• Aron Cardona - Mortgage Broker Northern Beaches

Federal Budget 2022

There isn't much to report on the mortgage front of the 2022 Federal budget but we've summarised which announcements we've deemed important.



FIRST HOME BUYERS

The government is expanding its first home buyers scheme, where people only need to have a 5 per cent deposit to buy a house with no lenders mortgage insurance (LMI).

It's expanding the scheme from 10,000 places up to 35,000 places a year, but it comes with rules on who is eligible and how expensive the houses can be.

On top of that, it's creating a new regional housing scheme with 10,000 annual places from October 1 for first home buyers or people who haven't owned property in the last five years (including permanent residents).

This new scheme is aimed at encouraging construction in regional areas. To access it, people have to either build or buy a newly built home in a designated regional area.

The budget also includes money to extend the Family Home Guarantee scheme which, while not exclusively for first home buyers, is aimed at helping single parents either buy their first house or re-enter the property market.

The scheme means eligible people only have to come up with a 2 per cent deposit to buy a house and not pay LMI.

Last year, the government announced it would offer 10,000 places over four years — it's now adding 5,000 extra places a year.

The cost of all three schemes will be $8.6 million over the next four years.

While the move will mean more people may be able to buy a home sooner, experts have warned it won't do anything to solve housing affordability.

The government had also been urged by the NSW Liberal government, among others, to consider reviewing tax breaks for property investors to give first home buyers a better chance at getting in the market.


MOTORISTS

In an effort to bring down petrol prices, the government is cutting the fuel excise — the flat tax levied on each litre of fuel — in half.

The war in Ukraine has led to an increase in oil prices and some motorists have faced paying more than $2.20 a litre for petrol.

Mr Frydenberg says the cut will last for the next six months and will save motorists 22 cents a litre when they fill up.

To make sure the cut to the fuel excise is actually passed on to motorists, and not just used by retailers to make a bigger profit, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) will be keeping an eye on fuel prices.

The ACCC says that if retailers lie about passing on the tax cut and making fuel cheaper, it "will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action", including hefty fines.

While cutting the excise, even temporarily, was something some state and federal MPs had called for, other groups had warned it probably wouldn't mean immediate relief at the bowser, would only help motorists and would cost the budget bottom line billions of dollars.

But regardless, Mr Frydenberg and the government have decided to half the excise.


LAMITO

To help with the increasing cost of living, low- and middle-income earners will receive an extra $420 back on their tax returns.

The government's low and middle tax offset is also back for another year, meaning that some people may get up to $1,500 back at tax time.

The budget estimates the payments will cost the government $4.1 billion over the next couple of years.

Before the budget, Mr Frydenberg made it clear that the assistance the government was offering would be "temporary and targeted" and not ongoing.


CYBER CRIME

One of the big spends in the budget is $9.9 billion for the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) over the next 10 years to bolster our cybersecurity and intelligence capabilities.

It's called REDSPICE (which stands for Resilience, Effects, Defence, Space, Intelligence, Cyber and Enablers package) and will see an extra 1,900 jobs created at ASD.

They'll include things like data analysts, computer programmers and software engineers.

In the budget, the government makes it clear the investment is to better equip Australia to defend itself and some of our critical infrastructure from cyber attacks and counteract them.

The government has warned about the possibility of cyber attacks from both China and Russia, going so far as to urge businesses to update their systems to better defend against any future attacks.





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