‘Not long’: Hairdresser slams $500 handout

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Hello and welcome to our budget live blog.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Treasurer Jim Chalmers will hand down their second budget tonight, with Labor on the cusp of delivering country’s first surplus in 15 years.

The turnaround has been driven by high commodity prices, a strong jobs market and skyrocketing immigration.

But the budget is expected to quickly return to the red due to increasing costs of welfare payments, the NDIS and aged care.

The Treasurer will rise in the House of Representatives to deliver his budget speech at 7.30pm.

Follow below for updates throughout the day.

The budget will include targeted cost-of-living relief. Picture: istockThe budget will include targeted cost-of-living relief. Picture: istock

‘Not long’: $500 handout slammed

A Balmain small business owner has warned that “everybody is really worried” about the state of the economy, saying she is unimpressed with the reported $500 power price relief in the budget.

Salon owner Deborah Bradshaw told Nine’s Today the skyrocketing costs including energy and rent were making it “tough” and that $500 would last “not long”.

“I have had the business for 15 years,” she said.

“Even during Covid, I kind of felt we were getting relief and some help. We kind of felt we were all in it together. This time I don’t. I have not been this concerned about mine and all the small businesses around me for a very long time … Seeing businesses close down is frightening.”

‘Risk’ cash splash will drive inflation

Shadow treasurer Angus Taylor has stressed the need for responsible cost-of-living relief that doesn‘t add to inflation.

Speaking on ABC Radio, Mr Taylor was asked if the Coalition would support Labor’s $14.6 billion cost-of-living package.

“Well, economists will consistently say that cash splashes not the way to address inflationary pressures and in fact, if you have cash splashes if you have handouts, then the risk is that you’ve got a lot of people paying for others handouts, and that’s the real risk we have right now,” he said.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. Picture: Martin Ollman/NCA NewsWirePrime Minister Anthony Albanese. Picture: Martin Ollman/NCA NewsWire

Albo reveals surplus priority

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese appeared on ABC Radio Sydney this morning to discuss tonight’s budget.

While he wouldn’t confirm reports of a $4 billion surplus, he said “we’ve got to pay down debt” when asked what the government would do with it.

“We, of course, haven’t confirmed what’s in the budget … but we inherited a trillion dollars of debt, and what that means is that the interest rate bill goes up on paying,” he said.

Everything we know so far

Many of the key announcements have already been made ahead of the budget.

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