OPINION: What Budget 2016 really means for CQ

Dubbed the beige-budget, because of its safe, election-friendly content, Central Queensland wasn't expecting too much from last night's budget.

Neville Hughes, Managing Director of GTC Financial, which has its head office in Gladstone and works with clients across Queensland, said that whilst a lot of the content was easy to predict, there were some surprises.

"Gladstone's small business and its middle to higher income earners were the budget's big winners.

"The decrease in small company tax rate to 27.5% from 1 July is a great initiative. Small business is Australia's largest employer and this decrease will help small business to grow and attract and retain the staff that they need.

"Incentives ranging from $1,000-$10,000 for business to employ youth and mature workforces will also help towards employment in Central Queensland. This is especially important for our Region as it transitions out of the Resources Construction phase. 

"Increasing the turnover threshold for a small business from $2m to $10m is also a positive move. Although it might not seem like it, a $10m business is not a large business so this makes a lot of sense.

"The proposed move will give businesses under $10m access to a range of tax concessions such as the $20,000 asset write off."

Mr Hughes said that whilst middle to high-income earners would benefit from the changes to the tax threshold, others were left out.

"The increase in the $80,000 threshold to $87,000 for individuals is a solid move but it's surprising that the lower thresholds weren't increased too."

Super was also a focus of the 2016 budget and Mr Hughes said he views the cutting of contribution thresholds as a concern.

"If we want people to be financially independent then we should be encouraging higher contributions - not putting a limit on them.

"However, allowing people to catch-up their super contributions is a great move and one that should help more women to achieve financial independence.

"Allowing those aged between 64 to 74 to make super contributions is also helpful and putting a "cap on the maximum balance for superannuation pensions" is something that will hurt people with higher balances, but it is probably a sensible economic move in the long term.

Mr Hughes stated he was hoping the Budget would be reviewed to allow for an increase in infrastructure projects across Central Queensland.

"Queensland infrastructure appears to have missed out to New South Wales and Victoria simply because it is not open to selling its assets and privatisation... which are the main requirements for accessing the funding pot.

"The people of Central Queensland will be hoping some big new projects can get underway sooner rather than later.

"With the overall Australian economy looking soft with GDP growth expected to be only 2.5%, these projects will help."

GTC Financial will be releasing more information as details on the budget come to hand. 

The organisation plans to distribute a series of real-life case studies to show how the budget changes affect businesses and individuals.  They will also provide planning strategies to ensure people can make the most of the Budget.

Neville Hughes, Managing Director of GTC Financial



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