The centrepiece of the Albanese Labor Government’s second Budget is a $14.6 billion cost‑of‑living package over four years that will ease pressure on Australians while putting downward pressure on inflation.
People are under the pump. We've carefully calibrated and designed this Budget so that it takes pressure off the cost of living rather than adding to it.
This Budget prioritises responsible, targeted cost‑of‑living relief while also investing in the future, securing the services Australians rely on and strengthening the nation’s finances.
Our cost‑of‑living plan will directly lower price pressures and the CPI in 2023‑24 and will not add to broader inflationary pressure in the economy.
Cost‑of‑living measures in the 2023‑24 Budget include:
Record investment in bulk billing
- We’re investing $3.5 billion to triple the bulk billing incentive for the most common GP consultations for children under 16 and Commonwealth concession card holders (as part of the Government’s $5.7 billion investment in Medicare). This will support 11.6 million eligible Australians to access a GP with no out‑of‑pocket costs.
- This is the largest investment in bulk billing incentives ever, making it easier and cheaper for Australians to see their doctor.
Changes to pharmacy maximum dispensing quantities
- Reducing the cost of medicines by up to half for at least six million Australians.
- Some patients will be able to receive 2 months’ worth of their medicines per visit to their pharmacy, saving $1.6 billion in out‑of‑pocket costs over 4 years.
Energy Price Relief Plan
- Up to $3 billion of electricity bill relief through the Energy Bill Relief Fund to take pressure off households and small businesses, in partnership with state and territory governments. This will benefit more than five million eligible households and one million eligible small businesses.
- Retail electricity price increases in 2023‑24 are now expected to be around 25 percentage points lower and retail gas price increases around 16 percentage points smaller than expected prior to the Government’s energy interventions.
- The Government is also making it easier for households and small businesses to access energy savings and upgrades, through financing options for households and a new tax break for small and medium sized businesses.
- $4.9 billion to increase the base rate of several working age and student income support payments like the JobSeeker Payment and Youth Allowance by $40 per fortnight for eligible recipients.
- This includes extending eligibility for the existing higher rate of the JobSeeker Payment to single Australians aged 55 to 59 years who have been on the payment for nine or more continuous months, to match that applying to those over 60.
Commonwealth Rent Assistance
- $2.7 billion to increase the maximum rates of Commonwealth Rent Assistance by 15 per cent.
- About 1.1 million households receiving maximum Commonwealth Rent Assistance rates will be better off.
Single parent payment
- $1.9 billion to expand eligibility to single parents who are principal carers whose youngest child is under 14 years of age, the majority of whom are women.
- Eligible recipients will now receive a base rate of $922.10 per fortnight – an increase of $176.90 per fortnight compared to the JobSeeker Payment.
The Albanese Labor Government’s second Budget sees people through difficult times and sets our country up for the future.
It helps Australians doing it tough and makes significant inroads in cleaning up the mess we inherited from the Coalition.
Our aim throughout – whether it’s our cost‑of‑living package, our broader investments in energy or other efforts to grow the economy – is to make sure that this Budget is part of the solution to high inflation and cost‑of‑living pressures, not adding to the problem.
We’re delivering more support for the most vulnerable in our community because we know they’re doing it tough, and that’s possible thanks to the way we’ve responsibly managed the Budget.