A minimum wage hike, falling electricity prices and a handsome pay rise for MPs are among a host of sweeping government policy changes to begin on Monday.
The minimum wage will rise by three per cent to $19.49 per hour, bringing Australia’s minimum wage to the highest in the world.
Politicians and public servants in Canberra are also set to rake in more, ringing in the new financial year with a two per cent pay boost.
Despite the increases, more than 700,000 workers in retail, fast food and hospitality will have their penalty rates cut.
The Federal Government has also moved to address the banking saga in the wake of the Royal Commission into banking conduct.
July 1 will mark the beginning of a wide range of government policy changes that will impact on Australians as well as pay rises for federal MPs and low-wage earners (stock photo)
MINIMUM WAGE HIKE
The new financial year will bring a number of changes to how much some people earn.
People on the minimum wage will have their hourly rate lifted by three per cent to $19.49 from July 1, following a decision last month by the Fair Work Commission.
The rise, which is more modest than a 3.5 per cent increase last year, means Australia will have the highest national minimum wage in the world.
It will give about 2.2 million award-dependent workers an extra $21.60 to play with each week.
FEDERAL MP’S WILL GET A PAY RISE
Federal politicians will earn an additional two per cent from July 1.
The change means the nation’s highest-paid bureaucrat, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Secretary Martin Parkinson, will make more than $914,000.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison is expected to receive a bump of just over $10,000 a year on top of his current $538,460.
MPs and senators currently get a base annual salary of $207,100.
The independent Remuneration Tribunal said in its decision – which relates to all public offices in its jurisdiction including federal judges and public servants – it had taken into account economic restraint, lower wage growth more broadly and the government’s public sector workplace bargaining policy.
‘The tribunal notes that various indicators predict that wage growth is expected to increase gradually, lagging economic growth,’ it said at the beginning of June.
‘Wage growth has increased modestly over the past year, with reliable measures indicating private sector wage growth is now equalling or outpacing the public sector.’
PENALTY RATES CUT
More than 700,000 retail, fast food, hospitality and pharmacy workers will have their Sunday penalty rates cut even further.
The rates will be dropped between 10 and 15 per cent.
FALLING ELECTRICITY PRICES
Residents will be given easier access to lower priced electricity thanks to a new Electricity Retail Code for retailers in southeast Queensland, NSW and South Australia.
In Western Australia, however, the electricity price will rise at the forecast rate of inflation of 1.75 per cent, while water and sewerage will go up 2.5 per cent.
Residents will be given easier access to lower priced electricity thanks to a new Electricity Retail Code for retailers in southeast Queensland, NSW and South Australia (file photo)
BANKING CODE OF PRACTICE
A new Banking Code of Practice will give people more information about changes to their accounts and small businesses will receive simpler contracts with fewer conditions.
Small businesses impacted by financial misconduct as far back as January 1, 2008, will now have a 12 month window to lodge a complaint with the Australian Financial Complaints Authority.
Successful claims could net $1 million for most of them, and $2 million for a primary producer.
‘It represents a stronger commitment to ethical behaviour, responsible lending, greater financial protection and increased transparency,’ the Australian Banking Association says.
Superannuation reforms will also be introduced to ‘mop up’ 10 million unintended multiple accounts, which the Productivity Commission found were being eroded by $2.6 billion in unnecessary fees and insurance premiums every year.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the government’s plans were the best catered for everyday Australians.
‘In the face of significant headwinds, our economic plan has the right focus on tax, infrastructure and skills,’ he said.
‘At a time of significant global economic change, Australians have reason to be confident about their future.
In the wake of a number of high profile stories of alleged misconduct in aged care homes has also prompted the government to introduce new regulations to minimise the inappropriate use of restraint (stock image)
‘Yes, there are significant challenges, including trade tensions, the uncertainty of Brexit and the domestic impact of flood and drought, but we have the economic plan to see us through.’
The new retail code will make it easier for consumers to compare prices and offers. Also includes a cap on ‘standing offer’ prices.
SALE OF TOBACCO
Sale of tobacco products will also continue to undergo changes with permits being required for for all tobacco imports, except for tobacco imported by travellers within duty free limits.
The idea behind the new permit is to make it easier for the Australian Border Force to seize tobacco where no duty has been paid, increasing the deterrent against illicit tobacco smuggling.
AGED CARE, MIGRANTS, FARMERS AND CASHLESS DEBIT CARDS
In the wake of a number of high profile stories of alleged misconduct in aged care homes has also prompted the government to introduce new regulations to minimise the inappropriate use of restraint.
For migrants coming to Australia broader criteria on waiting periods for access certain welfare benefits will be introduced.
The cashless debit card trial for welfare recipients will also be extended and expanded to more regions.
And for farmers, the government will apply a final 30 per cent withholding tax rate to income and capital gains from agricultural and residential property held in a Managed Investment Trust (MIT).
The cashless debit card trial for welfare recipients will also be extended and expanded to more regions (file photo)