The 2023-24 Federal Budget has just been announced. So, what does it all mean for you?
ASU members have won:
- National Net-Zero Authority to support workers and communities in the transition to a clean energy future.
- Increased funding to social and community services, including $67.5 to save housing and homelessness services after a huge campaign by members
- Cheaper childcare for 1.2million families from 1 July
- Increasing Paid Parental Leave to 20 weeks
- Extending Single Parent Payments from 8 to 14 years for the youngest child, giving single parents greater economic security; 90% of whom are women
- Superannuation to be paid on the same day as wages. This means a 25-year-old could be $6,000 better off at retirement.
- Increasing funding for Local Government to $3.1b
Here is a summary of some of the other key measures in the Federal Budget tonight and how they impact ASU members.
Cost of Living relief
A range of new measures have been announced to support members with cost-of-living relief, including:
- Less out of pocket costs to go to the doctor. $3.5b to triple bulk-billing for children under the age of 16, pensioners and concession card holders.
- Increasing rent assistance. $2.7b over five years to help 1.1 million Australians with cost of rent– the highest increase in more than 30 years.
- $3b in energy bill relief with up to $500 for households
- Reducing the cost of medicines by cutting the number of visits to a pharmacy and putting more medicines on the PBS
There is more to be done to help Australians get by. That is why we are calling for a 7% pay rise in the Annual Wage Review which will come into effect on July 1 this year.
- Extending the First Home Guarantee which provides up to 15% of the property price purchase
- Investment in social and affordable housing by allowing community housing providers to borrow more money at reduced rates to build housing.
- $260m over 2 years to extend psychosocial supports for people with severe mental health concerns who are not in the NDIS
- $8.7m to establish 2 independent national mental health lived-experience peak bodies
- $17.8m to upskill mental health capabilities of the broader health workforce
Income support payments
- $4.9b to increase support for people receiving working age and student payments, including Job Seeker (i.e. $40 per fortnight increase).
- Extending higher rate of support for people on payments from aged 60 to those aged over 55. This will apply to recipients who are 55 and over who have received JS payment for 9 or more continuous months. 52,000 people eligible will receive an increase in their base rate of payment of $92.10 per fortnight.
It's time to Raise the Rate!
The increases announced in the budget to Job Seeker and Rent Assistance are welcome, but they do not go far enough to lift people out of poverty.
The ASU is calling on the Government to increase income support payments by a minimum of $25 a day.