Last week Treasurer Joe Hockey released the Federal Budget for 2015. There was a lot of commentary regarding all of the different items that were in it. Some of them I found very interesting.
I also found some of the things that were not in the budget very interesting after some of the speculation and discussion leading up to it, and then not a great amount of commentary of those omissions after Treasurer Hockey’s moment.
Some of those items missing from the budget that I thought were worth noting were:
Changes to superannuation or negative gearing – these have both been targeted recently by some media and advocates for tax reform as only benefitting those who are already well-off.
Any tax on bank deposits – there had been media speculation that a tax would be imposed on people’s savings. This was already very unpopular on social media before the budget despite no really legitimate evidence of it ever actually being seriously considered and, unsurprisingly, has not been brought in.
Anything relating to climate change – This budget doesn’t give environmentalists much to be happy about. Funding to protect the Great Barrier Reef will come from cuts to other environmental programs.
GST relief for WA – WA’s share of GST revenue has decreased from 4.2% to 3.4% ($1.92b), less than any other state, though WA will benefit from funding for projects across the state and the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility.
Pessimism – Treasurer Hockey’s first budget was very pessimistic and helped contribute to declining business confidence across much of Australia. The Liberal government have learned their lesson and presented a “Have a Go” budget aimed to do just the opposite to last year and inspire confidence.
Vision or real tax reform – Alex Malley, chief executive, CPA Australia, said the budget “lacks a real vision and commitment to the serious and overdue structural reforms that are desperately needed to secure Australia’s future” and would back increasing GST to on everything to 15% and eliminating other inefficient taxes such as payroll taxes, insurance taxes, stamp duties, either reducing or removing conveyancing duties on properties and reducing individual income tax rates. Advocates argue that this would leave an average Australian household almost $750 a year better off, and the economy $27.5 billion bigger in 2029/30 than it would otherwise be.
Snr Accountant – OPTIMA PARTNERS
What wasn’t in the 2015 budget