This year is not like the last: at least, when it comes to our home loans, our superannuation, and our student debts and more.
Starting from the first day of the year, a number of new measures rolled out by the government have officially kicked in, meaning that you may be taken by surprise if you’re not across them all.
Here’s a quick run-down of what’s changed, starting from 1 January 2020:
1. The First Home Loan Deposit Scheme is rolled out
This scheme is designed to help first home-buyers on low and middle incomes to buy a home earlier with deposits as little as 5 per cent. Up to 10,000 participants will have their home loans guaranteed.
A total number of 27 lenders have been approved to participate in the scheme, and you can figure out if you’re eligible here.
2. Bad bosses can’t rob you of your super
Starting from 1 January, employers will no longer be able to short-change you if you make salary-sacrificed superannuation contributions.
“Employers will no longer be able to use salary sacrificed contributions to satisfy their superannuation guarantee obligations,“ said a statement from Treasurer josh Frydenberg.
3. Your student debt loans will be streamlined
If you incur FEE-HELP, VET Student Loans, VET FEE-HELP or new HECS-HELP on or after 1 January 2019, you’ll now just get one single HELP loan limit called the ‘combined HELP loan limit’.
This limit will rise to $106,319 for your average student, but those studying medicine, dentistry, veterinary science or eligible aviation courses will see their loan ceilings rise to $152,700.
And to better help you track your loan and repayment history, a new platform called myHELPbalance has been launched.
4. You’ll be able to access more affordable medicines
Four new medicines will be added to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, which is a program involving the government subsidising a list of medicines to make them more affordable for Australians.
Two of the new medicines include Verzenio® (Abemaciclib) for patients with advanced breast cancer and APO-Primidone® (Primidone) for patients with epilepsy. You can view the full list of medicines on the PBS here.
5. The government will pay contractors and suppliers on time (or they’ll pay)
Is a federal government agency one of your clients? If you send them an e-invoice, they’ll pay you within five days or pay interest on late payments.
“The five-day e-Invoicing payment policy will apply to contracts valued up to $1 million, where a supplier and a Commonwealth agency both use the internationally established framework for delivering and receiving invoices in an electronic form,” according to Frydenberg.
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