The Government is introducing changes that will amend the tax legislation to assist older Australians and help farmers and tourism operators. The Bill will also improve the efficiency of the Australian Energy Regulator and ensure that consumer privacy remains central to the Consumer Data Right regime.
The Treasury Laws Amendment (2019 Measures No. 2) Bill 2019 introduced into Parliament today, implements a number of measures previously announced by the Government.
First, the Bill extends the concessional treatment of genuine redundancy and early retirement scheme payments to those under Age Pension qualifying age. This will ensure that more Australians nearing retirement will not be taxed on part of the payment they receive if their job is abolished or if they receive an early retirement scheme payment.
Secondly, the Bill also provides real relief to farmers and tourism operators who buy heavy-duty passenger cars they need as part of their business. Eligible farmers and tourism operators can now apply for a full refund of any luxury car tax paid, up to $10,000, for relevant vehicles they acquired on or after 1 July 2019.
The Bill will also amend the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 to expand the Board of the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) from three to five members and ensure the AER can operate efficiently. This recognises that our energy markets have grown and become increasingly complex, and equips the AER to continue effectively supporting energy markets which deliver better outcomes for businesses and consumers.
In addition, the Bill will also amend the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 that will solidify protections for consumer’s Consumer Data Right data.
This amendment to the Consumer Data Right will ensure that consumer privacy remains central to the regime. It requires that the ACCC use the power already afforded to them in the Act, to write rules allowing consumers to request that Accredited Data Recipients delete Consumer Data Right data relating to them.
Although the ACCC has already included rules to this effect, this amendment will mean that consumers will be able to be confident that such rules will always form part of the Consumer Data Right. By legislating that the ACCC must include rules relating to the deletion of personal data, we are encouraging longer lasting confidence in the system and helping to ensure that respect for consumer’s wishes for how their data is used is a central element of the Consumer Data Right.
The Bill also enables the Commissioner of Taxation to calculate and pay interest on ATO-held super the ATO proactively reunites with members’ active accounts. This is another step in the Government’s agenda to ensure that peoples’ hard-earned retirement savings are protected from erosion.