30 March 2022

Parliament passes legislation to lower costs and support households and businesses

The Morrison Government has today introduced and passed through the Parliament the Treasury Laws Amendment (Cost of Living Support and Other Measures) Bill 2022 (the Bill) as part of our plan for a stronger future to provide cost of living relief, create more jobs, guarantee the essential services and keep Australians safe.

As part of the Budget 2022-23, the Bill provides:

  • Targeted relief from higher fuel prices that have resulted from international events. The Government is reducing fuel excise by 50 per cent for 6 months. This will see excise on petrol and diesel cut from 44.2 cents  per litre to 22.1 cents per litre. The reduction in excise will flow through to lower petrol prices over the next two weeks, as petrol stations replenish their stocks.
  • A one-off Cost of Living Tax Offset. From 1 July this year, more than 10 million individuals will receive a one-off $420 cost of living tax offset. As a result, eligible low- and middle-income earners will be up to $1,500 better off for a single income household, or $3,000 better off for dual income household.
  • A one-off Cost of Living Payment. Helping Australians most in need by providing a one-off, income-tax-exempt payment of $250 to 6 million eligible pensioners, welfare recipients, veterans and eligible concession card holders in April 2022.
  • Early access to cheaper and free medicines by lowering the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) safety net thresholds from 1 July 2022, by the equivalent of 12 fully priced scripts for concession card holders and the equivalent of approximately two fully priced scripts for non-concessional patients. This is expected to benefit over 2.4 million people.
  • An increase to the Medicare levy low-income thresholds for families, seniors and pensioners and singles which will ensure low-income households who did not pay the Medicare levy in 2020-21 generally will continue not to pay it in 2021-22.
  • Australians with certainty over the tax treatment of COVID-19 tests. Individuals that use COVID-19 tests for work related purposes will be able to claim an income tax deduction for these tests. The Government will also ensure that fringe benefits tax will not be incurred by employers where COVID-19 tests are provided to employees for work related purposes.
  • Small business and sole traders with cash flow support by reducing the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) uplift factor for pay as you go (PAYG) and Goods and Services Tax (GST) instalments for the 2022-23 income year to 2 per cent.
  • Expanded access to employee share schemes and reducing red tape by removing disclosure, licensing, advertising, anti-hawking and on-sale regulatory requirements when employers do not charge or lend for eligible offers.
  • Six additional organisations with deductible gift recipients status, which allows taxpayers to claim an income tax deduction for donations of $2 or more to these organisations.

The Budget delivers the next stage of the Government’s plan to build a strong economy and a stronger future.