Carrots and sticks

The Treasurer is clamping down on trust structures, education deductions and a range of offshore tax activity. Meanwhile, he’s promising new opportunity for infrastructure investors.

For investors, Wayne Swan’s 2013 budget is a classic mix of promise (in the form of potential infrastructure investments) and multiple progressive changes in the tax system that will incrementally improve the government’s bottom line (the most important this time are major cuts in allowable work-related expenses and an extension of PAYG).

In its broad sweep, the budget ranges between neutral to positive for most investors: It certainly creates no obvious impediments to the rising stock prices and improving housing figures we have seen so far this year.

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