Uncertainty is not just something that we as Australians are faced with, whilst Australia is currently staring down the barrel of a gun at a Hung Parliament; on a global scale 'Brexit' has resulted in the UK voting to move out of the EU and the ongoing saga of the American Presidency campaign with Donald Trump on the rise. They all share a very common theme, that there is an ongoing political shift away from the status quo; there is a consequential amount of our society that does not feel as though the political agendas of the major political parties represent their desires for the future.
Whilst attending public practice seminars and tax school conferences, we were told time and time again to 'watch this space' until after the Election; regarding the budget and legislative changes. However, here we stand, four days from the Election on 2 July, and whilst the counting of the votes has resumed we are no closer to knowing the fate of the Australian Government. We are still in, for lack of a better term 'Government Limbo'. If the actual process of voting, with those long white Senate papers squeezed into the undersized voting booths wasn't enough to unsettle you, or was it the difficulty with choosing 'at least 6' parties for the Senate with a pencil and the ambiguity of the parties, we are now faced with the possibility of a hung parliament.
Whilst not really following the Election Campaign myself, as eight weeks was far too long to go around and around, I found myself refreshing the website on Saturday night, watching both parties sneaking forwarding and taking a seat each. People are really not convinced either way, especially with the words Hung Parliament being continuously thrown around. Keep in mind that since 1940 there have only been two hung parliaments, with the most recent being in 2010. In my reading what has resonated with me the most is that a hung parliament can produce instability, delays, stagnant or untimely policies and the possibility of the flipping between governments. Instability is all too common in our Australian Government in recent years.
What we should take from all of this. The uncertainty that lies ahead of us tends to have an impact on business and consumer spending habits, Siobhan Blewitt from Morgan Stanley says they are concerned that the election results could undermine business confidence, leading to weaker volume growth for the banks in the 2017 Financial Year. The implementation of policy will stagnate with the election outcome diminishing any hope of smooth legislative agenda in our parliament. Julie spoke with Siobhan Blewitt, who is a stoke broker, this morning and she indicated that this is the most volatile and uncertain that she has seen the stock market in the last 10 years, this is attributable to both domestic and international events.
The budget paper has all but been forgotten, and with no result from the Election to date, we are no further advanced to know which policies will and will not be brought in. The politics within the Parliament itself will create a large hurdle for anything at all to pass. However, we can only continue as normal and be as informed as we can be if an when the bills are passed and legislation is created.
For West Currie Consultants however, business is as usual. The end of the financial year has come and gone and we are well underway in the 2017 financial year, with some returns having already been done. While once upon a time July was a quiet gave all staff the time to reboot and recharge before the onslaught of a new tax year. However, with the increase in technology we have clients knocking on our doors as early as 1 July. As always we thank our loyal clients for their trust and look forward to working with you into the future.