There will be added interest in the Federal Budget announcement next week (May 3rd) as it's likely to be the final major economic statement the Government makes before the election later this year, quite possibly July 2nd. With the opposition taking a strong stance on capital gains tax and negative gearing, we're looking at a focus this year on taxation. Corporate tax could be cut by up to 1.5% however, there is likely to be minimal, if any, relief in terms of personal income tax.

There may also be some changes to superannuation. Some potential changes might be reduced contribution caps, the concessional 15% tax on super contributions, an end to 'Transition to Retirement' pensions and taxes on superannuation pension payments.

Overall, the outlook is for minimal growth in government spending, with spending offset by savings elsewhere in the Budget.

Where sharemarkets are concerned, historically we have seen some sideways tracking in past election years, but there has been no evidence to date of a lasting impact caused by an election. In fact, Australian economic growth has actually been strong during election years since 1980.

We'll be watching the announcements closely next week and will keep our clients informed of any meaningful developments.

For more information, contact Rick Maggi on 9382 8885 or rickmaggi@westmount.com.au.