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Should going to the gym be tax deductible?



As Australians grapple with rising living costs, one industry is feeling the pinch more than most: fitness.

Whenever the cost of living rises, gym memberships seem to be among the first expenses to go, according to gym owner Amanda Heffernan.

But now, a lobby group for the fitness industry, AUSactive, is pushing for a change.

They’ve written to the federal government, advocating for tax-deductible gym memberships as part of a broader preventative health plan.

AUSactive’s CEO, Barrie Elvish, stresses the urgency of the situation, calling the current state of the health system “unsustainable.”

He argues that investing in preventative health measures, such as incentivising gym memberships, could save the government billions of dollars by keeping people healthier for longer.

Public campaign

The proposal for tax-deductible gym memberships is part of a three-point plan that also includes expanding fringe benefits tax (FBT) incentives for corporate gym memberships and launching a public messaging campaign to promote healthier lifestyles.

The importance of preventative healthcare cannot be overstated.

Countless studies have shown that physical exercise is crucial for preventing a range of non-communicable diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

The World Health Organization (WHO) identifies insufficient physical exercise as a significant risk factor for mortality, responsible for millions of deaths each year.

Despite the clear benefits of exercise, Australia lags behind other wealthy nations in investing in preventative health.

The Grattan Institute warns that without significant investment in preventative health programs, Australia is heading towards a future plagued by avoidable illness and disability.

Dr. Michael Wright, a health economist, said that even small changes, such as walking more or taking the stairs, can have a significant impact on overall health.

While gym memberships can be costly, there are also free resources available online, and individuals are encouraged to speak with their healthcare provider for personalised advice.

Ahron Young is an award winning journalist who has covered major news events around the world. Ahron is the Managing Editor and Founder of TICKER NEWS.

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Workers rush back to their desks over job fears



Workers across Australia are rushing back to their desks, driving office utilisation rates to their highest levels since February 2020.

Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays emerge as the busiest in-office days, contrasting with the continued reluctance to return on Fridays.

This insight, drawn from XY Sense data based on 18 enterprise customers in Australia employing approximately 68,000 individuals across 127 buildings, reflects a significant shift in workplace dynamics.

The surge in office attendance coincides with a resurgence in workplace attendance mandates and policies linking physical presence to bonuses and performance reviews.

However, co-founder of XY Sense, Alex Birch, suggests that rising job insecurity, rather than these policies, primarily drives this behavioral shift.

“The pendulum has moved towards the employer, and therefore people feel more obliged to go back into work,” commented Mr. Birch.

Job market

Danielle Wood, chairwoman of the Productivity Commission, anticipates this trend to persist as the job market softens.

She notes a disparity between employer and worker perceptions regarding the productivity benefits of hybrid work arrangements, hinting at potential shifts in the employment landscape.

Meanwhile, economists at the e61 Institute observe a partial reversal of the pandemic-induced “escape to the country” trend.

Rent differentials between regional and capital city dwellings, which narrowed during the pandemic, are now widening again.

This trend suggests a diminishing appeal of remote work options and a return to urban commuting.

Aaron Wong, senior research economist at e61, said the emergence of a “new normal,” characterised by a hybrid lifestyle that blends access to office spaces with proximity to lifestyle amenities such as natural landscapes.

While regional rents decline, rents for homes on the urban fringe surge, reflecting evolving preferences shaped by remote work opportunities.

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Why resilient economy is fuelling demand for Australian property



Despite inflationary pressures, Australian house prices have surged to a record high for the fifth month in a row, as indicated by CoreLogic data.

Australian house prices have not only weathered inflation but have also soared to unprecedented levels, marking the fifth consecutive month of record highs, according to data from CoreLogic.

This resilience reflects the enduring demand for property in the country, showcasing the sustained interest of buyers despite challenging economic conditions.

VentureCrowd’s Head of Property, David Whitting, talks how investors can access alternative ways of property investing.

Presented by VentureCrowd #funding futures #housing #economy

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Three reasons why you don’t need to panic about inflation



Inflation in the US has exceeded expectations for the third consecutive month, driven by increases in essential commodities such as oil, electricity, takeaway food, and medical costs.

  1. Despite a 3.8% year-on-year rise in CPI, it’s notable that this figure has decreased from its previous 9% high.
  2. The robust CPI and economic growth numbers suggest a positive outlook for US corporate earnings.
  3. The S&P500 has seen five 1% drops this year, all of which were met with investors buying the dip.

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