Delivering cost‑of‑living relief

To help with cost‑of‑living pressures and supporting Australians most in need

Energy price relief

Easing pressure on households and small businesses

Households and businesses have been facing unacceptable energy price rises because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The Government's Energy Price Relief Plan shields Australians from the worst impacts of price increases and provides immediate help with power bills.

Energy bill relief

The Government is partnering with state and territory governments to deliver up to $3 billion of electricity bill relief for eligible households and small businesses.

From July 2023, this plan will deliver up to $500 in electricity bill relief for eligible households and up to $650 for eligible small businesses.

Price caps and gas market reforms

The Government acted decisively by putting a temporary price cap on wholesale gas contracts, working with the states to cap the price of coal used for electricity generation and introducing a mandatory code of conduct for gas sales.

These actions ensure Australians can access energy at a fair price and gives our industrial gas users a more level playing field in negotiations.

These reforms, along with energy bill relief are expected to reduce inflation by 3/4 of a percentage point in 2023-24.

Reducing bills by saving energy

Energy upgrades for households

Household Energy Upgrades Fund

The Government is investing in energy improvements for households. The $1.3 billion Household Energy Upgrades Fund will create low‑interest loans and fund upgrades to social housing to improve energy performance.

The Fund will inject $1 billion into the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to unlock more than 110,000 low‑interest loans for energy‑saving home upgrades, in partnership with private lenders.

The Fund will also provide $300 million to partner with states and territories to make energy performance upgrades to social housing.

This energy investment in social housing is expected to cut the energy needed by 60,000 social housing properties by one‑third and give tenants savings on their energy bills.

Better information on energy saving opportunities

The Government will improve the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme and expand it to existing homes, meaning people can soon get a star rating of their home’s energy performance — helping Australians make the best choices for their hip pocket when it comes to renting, purchasing or renovating their homes.

The Government will also modernise and expand the Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards program to make it easier to choose cheaper‑to‑run appliances and support emissions reduction.

Reducing out‑of‑pocket health costs

Tripling bulk billing incentives

The Government is investing $3.5 billion over 5 years to make it easier and cheaper to see a doctor and strengthen the foundations of Medicare.

The bulk billing incentive will be tripled for the most common consultations with children under the age of 16, pensioners and other Commonwealth concession card holders. This includes face‑to‑face, telehealth and videoconference consultations.

More bulk billed Medicare Urgent Care Clinics

The Government is investing a further $358.5 million for Medicare Urgent Care Clinics, including for 8 new Clinics on top of the $235 million committed in the October Budget.

Clinics will bulk bill and remain open for longer hours to improve affordability and accessibility when people need urgent care.

Tayla has 2 children, aged 3 and 12 years old.

When Tayla’s eldest daughter, Elaine, trips and fractures her arm during her Sunday afternoon soccer game, Tayla takes her to their local Medicare Urgent Care Clinic.

Instead of waiting for 4 hours at the emergency department, Elaine is quickly assessed and treated by the clinic doctors.

Her treatment is bulk billed under Medicare and she makes it back home in time for her little brother to sign her cast before his bedtime.

Reducing the cost of medicines

Increasing the maximum dispensing quantity

The Government will support more than 300 Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme medicines to be dispensed in greater amounts, phased in from 1 September 2023.

Some patients will be able to get 2 months’ worth of the medicine they need for a stable, chronic health condition, cutting the number of visits to a pharmacy and GP each year and saving $1.6 billion in out‑of‑pocket costs over 4 years.

General patients will be able to save up to $180 a year per medicine if prescribed for 60 days, and concession card holders up to $43.80 a year per medicine.

Supporting pharmacies

The Government will support regional and remote pharmacies by investing $79.5 million over 4 years to double the Regional Pharmacy Maintenance Allowance. This funding supports the continued operation of around 1,093 community pharmacies in regional and rural Australia.

Pharmacists will also be funded to deliver vaccines to eligible patients under the National Immunisation Program, with an investment of $114.1 million over 4 years.

Improving access to new medicines (new PBS listings)

The Government is providing $2.2 billion over 5 years for new and amended listings to the PBS, including treatment for cystic fibrosis.

A further $449.4 million is also provided for new and amended listings to the National Immunisation Program.

William has a heart condition that increases his risk of developing a stroke, so he takes apixaban twice daily.

William’s partner Sandra has inflammatory bowel disease and takes the anti‑inflammatory medicine sulfasalazine each day.

William and Sandra pay $30 per script as general (non‑concessional) patients for these PBS medicines. Their GP considers their conditions are stable and they can safely get 2 months’ supply of their medicines at a time.

Now, they only need to go to the pharmacy every second month and see their GP once a year to manage their conditions, saving William and Sandra up to $360 a year in PBS co‑payments for their medicines.

Support for those who need it most

Targeted support for single parents

Expanding access to Parenting Payment (Single)

The Government recognises single parents experience higher rates of financial hardship and extra barriers to employment. The Government will invest $1.9 billion over 5 years in more support for eligible single parents who are the principal carers, 91 per cent of whom are women.

In September, eligible single parents will receive Parenting Payment (Single) until their youngest child turns 14 (currently up to 8 years old).

The current base rate of Parenting Payment (Single) is $922.10 per fortnight, compared to the JobSeeker Payment base rate of $745.20 per fortnight.

Around 57,000 single principal carers, including 52,000 women, and around 110,000 children will benefit from the higher rate.

Single parents moving to Parenting Payment (Single) will also benefit from more generous earning arrangements compared to JobSeeker.

Eligible single parents with one child will be able to earn an extra $569.10 per fortnight, plus an extra $24.60 per additional child, before their payment stops.

Martha has 2 children aged 7 and 10.

When her youngest turns 8, she will stay on Parenting Payment (Single) at $922.10 per fortnight. She will also receive Family Tax Benefit.

Martha will be $176.90 better off per fortnight and has more flexibility to meet her children's changing care needs into their teen years and to continue her study to become a nurse.

Responsible, sustainable income support

Increasing support for around 1.1 million Australians

Increasing the rate of income support payments

Many people on income support payments, like JobSeeker Payment, Austudy and Youth Allowance are doing it tough. The Government is increasing the base rate of these payments by $40 per fortnight to eligible people, delivering a boost in support to those most in need.

Targeted support for older job seekers

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.

Around 52,000 eligible recipients will receive an increase in their base rate of payment of $92.10 per fortnight.

Payments will also continue to be automatically indexed to reflect changes in consumer prices.

Ari is 20 years old and lives in South Australia.

He receives $720 per fortnight in income support, including $562.80 from Youth Allowance (student) and $157.20 in Commonwealth Rent Assistance. He also earns $400 per fortnight from working part‑time.

In September, Ari will receive $783.60 per fortnight, an extra $63.60 per fortnight - $40 from Youth Allowance (student) and $23.60 from Commonwealth Rent Assistance.

His payments will continue to be automatically indexed to help keep pace with increases in the cost‑of‑living.

Ari will also receive $500 this year in bill relief from the Energy Price Relief Plan.

More affordable housing

Easing pressure on renters

Largest increase to Commonwealth Rent Assistance in over 30 years

We are increasing the maximum rates of Commonwealth Rent Assistance by 15 per cent at a cost of $2.7 billion over 5 years, the largest increase to Commonwealth Rent Assistance in over 3 decades.

Around 1.1 million households receiving Commonwealth Rent Assistance will be better off.

Building more homes

The Government has brought together states and territories, the Australian Local Government Association, investors and the construction sector through the National Housing Accord with a shared ambition to boost supply and build one million new homes from 2024.

Encouraging investments in build‑to‑rent projects

The Government is offering new incentives to encourage the supply of housing by:

  • reducing the withholding tax rate for eligible fund payments from managed investment trusts attributed to newly constructed build‑to‑rent developments from 30 to 15 per cent
  • increasing the capital works tax deduction (depreciation) rate from 2.5 per cent to 4 per cent per year, increasing the after tax returns for newly constructed build‑to‑rent developments

More investment in social and affordable housing

The Government will increase the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation's liability cap by $2 billion to a total of $7.5 billion, supporting more lending to community housing providers for social and affordable housing projects.

Helping more Australians into home ownership

Home Guarantee Scheme

Eligibility for the First Home Guarantee and Regional First Home Guarantee will be expanded to any 2 eligible borrowers beyond married and de facto couples, and non‑first home buyers who have not owned a property in Australia in the preceding 10 years. Australian Permanent Residents, in addition to Australian citizens, will be eligible for the Home Guarantee Scheme.

Priya and Michael are a couple with 3 children.

They receive Family Tax Benefit Part A and rent their home.

They currently receive the maximum Commonwealth Rent Assistance payment.

Their rent will increase when their lease is renewed.

With increased Commonwealth Rent Assistance, they will receive around an additional $800 per year in government support to help them with their rent and cost‑of‑living pressures.

Keeping wages moving

Broadening opportunity for hard working Australians

Meaningful wages growth is a key part of the solution to cost‑of‑living pressures. One of the Government’s first actions was to support a pay rise for low‑paid workers. This Budget takes further action to bolster wages and support secure jobs.

Pay rise for aged care workers

This Budget allocates $11.3 billion to support the Fair Work Commission’s decision to provide an interim increase of 15 per cent to award wages for many aged care workers. More than 250,000 workers will benefit from the decision.

Supporting stronger wages

The Government has again recommended the Commission ensures the real wages of low‑paid workers do not go backwards. Last year, the Commission delivered a minimum pay rise of $40 per week for full‑time workers, benefitting around 2.7 million award wage workers.

More secure and well‑paid jobs

The Government is consulting on further changes to workplace relations to improve fairness for workers. This includes standing up for casual workers, criminalising wage theft, minimum standards for gig economy workers and progressing same job, same pay reforms for labour hire workers.

Cheaper Child Care and enhanced Paid Parental Leave

Delivering for working families

Cheaper Child Care commences in July

From July this year, the Government is delivering Cheaper Child Care, cutting the cost of care for around 1.2 million families.

It will make it easier for parents and carers, particularly women, to participate in the workforce and means more children can access the benefits of early education.

Investing in our early childhood education and care workforce

The Government is investing $72.4 million to build and support the skills of the early childhood education and care workforce.

The Government will support early childhood educators to undertake professional development and provide financial assistance to educators and teachers to complete the required practical component of a Bachelor or Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education.

Changes to the Paid Parental Leave scheme

The October Budget committed $531.6 million to deliver a more flexible and generous Paid Parental Leave scheme.

From 1 July this year, Parental Leave Pay and Dad and Partner Pay will combine into a single 20‑week payment. A new family income test of $350,000 per annum will see nearly 3,000 additional parents become eligible for the entitlement each year.

The Government has committed to increase Paid Parental Leave to 26 weeks by 2026.

Back to top