Top 5: Finance & property quotes week commencing December 8

By the resi financial blog team, 15 December 2014

Top 5: Finance & property quotes week commencing December 8

Lowering the cost of living seems to be a welcome motif as the last month of 2014 winds its way to a close. Many industry and government spokespeople have called for lower costs and less bureaucracy as a New Year's resolution for the country as a whole.

#1. Acknowledging Australia's incredible performance as an energy producer, the Australian government has called for more choice and lower prices for local consumers. Minister for Industry Ian Macfarlane spoke to a meeting of the Council of Australian Governments on December 11, where decisions were made on how to reduce energy costs for Australian end users.

"Australia is an energy and resources superpower. Our competitive edge has been built around access to affordable electricity and we're now entering a new phase of growth as the LNG industry ramps up, but there's more we can do to give Australian householders and businesses the ability to choose how they use energy and to reduce their electricity bills," said Mr Macfarlane.

#2. Mr Macfarlane was busy on December 1. The same day, he released a joint statement with Treasurer Joe Hockey, announcing a Productivity Commission review that is aimed at reducing inefficiencies in transferring goods or skilled labour between Australia and New Zealand. The statement from Mr Hockey's office stated:

"The benefits include lower costs to business and improved competitiveness from single standards for manufacturing; greater choice for consumers and greater cooperation between regulatory authorities. These [mutual recognition agreements] are reviewed every five years to identify ways of improving recognition processes and removing barriers."

#3. The property industry has perked its ears up as analysts are now expecting a cut in the Reserve Bank of Australia's official cash rate at some point in 2015 - not an increase, as was previously predicted. The Real Estate Institute of Australia took to the announcement with great enthusiasm, with CEO Amanda Lynch explaining the impact for different market sectors in a December 10 statement:

"With moderating prices in all capital cities except Sydney and Melbourne, first home buyers in particular should feel confident in being able to enter the market."

Ms Lynch went on to note that investors are equally likely to benefit from a cash rate reduction.

#4. Mathias Cormann, Minister of Finance, announced on December 11 that the government has set out a way forward for the reform of the telecommunications sector, encouraging competition and a 'hands-off' approach to the implementation of the network and the services that stem from it. The statement from the minister's office said:

"Reforms to encourage a more competitive, responsive telecommunications market complement the government's goal of completing the National Broadband Network (NBN) as quickly as possible to ensure all Australians have access to affordable high-speed broadband. The policy paper proposes a phased implementation of more competitively neutral regulation, ensuring it is introduced in a way which does not delay or derail the NBN."

#5. A joint release issued from the office of the Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development on December 11 revealed an incredible amount of work has taken place on Australia's national framework,This could lead to enhanced productivity, competitiveness and impetus for regional property markets. The record $50 billion infrastructure investment has seen 22 major projects start, with another 47 set to begin next year. According to the official statement:

"The Australian Government has embarked on the biggest infrastructure works program in the nation's history - geared to driving economic growth, achieving greater efficiency and competitiveness and spurring a revival across metropolitan and regional Australia."

Categories: Business Owners, Property Investment