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Calare reaps benefits from a big week in Federal Parliament

Federal Member for Calare John Cobb said this week in Federal Parliament has seen some significant policy measures passed, meaning some big wins for the residents of Calare.

“Some of our Government’s cornerstone initiatives were this week passed through the Senate, and this is great news particularly for small businesses and pensioners.

“With the surprise support from the Greens, changes to the Pension Assets Test, as proposed under the 2015/16 Budget measure for a fairer and sustainable pension, passed through the Senate.

“The measure will rebalance the Pension Assets Test parameters by increasing the assets test free areas to support pensioners with low levels of assets and increase the taper rate by which a pension is reduced, once the free areas are exceeded,” said Mr Cobb.

Mr Cobb said as a result of these changes it is estimated more than 170,000 pensioners with low and modest levels of assets will have their pension increased by around $30 a fortnight from January 2017, when these changes take effect.

“Those who lose access to the part pension as a result of the increase in the taper rate, to the settings that were in place prior to 2007, will be guaranteed access to the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card.

“This measure will deliver budget savings of $2.434 billion over the forward estimates, and help us move towards a more stable economy.

“Also passing through the Senate this week were components of the Government’s Jobs and Small Business package, giving small businesses the ability to immediately deduct assets costing less than $20,000 purchased since Budget night.

“Small companies with a turnover of less than $2 million will also benefit from a 1.5 per cent tax cut from 1 July 2015. This will mean we have delivered the lowest tax rate to small business since 1967.

“After speaking to many small businesses in Calare, it is clear that they feel energised by the small business measures in our Budget and it has given them the confidence to carefully invest in growing their businesses.

“The final tick for the week was the long awaited signing of the China Free Trade Agreement, which includes the abolition of tariffs on our clean, green, premium agricultural products, as well as on a range of Australian manufactured goods such as pharmaceutical products, car engines, plastic products and processed food.

“Our FTAs with Korea and Japan are only months old and we are already seeing increased exports compared to a year ago in a range of commodities including beef, lamb, horticulture and wine.

“Together with the Japanese and Korean agreements, ChAFTA will enable Calare’s producers to enhance vital trade and investment relationships in the lucrative Asian region for decades to come,” Mr Cobb said.

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