15

May

Feel like there’s nothing good in the world of money right now? Don’t worry, it’s not all doom and gloom.

by Money101 // in news

Whether you watch the news, scroll through social media or read the paper; it’s safe to say that lately, there’s been a lot of doom and gloom in the world of money. Rising costs, housing accessibility, interest rates and inflation, it’s all painting a very grey picture. So much so, that when there is good news, it doesn’t seem to bring a lot of sunshine.

But, despite the grey clouds that have been looming overhead for what feels like forever, there are a few rays of sunshine that may brighten your day soon:

Stage three tax cuts

Stage three tax cuts have been a hot topic in the media lately, and their original cuts have been changed. How income tax works can also be a little confusing. In a nutshell, from 1 July this year, the individual income tax rates will change so that all working Australians will be paying less income tax. The 19% threshold will drop to 16%, the 32.5% threshold will drop to 30%, and the thresholds where the 37% and 45% rate apply will increase to $135,000 and $190,000 respectively.

Paid parental leave

Recently the Paid Parental Leave (PPL) scheme was changed to allow all households to take 20 weeks of paid leave, which could be divvied between one or two parents, regardless of gender. This amount will increase annually by two weeks, to reach 26 weeks by 1 July 2026. On top of this, superannuation will be paid on the government-funded Paid Parental Leave from 1 July 2025 (this measure is not yet law). This measure is aimed to help reduce the retirement savings gap, as women typically retire with significantly less superannuation than men.

Changes to the HELP repayment system

HELP debts have always been interest-free loans. But these loans do increase each year on the first of June, and how much they do increase depends on the consumer price index (CPI) for the year. Last year, all debts were increased by 7.1%. The issue with such a huge increase is for some people, the amount that was put back onto the loan was more than they had paid off for that year, and does not take into account the rate of wage growth. From 1 July this year, student loan indexation will be capped at whatever rate is lower; the consumer price index or the wage price index. These changes are still subject to legislation.

Superannuation

The Superannuation Guarantee has been steadily increasing for several years now. Again, on 1 July this year, the amount will increase from 11% to 11.5%. On 1 July next year, it will rise and remain at 12%.

Interest rates

A lot of different experts have weighed in about whether rates will rise, drop or remain the same throughout the next few years. At the moment, it can be difficult to find any positivity in this area, especially when it effects home loans and household spending in so many different ways.

One positive spin on this is that interest rates for savings accounts have also risen. Another is that the constant rate rises over the last two years have propelled people to shop around for better deals, rather than sticking around with their long-term lenders. This can in turn create more competition between lenders.

Whilst it might not seem like these things are going to take away all of the shadows that are looming over the economic landscape right not, they are reminders that not everything is doom and gloom. It’s important to remember that changes on an economic level take time.

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General non-advice disclaimer

The information contained in this article is of a general nature, is provided for education purposes only and does not constitute financial advice. It has been prepared without taking into account your particular financial circumstances or objectives. You should consider the appropriateness of the information as it relates to you. You may wish to consult an adviser before you make any decisions relating to your financial affairs.

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