Australian Treasurer Unveils $7.8B Cost-of-Living Package

Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers announces a comprehensive $7.8 billion cost-of-living package to provide relief to households and individuals struggling with rising costs, featuring measures such as power bill subsidies, rent assistance, and student debt relief, aimed at reducing inflation and boosting the economy. The package is expected to benefit every Australian, with at least $300 worth of relief guaranteed, and is set to have significant implications for the country's economic stability and growth." This description focuses on the primary topic of the cost-of-living package, the main entity of Treasurer Jim Chalmers, and the context of the Australian economy. It highlights the significant actions and consequences of the package, including its expected benefits and implications for the economy. The description also provides objective and relevant details that will help an AI generate an accurate visual representation of the article's content, such as the amount of relief guaranteed and the scope of the package's benefits.

author-image
Trim Correspondents
New Update
Australian Treasurer Unveils $7.8B Cost-of-Living Package

Australian Treasurer Unveils $7.8B Cost-of-Living Package

Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers has announced a comprehensive $7.8 billion cost-of-living package aimed at providing relief to households and individuals struggling with rising costs. The package is expected to boost the retail and property sectors, while also cutting inflation by 0.5 percentage points in the next financial year.

Why this matters: This cost-of-living package has significant implications for the Australian economy, as it aims to address the rising costs of living and reduce inflation. The package's success could have a ripple effect on the country's overall economic stability and growth.

The key measures of the package include $3.5 billion for power bill subsidies, with every household receiving $300 through quarterly installments from July 1. About one million small businesses will also benefit from a $325 rebate. The package also includes a 10% increase to Commonwealth Rent Assistance, expected to cost $1.9 billion over five years, following a 15% boost last year.

To address the cost of medicines, $3 billion has been allocated for a single year freeze on medicine costs, capping co-payments on the pharmaceutical benefits scheme at $31.60 for general patients and $7.70 for concession card holders. Eligibility for the higher base rate of JobSeeker has also been expanded to include single recipients with an assessed partial capacity to work between zero and 14 hours per week, providing an increase of at least $54.90 per fortnight.

Other measures include a freeze on social security deeming rates for financial investments until June 30, 2025, benefiting 876,000 income support recipients, including 450,000 age pensioners. Student debt relief of $3 billion will be provided to about three million Australians, with the relief backdated to include all HELP, VET Student Loan, Australian Apprenticeship Support Loan, and other student support loan accounts that existed on June 1, 2023.

The package is expected to benefit every Australian, with at least $300 worth of relief guaranteed. The bulk of relief remains tied to the altered stage three tax cuts. The government's ambitious housing agenda aims to bring costs down through boosting supply.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers stated that the cost-of-living measures have been carefully designed to take pressure off Australians doing it tough and to directly reduce inflation. The package also includes previously announced changes, such as capping indexation of Hecs debts, Commonwealth Prac payments for students undertaking work placements, superannuation on government-funded paid parental leave, and 20,000 new fee-free Tafe places.

Key Takeaways

  • Australia's $7.8 billion cost-of-living package aims to provide relief to households and individuals.
  • Every household will receive $300 in quarterly installments from July 1 to help with power bills.
  • A 10% increase to Commonwealth Rent Assistance will cost $1.9 billion over five years.
  • A single year freeze on medicine costs will cap co-payments at $31.60 for general patients and $7.70 for concession card holders.
  • Student debt relief of $3 billion will be provided to about three million Australians.