June 29, 2018 18:32:06
The beginning of the financial year will bring changes affecting almost everyone. Here’s what you can expect.
Minimum wage increase
The Fair Work Commission announced a 3.5 per cent increase to minimum wages.
This will bring the national minimum wage to $719.20 per week, on the basis of 38 ordinary hours per week, or $18.93 per hour.
The increase amounts to an extra $24.30.
Plastic bag ban
From July 1, Queensland and Western Australia will ban single-use, lightweight plastic bags from major retailers, bringing the states into line with the ACT, South Australia and Tasmania.
Retailers will no longer be able to supply single-use lightweight plastic shopping bags less than 35 microns in thickness.
Plastic bags used for bin liners, nappy bags, dog poo bags, department bags and small fruits and vegetables bags will still be available.
Penalty rate changes
Sunday penalty ratesin the fast food, hospitality, pharmacy and retail industries are changing, following a Fair Work Commission decision last year.
Full -time and part-timehospitalityworkerswill have penalty rates decrease by 10 per cent while causal employees will continue to get the same rate.
Retail workerswill drop by 15 per cent with an extra 5 per cent decrease for casual workers.
Pharmacy employees’penalty rates will drop by 15 per cent and 10 per cent forfast food employees.
There is a new rebate for people earning up to $125,000 a year.
The low and middle income tax offset will be paid as part of the tax return at the end of the 2018-19 financial year and will mean between $200 and $530 extra depending on how much someone earns.
There is also a tax cut for people earning more than $87,000 a year because the top threshold of the 32.5 per cent tax bracket goes from $87,000 to $90,000.
And companies with a turnover of between $25 million a year and $50 million a year will pay a lower rate of corporate tax from July 1. It will fall from 30 per cent to 27.5 per cent.
Child care subsidy
The new Child Care Subsidywill replaceboth the current Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate. However, this will come into affect onJuly 2.
Families will need to complete on online means test before the start date in order to receive any child care fee assistance.
A family’s annual adjusted taxable income will determine the percentage of subsidy they are eligible for.
Families earning $186,958 or less will have no cap on the amount of Child Care Subsidy they can claim.
Families earning over $186,958 and under $351,248 will benefit from an increase in the current cap of $7,613 to $10,190 per child, per year.
Power prices will drop
AGL announced it will lower electricity prices across New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia from July 1.
Electricity will decrease for all three states with Queensland’s prices dropping the most at 1.6 per cent for residents and 1.0 per cent for small businesses.
However, gas will increase in both New South Wales and South Australia.
Origin Energy also announced a decrease in electricity for south-east Queensland and South Australia.
However, Origin will cut down gas down for New South Wales and decrease it by 1.9 per cent for small business in the ACT.
Glasses will not be allowed in new passport photos taken from July 1.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade stated that it will strengthen the integrity of the Australian passport, “research has shown that glasses adversely affect passport facial matching. Matching is more accurate without glasses.”
Limited exemption for medical reasons may apply if supported by a medical certificate.
Amazon will no longer ship to Australia
Amazon is making changes to what Australian customers can buy and which parts of the company they can access.
However, from July 1, local customers wanting their goods delivered to an Australian address will only be able to purchase goods from Amazon’s Australian website, which was launched last year.
It will redirect all customers using the US website with an Australian shipping address back to the local one.
Amazon says it is making the change to remain compliant with newGST collection lawscoming into effect in the new financial year.
From July 1,online retailers required to register for GST will need to account for GST on sales of low value imported goods.
Changes to food labels
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission introduced the country of origin food labelling in 2016 and from July 1, it will be placed on most foods offered for retail sale.
The familiar green and gold kangaroo in a triangle will still appear on Australian products but, a new indication bar will show the percentage of Australian produce contained in the product.
Deputy Chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Mick Keogh told ABC Radio Sydney the new yellow symbol must “indicate the proportion of the components in that product that are Australian.”
“If the label says ‘grown in Australia’ it has to be one hundred per cent grown in Australia, there [can not] be any part of that product imported” he said.
For foods that are imported from overseas but packaged locally, they will say “packed in Australia”.
The labelling system is broken down topriority foods(these include: fruit, vegetables, meat, seafood, bread, milk, juice, sauces, honey and cereal) andnon-priority foods(such as seasoning, confectionary, tea and coffee, biscuits and snack food, bottled water, soft drinks, sport drinks and alcohol).
Non-priority foodsmust carry a country of origin text statement about where the food was grown, produced, made or packed.
All priority foodswill feature the kangaroo logo, a bar chart and text identifying the proportion of Australian content in the food.
June 29, 2018 05:00:38