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Federal budget 2023: Here’s what’s in it for you

Treasurer Jim Chalmers’ second federal budget has been headlined by healthcare reform and a huge boost in welfare payments for millions of Australians doing it tough.

A $14.6 billion cost-of-living package – including a $40 a fortnight boost to JobSeeker and Youth Allowance payments – has been handed down to shield families from sky-high inflation.

Meanwhile, the government has unveiled $5.5 billion to address the Medicare crisis, including a tripling of bulk-billing rates to raise GP rebates by more than $20 in big cities.

Elsewhere, Australia’s public broadcasters have emerged as big winners, with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) set to receive more than $7 billion over the next five years to boost local news coverage.

Already announced measures canvassed in the budget included $3 billion in subsidies for families navigating soaring power bills, with $1.5 billion to be paid by the Commonwealth.

What’s in the 2023-24 federal budget for you

Income support recipients

  • A $40 per fortnight increase to the base JobSeeker and Youth Allowance rates, costing $4.9 billion (2022-23 to 2026-27) and $1.3 billion a year ongoing
  • A $176 per fortnight lift for about 57,000 parents through boosting eligibility for single parenting payments. Parents will now remain on the payment until their youngest child is aged 14, instead of eight years, at a cost to the budget of $1.9 billion (2022-23 to 2026-27)
  • Subsidies worth up to $500 for income support and family tax benefit (A and B) recipients to assist with electricity prices, costing $1.5 billion (2023-24 to 2025-26)
  • A 15 per cent increase to the maximum rate of Commonwealth Rent Assistance for 1.1 million households who access government income support schemes, costing $2.7 billion (2022-23 to 2026-27) and $700 million a year ongoing.

Health care users

  • A tripling of bulk-billing incentives for low-income patients and children for GP and telehealth appointments, costing $3.5 billion (2022-23 to 2026-27)
  • An expansion of Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) listings, including the Life Saving Drugs Program, costing $2.2 billion (2022-23 to 2026-27)
  • Reducing patient costs by extending script lengths to 60 days and boosting funding for community pharmacies to help patients get the right medicines (cost neutral)
  • Additional funding for mental health support, including subsidies for those with severe conditions and programs to up-skill specialist workforces, costing $556.2 million (2022-23 to 2026-27)
  • New investments in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) to improve process and planning decisions, costing $429.5 million (2023-24 to 2026-27)
  • A modernisation of My Health Record that will create a new national repository to share patient data, costing $429 million (2023-24 to 2025-26)
  • Additional funding to set up urgent care clinics across the country by the end of 2023, building eight new clinics, costing $358 million (2022-23 to 2026-27)
  • Establishment of a national lung cancer screening program and an expansion of the national cancer screening register, costing $263 million (2023-24 to 2026-27)
  • Extension of after-hours healthcare across primary health networks, including the homelessness support program, costing $143.9 million (2023-24 to 2024-25)
  • Connecting “frequent hospital users” to general practice to receive health care in their community instead, costing $98.9 million (2023 – 24 to 2026-27)
  • Supporting primary health networks to improve access to multi-disciplinary care with allied health professionals, costing $79.4 million (2023-24 to 2026-27).

Green households

  • Provision of “low cost” finance and mortgages for families that upgrade their homes to save energy through the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, costing $1 billion
  • Expansion of a contingency reserve to help Australians living in social housing improve their energy efficiency, costing $300 million (2023-24 to 2026-27)
  • Expanding and modernising the greenhouse and energy minimum standards program and the nationwide household energy rating scheme, costing $36.7 million (2023-24 to 2026-27)
  • A new national waste education campaign to help change consumer behaviour around household waste, costing $10 million.

Budget winners

Care workers

The government has funded a number of workforce programs and wage boosts for workers in early childhood education (72.4 million over four years and aged care ($956 million over 10 years).

Aged care

Funding has been pledged for aged care reforms, including workforce improvements and implementing royal commission recommendations, with $2.1 billion in new, non-workforce funding pledged (2022-23 to 2026-27).

Public broadcasters

Some $7.7 billion in new funding over five years has been pledged for the ABC and SBS to improve operational finances and support local news services.

Home buyers

Eligibility criteria under the First Home Guarantee scheme has been expanded to include joint applications with partners, single parents and others.

Superannuation

New rules will force employers to make super payments at the same time as wages, rather than quarterly, to reduce super underpayments.

Budget losers

Wealthy superannuants

Slashing tax breaks for super balances of $3 million or more, starting from July 1, 2025, with the headline tax rate doubling to 30 per cent. It will save the budget $2.3 billion over the first full year of operation (2027-28).

Scammers

A crackdown on online scammers will empower regulators to take a tougher line on cyber criminals and improve communication between agencies.

Multinational corporations

The government will implement OECD tax changes designed to crack down on multinational tax avoidance, generating an estimated $259 million in net tax revenue (2022-23 to 2026-27).

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