2014/15 Budget (main points B)

2.3 Abolishing the Mature Age Worker Tax Offset

From 1 July 2014, the government will abolish the MAWTO.

Currently, the MAWTO is only available in respect of a resident individual who was born before 1 July 1957 and who has an amount of net income from working of less the $63,000 for an income year.

The government believes that encouraging mature age workers to participate in the workforce can be done more effectively through direct payments or incentives. In particular from 1 July 2014, under the government’s new Restart Programme, a payment of up to $10,000 may be available to employers who hire a full-time mature aged job seeker (aged 50 years or over) who has been unemployed for at least six months (including those receiving the Disability Support Pension).

Specifically, under the Restart Programme, payments will commence after the worker has been employed (with an employer) for at least six months, and will be paid in the following instalments:
• $3,000 will be paid after the first six months of employment;
• $3,000 will be paid after 12 months of employment;
• $2,000 will be paid after 18 months of employment;
• $2,000 will be paid after 24 months of employment.

To be eligible, employers will need to demonstrate the job they are offering is “sustainable and ongoing”, and that they are not displacing existing workers with subsidised job seekers.

2.4 Abolishing the First Home Saver Accounts scheme

The government will abolish the FHSA scheme due to lower the forecast take-up rates.

New accounts opened from Budget night (13 May 2014) will not be eligible for concessions, with the government co-contribution to cease from 1 July 2014, and tax concessions and the income and asset test exemptions for government benefits associated with these accounts to cease from 1 July 2015.
As of 1 July 2015, account holders will be able to withdraw their account balances without restriction. Furthermore, once the FHSA scheme is abolished, theses accounts will be treated like any other account held with a relevant provider.

2.5 Family Payment Reform – maintain family tax benefit rates for two years

The government will maintain current FTB payment rates for two years commencing from 1 July 2014. Under the measure, indexation of the maximum and base rates for FTB Part A and the rate of FTB Part B will be paused until 1 July 2016.


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