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Fringe Benefits Tax proposed changes: an update.

Writing this one day before the election and with the expectation the Coalition will win doesn’t change the past; much like the words from the immortal “Dragnet”, these are “just the facts”. Since the changes were announced by Kevin Rudd, this is what’s happened: approximately $160 million dollars worth of business for the Australian car industry has been wiped in August. Sales had been growing at around 5% for the six months until June 30, it’s now down by 0.2% in August compared to the same time last year. Car sales AustraliaAt around 4600 vehicles at an average cost of $35000,  it’s a significant hit. Yards are holding far more ordered but unsold stock due to so many cancelled orders. Jobs have been lost in attached industries and sales are down by 3.5% in Queensland and up to 8% in Western Australia. Business purchases are down 10 percent compared to this time last year impacting further on Ford Australia’s already tattered figures, with the venerable Falcon finding just 573 new homes in August, the lowest in the nameplates 53 year history. The changes mooted were intended to help raise $1.8 billion as an offset of scrapping the carbon tax yet there’s been no formal analysis of the changes and with many buyers in business purchasing vehicles via means that don’t attract the FBT or defer purchases then that figure is seeming more unlikely.

Holden’s new Commodore, selling under internal expectations still, though, managed just 400 more in August than July, delivering 2809 vehicles. Only Mitsubishi, Volkswagen, Hyundai and Mazda saw sales increase. Also, with fuel prices in no danger of retreating, it’s unsurprising that the Mazda 3 and Toyota Corolla were the highest sellers in August (4188 and 3861), followed by the Toyota HiLux, Holden’s VF Commodore, the Hyundai i30 and Holden Cruze variants.