IDW Weekly Snapshot – 24 May 2023

girl, shopping bags, standing

Welcome to our Weekly Update – stay in the know with some recent news updates relevant to business and the economy.

Major change to buy now, pay later schemes

The Australian government is introducing a new system to regulate buy now, pay later services, treating them like credit cards. This will include a ban on late fees, a minimum repayment requirement and a cap on the number of services a customer can use. The aim is to protect consumers from irresponsible lending.

RBA hints more rate rises ‘may be required’

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has stated that further rate increases may be necessary in order to keep inflation in check. The RBA has also noted that the current rate of 1.5% is still low and that the economy is in a good position.

Childcare will be cheaper in Australia from July. Could it ever be free?

From July, childcare in Australia will become cheaper, with the government introducing a new subsidy system. This will replace the current system of childcare rebates and will be means-tested, with the amount of subsidy varying depending on family income. The government has not yet discussed the possibility of free childcare.

Bunnings’ shorter working week trial sparks questions

Bunnings has announced that it will be trialling a four-day work week for its staff in an effort to improve work-life balance. The trial will involve a select group of employees and will involve a reduction in hours, but no reduction in pay. The trial is part of a larger effort to improve the wellbeing of Bunnings’ staff.

Big Change to Aussie student loans

The Australian Government has changed the repayment thresholds for HELP loans due to inflation, meaning that those earning over $45,881 will now have to start repaying their loans. This change will affect over 1.2 million Australians and will help to reduce the national debt.

Rising Unemployment Rate

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reported that the unemployment rate rose to 7.3% in April, up from 6.4% in March. This is the highest rate since August 2020 and is the result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ABS also reported that the number of employed people decreased by 39,100 in April.

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