Jim Chalmers’ second budget will commit $14.6 billion over four years to help Australians struggling with mounting cost-of-living pressures.
As the government reveals more than $17 billion in budget savings will be “reprioritised”, the Treasurer says the package will help struggling households and businesses, while not adding further to inflation or risking damage to the budget bottom line.
On Tuesday, the Treasurer will announce the $14.6 billion “centrepiece” suite of upgraded support payments and subsidies, which will directly lower the CPI in the 2023-24 financial year, and won’t add to broader inflationary pressure.
The package includes $1.5 billion in energy relief, which will give more than five million households and about a million businesses up to $500 off their power bills.
Treasurer Jim Chalmers, pictured with his children Annabel, 5, and Jack, 4, will hand down his second budget on Tuesday – which will include a $14.6bn cost of living package. Picture: Dan Peled / NCA NewsWire
Dr Chalmers said the budget would be in “the best Labor tradition”, offering “help for the vulnerable, an eye on the future, and responsible economic management”.
“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 add to it,” he said.
“(This budget) will see people through difficult times and set our country up for the future.
“This budget will help Australians doing it tough and will make inroads in cleaning up the mess we inherited from the Coalition.”
It’s widely anticipated that payments for single parents – that currently end when their youngest child turns eight-years-old – will be extended by up to four years.
JobSeeker payments are expected to be boosted for all ages, not just those over 55 as has been reported since last week.
The government has also announced changes to prescriptions, which could save Australians up to $180 a year per medication.