COMMENTS

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    mogo51
    11th Apr 2017
    11:02am
    To help young and first entrants home buyers, I would like to see a tightening of foreing ownership laws. Firstly, a 'same policy' rule ie. If we can't buy yours, you can't buy ours eg. China. There are others.
    Also a stronger enforcement of type of property they can buy and max value. Like many other countries eg. Thailand, Philippines, vietnam and more.
    That would reduce pressure on supply 'problems'.
    Geminiwoman
    11th Apr 2017
    11:35am
    You know what I would like to see come out in the budget. 1. Mandatory that all politicians live on the pension for at least 3 months before taking office. 2. Cut down or eliminate the amount of money that goes to other countries in so called "overseas aid". 3. Drastically up the amount of money spent on Hospitals. Hospitals are in crisis and some definitely have "too many chiefs and not nearly enough indians" to run efficiently. 4. Driastically increase the amount of money spent on PUBLIC schools. There is so much money being paid out to "overseas aid", "dole bludgers", incoming immigrants (go back to the system we once had where immigrants had to have a job before entering the country). Finally, it's about time that politicians realised that they are in fact our employees, not our bosses.
    Retired Knowall
    12th Apr 2017
    9:12am
    Increasing the amount of money spent in any area won't help unless you first eliminate the WASTE in that area.
    Phil1943
    11th Apr 2017
    12:41pm
    This government seems to have two basic goals: 1) reduce expenditures, and 2) increase taxation revenues. The first it wants to achieve by cutting back on services - from health and education to overseas aid and welfare spending, including support for older Australians. The second it wants to achieve through raising taxes on what might be called 'the general public' via taxation creep on wages to a probable higher Medicare levy. This is not a government that serves all Australians. It's doing just fine for businesses and foreign investors - and of course, for itself, but buggerall for the rest of us. Unless we really like submarines, that is.

    11th Apr 2017
    1:08pm
    please cut the lurks and perks that politicians have to what the Australian workers get . remove past prime ministers payments. Cut aid to overseas countries that shoot back at us with the aid we give which they buy weapons with . stop the immigration from Muslim countries who the majority bludge of our welfare system. clean the middle eastern crims out our of our jails deport them that would go along way at putting our budget on track
    GeorgeM
    11th Apr 2017
    1:50pm
    What should be included? Here goes:
    1. Introduce an Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) of say 15-20% on all Income (by not allowing the variety of shonky Deductions Multinationals, Large Companies and the rich claim to avoid / minimise tax). USA has had it since 1969. This measure could rake in Billions.
    2. Introduce full Age Pension payments to all Australians without any Tests, for all those who paid taxes here for say 20 years (removing the large Centrelink admin costs for these pension assessments, except for those who don't qualify).
    3. Remove all special Pensions for past & current Politicians, Govt employees, and Judges, and apply the same rules for them as for everyone else as in point 2 above.
    4. Remove Negative Gearing for all Property investment, except your 1st investment property.
    5. Scrap 457 Visas to stop overseas workers taking jobs from Australians, except in very rare cases where NO similar talent / experience is available locally (tests to be very stringent). Severe penalties for any devious attempts to get around these tests. Australians First!
    6. Also, Tax all Outsourcing of Jobs at say 15% of cost of overseas workers. Australians First!
    TREBOR
    11th Apr 2017
    8:15pm
    1. Yes

    2. But tax all income above that on the normal income tax scale and throw in fringe benefits at a deemed value

    3. Yes. And return the $130Bn Futures Fund, remove it from the grasping hands of politicians past and present and future, and put social security allotments and superannuation into this fund, in which all are treated the same.

    4. Yes

    5. Yes

    6. Apply a penalty tax for offshoring jobs - long a policy idea of mine. If jobs are now just another commodity, a nation can auction them off to the highest bidder and put that money into the Reining In Foreign Furphies-Real Australian Futures Fund (RIFF-RAFF) as above.
    GeorgeM
    11th Apr 2017
    8:25pm
    Thanks, TREBOR, agree with your amendments. Although, re: Item 6, I would prefer the purpose of the Penalty Tax to encourage jobs for Aussies.
    Pickles
    11th Apr 2017
    2:50pm
    I would like to see some compensation given to pensioners for the ever increasing costs being forced on us by the Federal, State and Local governments . In the next year in the A C T owning even a modest unit is going to cost about a $1000:00 a year more in L.G. taxes plus the costs of Electricity Gas and Water charges caused by government action or inaction
    Fairgo
    11th Apr 2017
    3:32pm
    I would like to see the inappropriately large superannuation and retirement benefits for politicians abolished and reasonable amounts be introduced. This will save quite a bit of money on its own. I am tired to these issues being ignored whilst the smaller person in the community is squeezed to the limit.
    niemakawa
    11th Apr 2017
    3:50pm
    Scrap the income and assets tests. Pensions for all regardless. All pensioners to pay a reduced medicare levy. Income tax to be imposed on all income from the first dollar, no concessions. Increase GST on "luxury" goods, include all food products. The budget repair levy to be abolished. No changes to capital gains tax. Leave superannuation as it is.
    older&wiser
    11th Apr 2017
    9:20pm
    Reinstate the Pension Bonus Scheme. The Govt insists that people should work longer - then stop cutting incentives to do so. Bring back the Pension Bonus Scheme, and bring back the higher amount to Salary sacrifice after age 60. Stop punishing and penalising seniors for trying to survive, the total opposite to politicians getting OH SO MUCH handed to them on a golden platter. Make ALL their entitlements the same as every one else - no golden handshakes, no obscene pensions, same criteria that everyone else has to abide by. THAT will be the day.
    PlanB
    12th Apr 2017
    7:00am
    Pretty well all the above comments as well as LEAVE the family home alone that was worked LONG AND HARD FOR!
    sunnyOz
    13th Apr 2017
    7:32am
    PlanB - absolutely agree. On one hand the govt is pushing to try and make home ownership easier. No wonder! - because then on the other hand they see this as a golden opportunity to rob them later on. I am a single mid 60's single woman, always been single and everything I have - which is not much - is due to my own hard fought blood sweat and (a few) tears. I didn't go off on lavish holidays, or travel: didn't buy new cars (my car is 19 years old). Worked 3 jobs at one stage to earn enough for a deposit. Gave up my much loved hobby. NO-BODY gave me a helping hand, no first home owners grant, and my house is a very humble small little place built in the 60's. No lavish media room, simply small 1 bathroom 2 bedrooms. At one stage I did rent a small govt unit, but never saw this as a permanent lifestyle. Now the govt effectively wants to punish me for being frugal and responsible. HANDS off. Stop looking to the old, sick, weak, poor and feeble to repair the budget. Read the majority of comments here alone - before you start targeting us, look in your own back yard at your obscene and outrageous wage increases, allowances, perks and handouts. Politicians need to start living by the same rules as us, they are not a glorified, special species. That should be the first place to look for any budget cuts.
    PlanB
    17th Apr 2017
    1:16pm
    I am with you SunnyOz, I think if they come that trick there will be a revolution -- and I would be happy to lead it.
    Fairgo
    12th Apr 2017
    8:10am
    There appears to be a common thread in these comments. It's about the over entitlements for politicians. I agree politicians need to be paid sufficiently to get good people for the job but the entitlements are plain foolish on the public's behalf. How can we get so,etching done to fix this?
    Retired Knowall
    12th Apr 2017
    9:21am
    Review the salaries of all Bureaucrats and establish a truly Independent tribunal to oversee any increases. It's ludicrous that these people are able to set their own salaries. (Refer to the last Aust Post Head as an example)
    Remove negative gearing for established houses.
    Raise GST to 12.5%
    Remove Capital Gains concessions for Houses and Units.
    Abolish perks for Politicians after 2 years in retirement.
    Not Senile Yet!
    13th Apr 2017
    12:01am
    Every @#$#@ change the LNP has implemented since coming into Govetnment!
    Especially all the attacks/cuts to aged Pensions!
    Salaries & Expenses of ALL MP'S CUT BY 50%
    BSSED ON LACK OF PERFORMANCE TO HONOR ELECTION PROMISES!
    A Full Enquiry into Corruption of All Political Parties and a Separate Commission to Control the Removal of any that Committ Fraud!
    By removsl...I mean Sacking & Prosecution!
    The complete Ban of Hal-al Certification until ALL FEES FOR SAME are Paid to the Government of Australia.
    Deportation Immediately for Convicted Ctiminals who are Migrants on Visas.
    10% Royalty Tax on EVERYTHING THAT IS MINED IN AUSTRALIA.....and I mean Everything!
    The money to fund Medicare for everyone!
    Not to be spent elsewhere!
    Removal of all taxes on Superannuation forever!
    Every MP to be Born in Australia...no exceptions!
    niemakawa
    13th Apr 2017
    12:15am
    Great list.


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