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Who are the winners and losers from the 2020 federal budget?

This year’s much awaited Federal Budget has been revealed and we’re here to break down why it’s so important. We’ll also explain what it means for homeowners and those looking to buy property in the coming years.

Why is this year’s budget so important?

The 2020 Federal Budget has been touted as one of the most important budgets since the Second World War. 2020 has broken Australia’s almost 30 year record of no recession, so the contents of this year’s budget will affect all Australians.

The Federal Budget outlines how the Government intends to spend its money to keep the country moving. It covers issues such as welfare, Medicare, property, job creation, infrastructure and more.

Normally the budget is handed down earlier in the year, but the need to make necessary adjustments due to COVID-19 has brought about delays. In the midst of a pandemic, Australians are keen to hear just what the Government has planned for an economic recovery. Despite the budget providing a strong stimulus to the economy, there are both winners and losers.

This year, it looks like the Government is highlighting tax cuts and big public expenditure as a means to curb the economic impacts of coronavirus. It also focuses on measures aimed to get people working again. So, who are the winners and losers of the 2020 Federal Budget?

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Winners

First home buyers

The First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (FHLDS) is set to be extended under the new budget, giving access to 10,000 more first home buyers over the next financial year.

The FHLDS is a government initiative aimed at assisting first home buyers with low deposits. The scheme allows eligible first home buyers to purchase a home with a deposit of just 5%. Participating lenders will be guaranteed up to 15% of the deposit by the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) meaning that buyers can avoid paying Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI).

There are a range of eligibility requirements, including income, age and property ownership tests. Further, a maximum property price cap applies across most regions.

For example, if you are buying a home in Sydney and want to use the FHLDS, the home’s value must not exceed $950,000. In Melbourne, it’s $850,000. The new version of the FHLDS will only allow buyers to purchase new or newly-constructed homes.

Click here to find out more information about the FHLDS or see if you’re eligible and start applying now.

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Granny flats

Have you been thinking about building a granny flat for an older or disabled relative? From 1 July 2021, you will no longer be required to pay capital gains tax. The measure is still subject to the passing of legislation, but it’s a good idea to start planning.

If you need help financing the project, you may be able to utilise a home equity loan to access the cash you need to get started. Book an appointment with a Lendi Home Loan Specialist today to find out your options.

Tax payers

While this isn’t specific to homeowners or prospective home buyers, paying less in tax could give you more cash to dedicate towards your next property or current home loan.

The Government had already hinted at plans for tax cuts for 2022, but they are accelerating these cuts to come into effect in the next financial year. Tax thresholds are being increased meaning that millions of Australians have the potential to save hundreds or even thousands in tax.

These tax cuts will be backdated to July of this year, putting more money in your pocket to spend how you like. Here’s how much you could save:

  • Someone earning between $45,000 and $90,000 could get back $1,080 due to the tax thresholds increasing
  • Someone earning over $90,000 could get back $2,565

Related: guide to buying your second home

The unemployed and underemployed

Recent months have seen mass job losses and increases to those seeking welfare. The 2020 Federal Budget includes a number of measures to get Australia working again.

$7.5 billion has been promised to fund several major infrastructure projects across the country including the construction of bridges, updates to highways and the development of new motorways in several states.

These projects aren’t going to build themselves, so thousands of Australians will be employed to plan, manage and build this infrastructure. It’s not just the tradies who are in luck — these projects need managers, planners, architects, secretaries, engineers and more.

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Tradies

A number of programs have been announced to increase work opportunities for tradies in Australia. Notably, the Government has pledged to pay half the wages of any new apprentices until 21 September 2021 or until the 100,000 cap is reached.

The changes to incentivise the building of granny flats will also provide more work for tradies. Other first homebuyer incentives and planned infrastructure projects will also be beneficial.

Investment in small business

Businesses with a collective turnover between $10 million and $50 million annually now have access to 10 tax concessions, if eligible. Among other things, these include deductions for a number of start-up expenses and those eligible won’t be required to pay fringe benefits tax on things like car parking and certain work-related devices.

People who are self employed may benefit from an increased income. This could make them more attractive borrowers to lenders assessing their home loan applications. Typically, self-employed borrowers have a harder time getting approved for loans due to perceived risk.

Employee retraining programs

The Federal Budget has also axed the fringe benefits tax for businesses paying to retrain employees who are transitioning to a different role. Businesses previously would have to pay the tax if the training wasn’t deemed relevant enough to the employee’s role.

This is beneficial to both businesses and employees. Employees who get to diversify their skill sets will be more open to promotions and salary increases, while businesses get to help develop their employees’ skills for less.

Aged care

Due to recent pressure from the royal commission into aged care, the Government is committing more funds to this sector. This is likely to bring about an increase in job opportunities while also ensuring that our senior citizens are better taken care of.

Plans include spending $1.6b in funding at-home care for older Australians who need the support this year more than ever.

Young unemployed people

Young people were hit hardest with job losses during the pandemic, so the budget unveiled a new scheme to encourage businesses to hire young people. The JobMaker Hiring credit will give employers $200 per week for hiring anyone aged between 16 and 30. $100 a week will also be given to businesses hiring workers aged between 30 and 35.

This is expected to create over 400,000 jobs and should help young people to get back on their feet after a tough year. To be eligible, new employees have to have been on JobSeeker and must be given a minimum of 20 hours per week of work.

Members of super funds

One of the more unexpected budget measures was the announcement that underperforming superannuation funds will not be able to take on new members unless returns are improved. Australians will have access to ‘YourSuper’, a new online comparison tool designed to help them make informed decisions about their super.

Many Australians unknowingly have extra superannuation accounts due to changing jobs. This often means that we are paying possibly hundreds of dollars every year in fees. The budget has addressed this by ensuring that if you change employers, your super account will come with you. Your current superfund can help you easily consolidate your super accounts.

Mental health

COVID-19 brought about a resurgence in concern for mental health funding. The budget has doubled Medicare-funded psychology sessions from 10 to 20 for all Australians.

Regional and farming communities

The budget has committed $2b in funding over the course of 10 years aimed to improve water infrastructure in regional Australia. However, there were no measures or incentives revealed to tackle the labour shortage.

Losers

Public housing residents

If you rely on social housing, this year’s budget won’t do much to improve things. Despite risks of increased homelessness across the country as we progress further into recession, there are no plans to boost public housing expenditure.

The lack of progress in this area has been criticised by the Labor Party, building associations and homeless support groups. While this year’s budget supports tradies in other areas, a boost in social housing projects would give them more work, while helping those who are struggling.

Self-funded retirees

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Deemed as ‘the forgotten people’ in the 2020 budget, self-funded retirees will be offered very little economic assistance. With falls in the stock market, cuts to dividends and property value reductions, those planning a self-funded retirement (i.e. with a limited super balance) may be forced to delay their retirement or try to access the pension.

Students

The Coalition have received the support they needed from Centre Alliance to push forth a bill to change university fees for students starting degrees in 2021 onwards. Notably, students studying humanities, law, business and economics degrees will face massive fee increases. Humanities students could end up paying up to 113% more per year with this bill.

Despite some fee reductions, students in STEM degrees will also lose out due to reductions in funding for many of these programs.

A high student debt may prove challenging when these students go on to apply for home loans in the future.

Superannuation funds

Tougher compliance regulations are set to make things more difficult for superfunds. While superfund members will benefit from increased mandatory transparency from their superannuation funds, underperforming funds will be barred from taking on new members.

Since superfunds will be required to act in their members’ best financial interests, they may be forced to invest in sectors that don’t align to their values (e.g. fossil fuels).

Middle-aged and older women

The budget includes measures to support unemployed young people, but neglects middle-aged and older women in its measures. Prior to COVID-19, women aged over 45 were the mostly likely group to be on JobSeeker. The measures designed to support the male-dominated industries like construction will not benefit many women in this group.

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The information in this post is general in nature and should not be considered personal or financial advice. You should always seek professional advice or assistance before making any financial decisions.

Tags: home loan, saving, first home buyer, first home, investing, retirement planning, construction loan, renovate

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