REGIONAL businesses are the big winners in the new financial year, but some of our lowest paid workers could be in for a rude shock when their next pay slip arrives.
July 1 has brought in a raft of business changes with regional operators set to reap the windfall of payroll tax cuts which will be cut from 3.65 per cent to 2.425 per cent.
Treasurer Tim Pallas said the cut will mean regional payroll tax is now half that of the metropolitan rate.
“Victoria can proudly say we will have the lowest regional payroll tax rate in the nation, saving regional businesses and ensuring our regional areas are great places to do business,” Mr Pallas said.
But while businesses are set to reap the benefits, their employees might not have the same enthusiasm with Sunday penalty rates in the fast food, hospitality, pharmacy and retail set to change after a Fair Work Commission decision last year.
Full-time and part-time hospitality workers will have penalty rates cut by 10 per cent while causal employees will continue to get the same rate.
Retail workers will drop by 15 per cent with an extra five per cent decrease for casual workers.
Pharmacy employees' penalty rates will drop by 15 per cent and it’s a 10 per cent drop for fast food employees.
Some silver lining though is 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 a 38 hour week, or $18.93 per hour. The increase is an extra $24.30 a week.
The new Child Care Subsidy will replace both the current Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate.
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 they can claim.
Graduates with a HECS debt will be required to start repaying their debt after they start earning $45,000, a drop from $56,000.
A person on $45,000 (about $700 a week) will be required to pay back one per cent of their income annually towards their HECS debt, increasing gradually until a person with a $132,000 salary must pay back 10 per cent annually.
Victorians can also register for the $50 Power Saving Bonus when they visit the Victorian Energy Compare website and search for a better deal on their gas and electricity bills.
To be eligible, households will simply have to use the website between between now and December 31 and compare deals, they are not required to take up an offer or switch plans. Visit compare.energy.vic.gov.au.