Federal Budget: What’s in it for you?

Published 8:00pm 9 May 2023

Federal Budget: What’s in it for you?
Words by Kylie Knight

Treasurer Jim Chalmers has just handed down the 2023-24 Federal Budget. We break it down for you.

It’s the second Budget for Mr Chalmers and follows a mini-Budget handed down in October.

The Budget comes at a time the Government is balancing the need to help those struggling with the rising cost of living, while not adding to inflationary pressures.

It forecasts the first surplus in 15 years ($4.2 billion), as a result of higher government revenue, but small deficits to follow in 2023-24 ($13.9 billion) and 2024-25.

Mr Chalmers said it was a “responsible Budget” that “helped people doing it tough and sets Australia up for the future”.

“It’s carefully calibrated to address cost of living pressures in our communities, rather than add to them.

“In dollar terms, it will show the biggest Budget turnaround on record as a consequence of our responsible economic management.”

Cost of Living

The Budget includes a $14.6 billion cost of living relief package to be rolled out over the next four years. It includes electricity bill relief for 1 million small businesses and 5.5 million households (pensioners and those on low incomes).

People will be able to buy two months’ worth of medicines using one prescription in a move that will reduce the number of times they need to visit a GP and will cover more than 300 common medicines. The change will come into effect from September.

In this Budget, the Government is tripling the incentive paid to GPs to bulk bill consultations for families with children under 16 years, pensioners and Commonwealth concession card holders, at a cost of $3.5 billion – the largest investment in bulk billing incentives ever. The tripling of the bulk billing incentive applies to:

  • all face‑to‑face and telehealth general practices services between 6 and 20 minutes long
  • all other face‑to‑face general practice consultations
  • longer telehealth and general practice consultations where a patient is registered with their regular practice through MyMedicare.

Lower childcare costs passed by Parliament in November will begin in July and have been included in tonight’s Budget. The changes will affect more than 1 million families, lifting Child Care Subsidy rates lift to 90 per cent for families with a combined income of up to $80,000. Savings are scaled according to income for those earning more than $80,000 – one per cent for every additional $5000 – and are capped at $530,000.

Financial support for single parents will also increase with the cut-off for the Parenting Payment rising from eight to 14 years.

Aged Care workers will receive a 15 per cent pay rise from July 1.

JobSeeker, Austudy and Youth Allowance payments will increase by $40 per fortnight. The Government is expanding eligibility for the existing higher rate of JobSeeker to recipients 55 and over who have received the payment for 9 or more continuous months, which currently applies to those 60 and over. About 52,000 eligible recipients will receive an increase in their base rate of payment of $92.10 per fortnight.

The maximum rate of rent assistance available will increase by 15 per cent, equating to $31 extra per fortnight.

To find out more about the Budget, head to the website

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