The new financial year is just around the corner, meaning fresh rules are on the way that could cost you. Here’s what you need to know.
The new financial year is almost here – and that means a string of huge changes are just around the corner.
The new financial year kicks off on July 1, and it’s an important mid-year milestone, bringing with it many major changes such as new laws and regulations, fees and charges, and taxes and benefits.
Here’s what you need to know before July 1, 2022.
Cash boost for 1.4 million families
More than 1.4 million Australian families will get a welcome increase to family payments from July 1 in a bid to ease cost of living pressures.
Under the change, the Family Tax Benefit (Part A and B) Centrelink payments will rise, with households with a child under the age of 13 getting an increase to the Family Tax Benefit Part A by up to $204.40 over 2022-23.
For those with a child aged 13 and above, the payment will reach a maximum of $255.50, while those who are entitled to Family Tax Benefit Part B will see an increase of up to $164.25 per year for families with a youngest child under five.
Families on Family Tax Benefit Part B with a youngest child aged five to 18 will receive up to $116.80 more per year.
Centrelink shake up
A huge Centrelink overhaul is coming, meaning big changes ahead for those on the JobSeeker program.
From July 1, recipients who are required to complete the process of mutual obligations in order to receive welfare payments will be moved onto a points-based activation system (PBAS).
Those impacted will have to receive 100 points and do a minimum of five job searches per month to secure payment.
There is a list of more than 30 tasks and activities that each carry their own individual points value, with attending a job interview worth 20 points and a completing a job application worth five.
The PBAS will replace the current system where jobseekers are required to apply for 20 jobs every month.
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Power costs to surge
Millions of families will see their electricity costs rise next month after the energy industry watchdog jacked up prices by hundreds of dollars a year.
The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) will pass on hefty increases to the benchmark power price – which means bills will skyrocket by 18.3 per cent in NSW, 12.6 per cent in Queensland and 9.5 per cent in South Australia in July.
Comparison site Finder urged Aussies to shop around before July 1 to avoid bill shock.
“You have two different types of energy plans on the market: Those that offer fixed rates for a certain period (such as 12 months) or others that have variable rates,” Finder energy expert Mariam Gabaji said.
“If you don’t like switching electricity plans often in search of the cheapest variable rates, you’re likely to benefit from a fixed-rate plan instead.”
From July 1, the percentage rate for the Super Guarantee will increase from 10 per cent to 10.5 per cent, which means employers will need to contribute extra cash into their staff super accounts.
Next month, the $450 monthly minimum wage threshold to qualify for employer Super Guarantee contributions will also be scrapped, which means all workers – except under-18s who work less than 30 hours per week – must receive super payments, no matter how little they happen to earn.
And in July those aged 60 and over will be able to make contributions of up to $300,000 per person or $600,000 per couple into their super account using the so-called “downsizer measure” as long as they are eligible.
Major governmental changes
In the wake of Labor’s election win, from July 1, a range of departmental and administrative changes will come into effect.
From that date, a new Department of Employment and Workplace Relations will be created to deliver the government’s workplace relations, jobs, skills and training agenda.
A new Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water will also be created, while the Department of Health will be renamed the Department of Health and Aged Care and the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications will be renamed the Department of Infrastructure, Transportation, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts.
The Department of Finance will gain responsibility for data policy, including the Digital Transformation Agency, as well as deregulation, and the Department of Home Affairs will gain responsibility for natural disaster response and mitigation, including the National Recovery and Resilience Agency.
The Attorney-General’s portfolio will also gain responsibility for criminal law enforcement and policy, including the Australian Federal Police.
Short-term Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) subclass 482 visa holders who worked in Australia during the pandemic will have access to a new Australian permanent residency pathway from July 1.
From then, TSS visa holders will be able to apply for permanent residency through the Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream of the Subclass 186 Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visa.
Applicants must have been in Australia between February 1, 2020 and December 14, 2021 for at least one year, as well as meeting all other nomination and visa requirements for the TRT stream of the ENS visa.
From July, the PBS Safety Net threshold for concession card holders will be lowered to $244.80.
That means concession card holders will receive their PBS medicines for free when they reach the lower threshold.
Car prices jump
Changes to the Luxury Car Tax threshold mean that next month, the threshold for fuel-efficient vehicles will be increased by 6.6 per cent to $84,916.
For all other vehicles it’s up by 3.9 per cent to $71,849.
So-called “combined families” – where both members of the couple get the Child Care Subsidy for different children in their family – will automatically be paid the higher subsidy from July.
Any higher subsidy these families were eligible for between March 7 and July 2022 will be back paid.
Telstra customers squeezed
From next month, Telstra’s mobile plan prices will increase in line with the Consumer Price Index.
That means the cost of basic and essential plans will rise by $3 per month, while premium plans will jump by $4.
However, the telco noted more hikes could be looming, stating that “plan pricing will include an annual review and may increase annually”.