How Stage 3 tax cuts could boost your borrowing power


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Bonza leaves passengers up in the air, Stage 3 tax cuts deliver extra sweetener to home buyers, and scammers set sights on retirees. Here are five things you may have missed this week.

First-home buyers to be able to borrow more after Stage 3 tax cuts

There's a lot to love about the upcoming tax cuts.

stage three tax cuts to boost borrowing power for first home buyers

From July 1, 13.6 million workers will enjoy a boost to their take-home pay.

A person earning the average wage of around $73,000 will pocket a tax cut of $1504.

For most of us, the extra disposable income will go part of the way towards managing higher living costs.

But for home buyers, the tax cuts bring an extra sweetener - a potential boost to personal borrowing power.

That's because after-tax income is one of the key factors banks look at when deciding how much they'll lend.

RateCity has done the sums, finding that a single home buyer on annual income of $100,000 could see their borrowing power jump by $20,000.

For a family earning $150,000, the tax cuts could add an extra $30,000 to their borrowing capacity.

The uptick in borrowing capacity can't come soon enough.

CoreLogic says home values nationally soared an extra $4720 in April.

Bonza grounding leaves passengers up in the air

This week saw Bonza join the unhappy alumni of failed domestic airlines that includes TigerAir, Impulse, Ansett and more.

It's not great news for Bonza ticket holders, who are likely to be left out of pocket.

The airline's administrators, accounting firm Hall Chadwick, say Bonza "is not in a position to process or issue refunds at this time".

Jetstar, Virgin and Qantas are helping to get stranded Bonza customers home by providing free seats where they are available.

The catch is that not all Bonza flights overlap with those of the big three carriers.

Some passengers may face additional costs to reach an airport serviced by the major airlines.

If that sounds like you, check the terms of your travel insurance.

Hall Chadwick has set up a hotline for Bonza customers, who can call 03 8678 1600.

Australians lose $2.7 billion to scams - cyber-crooks target retirees

Another year, another mountain of money lost to scammers. And it's seniors who are most likely to get stung.

Australians reported over 601,000 scams last year - an 18.5% increase on 2022, with total reported losses adding up to $2.7 billion.

However, one in three people who've experienced a scam, do not report it, so the overall losses could be far higher.

Investment scams cause the most damage, fleecing Australians of $1.3 billion in 2023.

According to the National Anti-Scam Centre, Australians aged 65-plus are the only age group to have experienced an increase in scam losses.

ACCC deputy chair Catriona Lowe says scammers are targeting older Australians with retirement savings who may be looking for investment opportunities.

There's no doubt, the over-65s are where the wealth is.

A recent ACOSS/UNSW study found the average over-65 household is worth $1.58 million.

It makes seniors 25% wealthier than the average middle-aged household (with $1.26 million) and almost four times as wealthy as the average under-35 household (with $410,000).

Macquarie Bank reports 32% drop in profit

Macquarie Bank has posted its 2023/24 profits (it has a 31 March year-end), and while the bank declared a tidy $3.5 billion profit, the result is 32% lower than the previous year.

The bank, which is Australia's fifth largest, pointed to fewer sales of its 'green' investments, and lower commodity prices as key drivers impacting performance.

Investors in Macquarie will feel the pinch, with the bank declaring a final dividend of $3.85 per share (40% franked) down from $4.50 in 2023.

One in four Aussies don't bother to check their super

One of the nation's biggest super funds, Australian Retirement Trust (ART), has launched a campaign aimed at getting Aussies to take an interest in their super.

It follows research by ART that shows almost one in four (22%) Australians haven't checked their super account in the last 12 months.

The average super balance across ART's 2.3 million members is $123,000.

As ART's Anne Fuchs points out, "If they (members) had $123,000 in cash on their dining room table, I think they would pay attention to it."

Announcing the campaign launch, Fuchs said, "Too many Australians have their head in the sand when it comes to super and it's something we want to change."

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A former Chartered Accountant, Nicola Field has been a regular contributor to Money for 20 years, and writes on personal finance issues for some of Australia's largest financial institutions. She is the author of Investing in Your Child's Future and Baby or Bust, and has collaborated with Paul Clitheroe on a variety of projects including radio scripts, newspaper columns, and several books.