The Labor Government’s first Budget in almost a decade promises to deliver targeted cost-of-living relief for households without adding to inflation.
Presenting the 2022–23 October Budget Treasurer, Jim Chalmers said the Budget would do three things, provide responsible cost of living relief, build a more resilient and modern economy, and begin the task of Budget repair.
Mr Chalmers committed $7.5 billion to a five-point plan to deliver targeted cost-of-living relief for households, including cheaper childcare, an expansion of Paid Parental Leave, cheaper prescription medication, more affordable housing, and support for wage rises.
“Our plan puts some money in people’s pockets, boosts productivity and grows the economy,” Mr Chalmers said.
“It’s carefully targeted, carefully timed, and delivers an economic dividend.”
He said a $1 billion agreement with the States and Territories would support 180,000 fee-free TAFE and vocational education places next year, while 20,000 new university places would go to students from disadvantaged backgrounds over the next two years.
The Treasurer committed funding towards increasing staffing levels at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to clear visa backlogs, and expanding access to the NBN and improving mobile coverage.
Mr Chalmers set aside up to $200 million a year to improve disaster resilience and preparedness.
He said the Budget would also drive investment in renewable energy with a $20 billion fund for energy transmission and $800 million to cut taxes on electric cars, build a national electric vehicle charging network and provide solar battery storage for up to 100,000 homes.
The Treasurer also announced the National Housing Accord, a landmark agreement to increase supply of affordability of housing.
“It will align for the first time the efforts of all levels of government, institutional investors and the construction sector to help tackle the nation’s housing problem,” Mr Chalmers said.
“Our shared ambition is to build one million new well-located homes over five years from 2024,” he said.
“The Budget delivers $350 million in additional Federal funding to deliver 10,000 affordable homes over five years from 2024, on top of our existing election commitments.”
Mr Chalmers committed $6.1 billion in additional funding for hospitals, Medicare, extending COVID‑19 support, and in expanding access to health care in suburbs and regions.
The 2022–23 October Budget papers can be accessed at this PS News link.