Next Tuesday night, the Federal Government will announce it’s 2017-18 May Budget. Excited? Well that depends on what’s in it for you!
Aside from many self-confessed money geeks who soak up budget night like some soak up the new season of ‘Orange is the New Black, the Budget tends to pass without much thought…. and then come the sensationalist headlines.
There’s the winners, the losers, how we are doomed, how this will turn around the economy. How you, the ‘average’ Australian are better off, worse off, struggling, thriving, or overlooked.
Of course, the strength of the economy does affect us all in some way, and there will no doubt be specific policies that will affect you personally.
But as Judith Sloan, journalist for the Australian, said “The budget is two parts marketing, one part policy”.
Don’t get sucked in to the vortex of the post budget ‘winners and losers’.
So what should you do when it comes to the Federal Budget?
Next week after the Budget is released, keep an eye out for any changes that may specifically affect you.
There may be simple ways you can benefit, so take advantage. And if there is a policy that is going to hit you in the hip pocket, try to best plan for it.
The government has been tight lipped this year with regards to specific policies, although housing affordability, infrastructure spending and higher education changes are likely to be a focus.
Expect to see an increase in university fees and a lower salary threshold for HELP repayments.
Discussions around housing affordability policies have been focused on a reinvented first home buyer scheme, social housing initiatives and possible changes to how capital gains tax is applied to investment properties (although the government has explicitly ruled out removing negative gearing).
There has also been talk of capping work related tax deductions in individual tax returns as the government continues to focus on reducing spending.
Let’s hope that measures to boost women’s superannuation and some tax relief for middle income earners will also feature on the government’s Budget agenda again this year.
Whilst I never encourage complacency when it comes to politics, don’t let the outcome of the Budget take your attention away from your own unique financial goals and what you are working towards.
Take the hit (if there is one), find out any policies that may help you, and get on with being your own money champion.