From healthcare costs and family payments to stamp duty, wages and power price hikes, a raft of new laws, regulations and fees come into effect from July 1, 2016.
Australia’s lowest-paid workers will get an extra $15.80 a week from July 1 after the Fair Work Commission handed down its annual minimum wage decision.
The minimum wage has been raised by 2.4 per cent, meaning workers will be paid $672.70 per week or $17.70 per hour. The decision affects more than 1.86 million workers.
To keep up with inflation, fees for most toll roads around the country will increase on July 1, usually by a few cents at most. In Victoria, the maximum toll for a car on City Link will increase three cents, from $8.66 to $8.69, and a trip across the Bolte Bridge will go from $2.89 to $2.90.
Power bills around the country are set to increase, most notably in NSW and South Australia, which already has the nation’s highest power prices.
In South Australia, AGL has announced an increase of 10 per cent, which amounts to around $230 extra per year. Origin Energy is hiking its prices by 6.5 per cent, or roughly $117 per year, while Energy Australia customers will pay an additional $260 a year. In NSW, annual power bills are set to rise by up to $30 after the Australian Energy Regulator approved a 1.5 per cent increase in line with inflation. In the ACT, electricity prices will rise by 6 per cent but customers using a mixture of electricity and gas will roughly break even, after ActewAGL announced it would reduce gas prices. The gas bill for a typical home will estimate a drop of about $105 a year, while electricity prices will rise by around $100 a year.
JOIN THE SUPER STREAM
From July 1, an employer with 19 or fewer employees will be required to pay super contributions for their employees electronically (EFT or BPAY) and send the associated data electronically. The Australian Taxation Office says more than 450,000 small businesses have implemented the required changes.
STAMP DUTY INCREASE
In Victoria, foreign property investors are being whacked with massive increases in stamp duty from July 1 and land tax from next year. Foreign buyers will have to pay 7 per cent stamp duty, up from the current 3 per cent, while the land tax surcharge on “absentee landholders” will increase from 0.5 per cent to 1.5 per cent. The NSW government is already ahead of the game, whacking a 4 per cent stamp duty surcharge on residential property purchases in its State Budget, and a 0.75 per cent land tax surcharge from 2017.
FIRST HOME BUYERS
GRANT Lucky Queenslanders will be able to access a souped up first home buyers’ grant from July 1, with the Great Start Grant being increased to $20,000 in the State Budget. The grant, which was previously $15,000, is for buyers of their first newly constructed property under $750,000.
LICENCES, REGO AND TRANSPORT
Drivers licence, vehicle registration and public transport fees are set to increase across the country from July 1, generally by around 1.9 per cent in line with inflation. In NSW, a five-year driver’s licence will increase by $4 from $174 to $178, while in Victoria a three-year licence is increasing by $1.90 from $76 to $77.90.
In Queensland, a five-year license will increase by $5.60 from $159.40 to $165, and by $5 in South Australia from $205 to $210.
INCOME TAX CUTS
From 1 July 2016, Individual income taxes will be reduced, the threshold at which the 37% marginal tax rate commences will increase from taxable income of $80 000 to $87 000. This will benefit approximately one-quarter of taxpayers, and will result in a tax cut of up to $6 per week.
FAMILY TAX BENEFIT
From July 1, if you are part of a couple and your youngest child is 13 years of age or over, you will no longer be paid the Family Tax Benefit Part B. The change to the payment, which has a maximum rate of up to $4400 a year, brings the age cut-off for the youngest child down from 18 years. Single parents, grandparents or great grandparent care’s will not be affected by the changes, however grandparents and great grandparents must register as such before July 1 to continue to receive the payment.