The Albanese government has handed down the 2023 Federal Budget, presenting Australians with their first surplus in 15 years.
Taking into account inflationary pressures and their impact on the country's cost of living, the package focuses on welfare increases, bulk-billing incentives, and energy bill discounts. It also includes an increase in Jobseeker payments by $40 per fortnight.
Here's a recap of the Budget 2023 initiatives announced on Tuesday:
Delivering cost-of-living relief
- Providing energy bill relief to 5 million households and 1 million small businesses
- Helping 170,000 households save on energy bills by financing energy saving home upgrades
- Reducing out-of-pocket health costs by tripling bulk billing incentives and investing in more bulk billing Urgent Care Clinics
- Cutting the cost of medicine by up to half for at least 6 million Australians
- Supporting 57,000 single parents by expanding eligibility for Parenting Payment (Single)
- Responsibly increasing the base rate for JobSeeker and other payments for 1.1 million people
- Increasing Commonwealth Rent Assistance for 1.1 million households
- Tax breaks to ensure more investment in build-to-rent projects
- Delivering a 15% pay rise on award wages for aged care workers and getting wages moving again
- Investing an historic $5.7bn to strengthen Medicare
- Making it cheaper and easier to see a doctor by tripling bulk billing incentives
- Investing in protection and prevention health services
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Stronger and more secure economy
- Committing a further $4bn to Australia's renewable energy superpower plan
- $2 billion to make Australia a world-leading hydrogen producer
- $500 million to modernise and grow Australia’s industrial capabilities
- New tax breaks for small business
- Building up our defence industry
- Supporting quality training and addressing skills needs
- Advancing women's economic opportunity
- Ending violence against women and children
- Targeting entrenched disadvantage
- Investing in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
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Strengthening the Budget and funding our priorities
- Lower deficits and debt, and a surplus forecast in 2022-23
- Better quality spending, and a fairer tax and superannuation system
- Continuing support for programs Australians need and depend on
- Building a sustainable aged care system
- Getting the NDIS back on track
- Looking after our veterans
- Strengthening our engagement in the region
"The Government's responsible economic and fiscal management is delivering a stronger and more sustainable fiscal position - with a budget surplus forecast for 2022–23 and lower deficits and debt across the forward years," the Albanese government said.
"We are returning 87% of the tax upgrades over the past two Budgets and 82% in this Budget. This Budget also identifies a further $17.8bn in spending reprioritisations and restricts average annual real spending growth to just 0.6 per cent over the 5 years to 2026–27."