Industry welcomes tax cuts and surplus

Personal tax cuts and the $7.1 billion estimated surplus announced were the main highlights of this year's Budget, Financial Standard's latest straw poll shows.

More than a third or 35% of participants highly favoured the tax cut proposals, closely followed by the surplus, which was welcomed by 27% of readers.

A minority of participants said they appreciated infrastructure receiving a $100 billon boost (18%), the voluntary superannuation contribution changes (12%), and APRA and ASIC (8%) being given more funding.

Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg delivered the 2019-20 Budget on April 9 and received mixed reactions from the financial services industry.

Frydenberg extolled the Liberal Party for transforming a 12-year deficit to a  long-awaited surplus.

When the Liberals took power, it inherited a $55 billion deficit, he said, and promised 10 million Australians with a $158 billion tax relief.

The tax cuts will benefit those earning up to $126,000 a year. As a result, single income households will hold on to up to $1080 per annum, while dual income households will pocket $2160.

Industry Super Australia said the changes to voluntary superannuation contributions were welcome and "generous," but criticised the Government for bypassing the opportunity to improve the universality of super, noting women receive on average 40% less super than men.

The Financial Planning Association of Australia said the Budget was "balanced" and one "for all Australians."

The Governance Institute was pleased with the increased funding for ASIC and APRA, and said pushes from both the Government and the Opposition on governance matters were "good to see."

Greg Goodsell, global equity strategist at 4D Infrastructure said infrastructure spend lays the ground work for future privatisation candidates once the assets are fully developed.

"Secondly, simply investment into the nation's infrastructure improves the economies 'arteries', aiding economic growth and leading to improved patronage on other, including privately owned, infrastructure assets," he said.

Goodsell said some highlights included the: Western Sydney Airport ($5.3bn); Melbourne-to-Brisbane inland rail ($9bn); Melbourne-to-Geelong Fast Rail ($2bn); and Gateway Motorway Extension in Brisbane ($0.8bn).

Read more: BudgetFinancial Standard4D InfrastructureFinancial Planning Association of AustraliaGreg GoodsellJosh Frydenberg
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