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BUDGET 2015: Winners and losers

Budget 2015: Winners and losers
Budget 2015: Winners and losers

Gone is the talk of a Budget emergency.

The Government has made a well-considered political move and swung in the other fiscal direction.

If anything, now the criticism lies with the very tiny baby steps the Government is taking towards bringing the Budget back to surplus.

But while the Budget deficit is still blowing out, the Treasurer Joe Hockey says he is still aiming for a surplus in five years.

FULL LIST: Budget 2015's winners and losers
ALSO READ: Joe Hockey's 'Viagra budget'
ALSO READ: Of budgets and broken promises

So while there are some winners, it is inevitable that not everyone will see taxpayer money coming their way. And Hockey summed it up pretty well:

 ‘Today we have taken steps to continue repairing the budget with sensible savings. We are redirecting funding to small business, childcare and infrastructure.’


Winner: Young families

$3.5 billion has been allocated to childcare with an emphasis on encouraging parents to return to work.

This will support families earning less that $65,000 who want to work more but are prevented doing so because of the unaffordability of childcare.

Families with an income of less than $65,000 will get their fees subsidised by 85 per cent.

Loser: Stay-at-home parents

Those parents who are looking after a child at home will lose childcare support. The Government will offer childcare subsidies that correlate to how many hours a parent is working or studying.

Families with an income about $65,000 per year will lose out on childcare subsidies, while there is still a safety net for low income families with stay-at-home parents.

Winner: Owners of small businesses

Any assets under $20,000 that small business owners buy (as of tonight) they can instantly write off. The aim is to encourage anyone to ‘have a go’ and invest.

Under the change, small businesses can claim a tax deduction for the full value of assets up to that value in a single year rather than over five years as had been the case.

"If you're a tradie, it might be new tools or a computer for the home office - cars and vans, kitchens or machinery, anything under $20,000 is immediately 100 per cent deductible from tonight," Hockey told reporters.

Already leaked before the Budget, the Government is lowering the corporate tax rate by 1.5 per cent for small business owners (to qualify your turnover each year must be under $2 million). This affects 96 per cent of all businesses in Australia.

The company tax rate for incorporated small businesses will also fall from 30 per cent to 28.5 per cent, with unincorporated businesses receiving a five per cent tax discount of up to $1,000.

The government is also changing Fringe Benefits Tax rules to allow for tax exemptions on multiple portable electronic devices such as smartphones and tablets. Currently, tax exemptions are only allowed for one device.


Loser: Foreign home buyers

Any foreigner wanting to buy an Australian home or business will be hit with an application fee of at least $5,000 from December 1.

The government says this will bring in an estimated $735 million in revenue for the Budget over the next four years.

Loser: So-called ‘double dippers’ of maternity leave

The Government has backflipped completely on last year’s Budget policy. Now new parents won’t be able to access the Government’s maternity leave scheme if their employer offers a more generous scheme.


Loser: Rich pensioners

The Government is tightening the rules surrounding the pension assets test.

Pensioners can now only have assets up to the value of $550,000 (excluding the family home) to be able to claim the part pension. This is down from the current threshold of $775,000.

Winner: Young, unemployed people

The Abbott Government is dropping its contentious plan to make some young adults wait up to six months before receiving dole payments.

Suspending the dole for under-30s for six months has been dumped and replaced with a four-week waiting period for under-25s.

Loser: Backpackers

The Federal Government will change the rules for working holidays from July 1, 2016, meaning tourists will be taxed at 32.5 per cent from the very first dollar they earn, delivering an estimated $540 million to budget bottom line over four years.

Currently, foreigners on working holidays enjoy a tax-free threshold on their first $20,000 in income, and a 19 per cent tax rate on earnings up to $37,000.

Winner: Farmers

The government is offering $300 million to help farmers get through tough times (such as drought). Investment in water facilities and new fencing is also now tax deductible.

The Government is offering $35 million towards infrastructure in drought-affected areas.

Loser: Downloaders

For those who like to watch content online, the price of streaming a movie, e-books, games and other digital products bought from overseas will go up by at least 10 per cent under the new so-called 'Netflix tax'.

Also read: Netflix Tax - current prices 'unfair'

Top 5: Best Aussie ISPs for watching Netflix

The new rules will apply the 10 per cent GST to digital products and services supplied from foreign businesses.

Loser: Terrorists

The national security budget will be boosted by $1.2 billion including new computers and an online campaign against extremists.

The government is committing an extra $450 million for intelligence capabilities.

$131 million will be spent on Telcos to keep customers' metadata for the next couple of years.

$22 million will be spent to combat terrorist propoganda online.

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