14 May 2024

Cost of living help and a future made in Australia


Joint media release with
The Hon Anthony Albanese MP
Prime Minister of Australia

This is a responsible and restrained Budget which eases cost of living pressures and invests in a Future Made in Australia.

It provides a tax cut for every taxpayer and new help with energy bills, rent and the cost of medicines.

It builds more homes for Australians, reforms our universities, strengthens Medicare and the care economy, and broadens opportunity in our society.

Global economic uncertainty, high but moderating inflation and higher interest rates are contributing to cost of living pressures and combining to slow the economy.

This Budget strikes the right balance between keeping pressure off inflation, delivering cost of living relief, supporting sustainable economic growth and strengthening public finances.

This Budget forecasts a second surplus in 2023–24, which would be the first time a government has delivered back‑to‑back surpluses in nearly two decades.

The Budget also forecasts lower debt to GDP and lower inflation, which Treasury forecasts could return to the RBA’s target band by the end of 2024 – earlier than previously expected.

Our responsible Budget responds to the pressures people are under now and lays the foundations for future prosperity by:

  • Easing cost of living pressures.
  • Building more homes for Australians.
  • Investing in a Future Made in Australia and the skills and universities needed to make it a reality.
  • Strengthening Medicare and the care economy.
  • Broadening opportunity and advancing equality.

Easing cost of living pressures

Many Australians are under pressure, which is why the Government is delivering responsible cost of living relief without adding to inflation. This Budget delivers:

  • Tax cuts for all taxpayers, with a bigger tax cut for 84 per cent of taxpayers.
  • $300 energy rebates for all households, and $325 rebates for eligible small businesses.
  • An increase in the maximum rate of Commonwealth Rent Assistance by a further 10 per cent.
  • Cutting $3 billion in student debt for more than three million Australians.
  • Cheaper medicines through a new Community Pharmacy Agreement.
  • A more competitive economy and fairer prices.

More homes for Australians

The Budget builds more homes for Australians, with more social and affordable housing, more infrastructure and removal of red tape, better transport for more accessible cities and suburbs and increased housing for students:

  • $1 billion to get homes built sooner, with funding for states including to provide roads, services and parks, essential for additional housing supply.
  • A new five‑year National Agreement on Social Housing and Homelessness for states and territories to deliver crisis support and social housing.
  • $1 billion directed to support women and children experiencing domestic violence, as well as youth.
  • Training more tradies and construction workers to build more homes by boosting construction skills with fee‑free TAFE places.
  • Expanding the Affordable Housing Bond Aggregator program.
  • Bolstering community housing providers to support the first tranche of homes to be delivered under the Housing Australia Future Fund and National Housing Accord.
  • Delivering funding for new and existing infrastructure projects.

Investing in a future made in Australia

A Future Made in Australia is about maximising the economic and industrial benefits of the move to net zero and securing our place in a changing global economic and strategic landscape.

The Budget invests $22.7 billion over a decade to build a stronger and more resilient economy powered by clean energy, create more well‑paid jobs and facilitate the private investment we need to make the most of this generational opportunity.

It is a core part of our broader growth plan in this Budget, which includes a focus on:

  • Attracting and enabling private investment.
  • Making our country a renewable energy superpower.
  • Strengthening our defence capabilities and economic security.
  • Supporting small businesses to grasp the opportunities of our transforming economy.
  • And expanding and reforming tertiary education for a more skilled workforce.

Strengthening Medicare and the care economy

The Budget invests in Medicare and better health outcomes, aged care and disability services, delivers essential services, and supports workers:

  • 29 more Medicare Urgent Care Clinics.
  • Free access to mental health care for more Australians.
  • An additional 24,100 home care packages.
  • Essential funding for in person and online service delivery.
  • Getting the NDIS back on track.
  • Provisioning for wage increases for aged care and early childhood education and care workers.

It also delivers better outcomes for women and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, including through super on Paid Parental Leave, support for victim‑survivors of domestic violence, and improved education, jobs, housing and essential services for First Nations people.

Continuing our record of responsible economic management

Through responsible economic management, the Budget keeps pressure off inflation and strengthens public finances over time.

Following a surplus of $22.1 billion in 2022–23, the Budget is forecasting a surplus of $9.3 billion in 2023–24.

Fiscal pressures intensify after that, with a deficit of $28.3 billion forecast for 2024–25, but progress has been made in strengthening the Budget over time.

This Budget:

  • Returns 96 per cent of revenue upgrades to the Budget in 2023–24 while inflation is above the band, with 82 per cent of revenue upgrades returned since coming to government over the forward estimates.
  • Identifies $27.9 billion in savings and reprioritisations, taking the total to $77.4 billion since coming to government.
  • Limits real spending growth to an average of 1.4 per cent per year over the period since we came to government to 2027–28 – less than half the average of the last 30 years and around a third of our predecessors.
  • Improves the Budget position by a forecast $214.7 billion over the six years to 2027–28 compared to the time of the election.
  • Reduces debt as a share of the economy, with gross debt projected to peak at 35.2 per cent of GDP, almost 10 percentage points lower than at the time of the election.
  • Improves Australia’s debt position with gross debt $152 billion lower in this financial year than was forecast at the time of the election.
  • Avoids $80 billion in interest costs over the decade due to the improved budget position compared to what we inherited at the election.

The Albanese Government is delivering a responsible budget that provides cost of living help now, builds a stronger and more resilient economy and invests in a future made in Australia.