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Your Budget 2017-18

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Guaranteeing the essentials

Protecting and boosting the essential services Australians rely on and tackling cost of living pressures on Australian households

Guaranteeing the essentials

Protecting and boosting the essential services Austalians rely on

In a time of low wage growth, Australians place great faith in a government’s range of essential services. The first duty of a government is to protect and keep Australians safe and ensure the critical services they rely on are guaranteed.

The Government is prioritising the essential services that Australians rely on, especially our most vulnerable, by funding our share of important services in healthcare, housing, disability support, education and employment.

Our essential services give Australians the security and confidence they need to seize opportunities when they arise.

The Medicare Guarantee Fund will be established to ensure that Medicare funding is guaranteed. From 1 July 2017, the Government will provide $1.0 billion over four years to phase in the indexation of items on the Medicare Benefits Schedule, supporting Australians to access a doctor when they need care.

Full funding for the Commonwealth’s share of the National Disability Insurance Scheme will be assured, with Australians asked to pitch in through a small increase to the Medicare levy from 2 to 2.5 per cent to help fully fund this critically important service.

The Government is also delivering a fairer and simpler way to meet our shared commitment to school funding, in accordance with the Gonski standard, by providing an additional $18.6 billion over ten school years while also delivering a fairer and more sustainable higher education system, where students, universities and the Government all contribute.

The Government will boost employment services, including for Indigenous and vulnerable parents.

Protecting and boosting the key services Australians rely on

Tackling cost of living pressures on Australian households

This Budget eases cost of living pressures on Australians and their families, in particular energy, housing and child care costs.The Government recognises that not all Australians have fully enjoyed the benefits of the hard-won growth the nation has experienced in recent years.

The Government is committed to helping Australians and their families.

The Government’s energy security plan will help provide reliable and affordable energy for Australians, with practical reforms designed to meet immediate challenges and lay the foundations for our future energy needs.

Hard working families have faced ever increasing child care fees, with costs growing by 51.7 per cent from 2008-09 to 2015-16. This is placing a significant strain on household budgets and presenting a hurdle for Australians considering a return to the workforce.

To assist around one million families, the Government is investing $37.3 billion over four years through its Jobs for Families Child Care Package to help ease cost of living pressures and provide more affordable access to quality child care.

Australians will also get a better and fairer deal from our banking and financial system, with the Government giving consumers access to free, fast and binding dispute resolution services, making banks and their executives more accountable and giving consumers greater access to and control over their banking data, empowering them to seek out better and cheaper services.

Restoring the Pensioner Concession Card

The Government will reinstate the Pensioner Concession Card for those impacted by the asset test change introduced in January this year.

This will allow an extra 92,000 people to access discounts offered to holders of the Pensioner Concession Card, including subsidised hearing services offered by the Commonwealth.

It will also facilitate these people continuing to access discounts offered by the States and Territories.