Victorian businesses win in new financial year law changes

Some of the big winners this new financial year are regional businesses but the lowest paid workers may not be too happy to see their next pay slips. The 1st of July has brought plenty of business changes with regional operators set to benefit from the windfall of payroll tax cuts, which were cut from 3.65% to 2.425%.

Regional payroll tax is now just half of the metropolitan rate. Victoria is proud to have the lowest regional payroll tax rate in Australia, making it a great place to do business because of the savings regional businesses can make.

However, employees are not as fortunate with the changes and businesses may still need to address it somehow. The employees are not as ecstatic with Sunday penalty rates in the hospitality, fast food, retail and pharmacy set to change after a Fair Work Commission decision in 2017. Full-time and part-time hospitality workers will have penalty rates cut by 10% as causal employees continue to get the same rate. Retail workers will drop by 15% and casual workers will decrease by an extra 5%. The penalty rates of pharmacy employees will decrease by 15% as fast food employees will see a 10% drop.

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The good news is that minimum wages will increase by 3.5%, bringing the national minimum wage to $719.20 per week based on a 38-hour week or $18.93 a week. This brings an increase of $24.30 per week.

Meanwhile, the new Child Care Subsidy will replace the Child Care Rebate and Child Care Benefit, which means families will be required to complete an online test before they can receive any child care fee assistance. A family’s annual adjusted taxable income will be the basis for the subsidy percentage they can claim. Families who earn $186,958 or less will not have a cap on the amount they are eligible for.

Graduates with a HECS debt, on the other hand, will need to start repaying their debt once their repayment income is greater than $45,000, which is a decrease from $56,000. A person who earns about $700 a week will need to pay back 1% of their income annually towards their HECS debt and this will increase gradually until a person earning $132,000 must pay back 10% annually.

Victorians may register for the $50 Power Saving Bonus at the Victorian Energy Compare website and check for better deals on gas and electricity bills. Households need to use the website from now until the 31st of December to be eligible and to compare deals. They will not be required to switch plans or take up an offer. Take advantage of these benefits.

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