It’s 2017 Budget night, here’s everything young Australians need to know about the most exciting night of the year*!
*Definitely not the most exciting night of the year.
We’ll keep a running blog of the most important bits of the Budget so you don’t have to watch it.
University fees and HELP
The good news for students is that the plan to deregulate Australian universities has been scrapped, as has the massive cuts to funding.
There’s a little bit of pain though.
Fees will rise by 1.8 per cent next year and keep going up until they hit 7.5 per cent in 2021 (so about $2000-$3600 for a four-year course).
You’ll also have to start to pay back your fees at a lower income level.
Students don’t normally have to start paying back their HELP loans until they earn about $55,000 – that’s been dropped down to $42,000 from July 2018.
Overall, students will be paying 46 per cent of their fees now – up from 42 per cent.
The prospect of maybe not renting for the rest of our lives
Housing affordability disproportionately impacts Australian millennials because:
A) Baby Boomers bought all the goddamn houses.
B) It’s literally three times more expensive to buy a house now than it was when Gough Whitlam was dismissed – ie. a Sydney house back then cost four times the average annual income, now it’s twelve times.
So listen up, kiddos.
First home buyers can now salary-sacrifice contributions towards a deposit from your pre-tax pay which is kind of neat.
It goes into a super account that you can use for your deposit – it’ll mean you pay less income tax and hopefully speed up the process of landing your first digs.
The government will also be unlocking 6,000 new homes by starting a brand spanking new suburb in Melbourne!
10km out from the CBD, Defence land at Maribyrnong will be opened up for public use.
Good news for Sydney as well as the Turnbull Government aims to deliver tens of thousands of new homes needed in western Sydney.
There will be no changes to negative gearing, so it’s still going to be just as easy for home-owners to rack up more investment properties and screw you out of the market.
On the bright side, a ghost house tax will be introduced. This means foreign investors who just leave their properties vacant while it increases in value will cop a hit.
And of course, it wouldn’t be a Budget if there wasn’t an A Current Affair fueled crackdown on DOLE BLUDGERS.
From 2018, 5000 *randomly selected* Centrelink recipients could be drug tested, and those found with positive results put onto a cashless welfare debit card instead of receiving cash payments.
Random other stuff
Roll-your-own tobacco will become a bit more expensive with the tax on rollies increasing by about 10%
Bananas, likewise, will become 50 cents more expensive per kilo in order to repay money used to combat Panama disease.
Avocados will also cop a new tax BUT DON’T PANIC – it’s just replacing a different one by the exact same amount so theoretically nothing should change.
All in all…
You certainly wouldn’t say that the needs of young people were a top priority, but by the same token we weren’t really thrown under the bus either.
The Budget itself was far from a conservative manifesto, calculatedly centrist with enough there to please both sides of the aisle.
And after Joe Hockey’s nightmarish Budget a couple of years ago, it’s probably the best millenials can hope for from a Liberal government.