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Federal Budget live: Jim Chalmers clarifies 2025 rate cut prediction, man's very Aussie reaction to relief on live TV

Anthony Albanese and Jim Chalmers have blitzed media this morning, fending off criticism of last night's budget.

Federal Budget live: Jim Chalmers clarifies 2025 rate cut prediction, man's very Aussie reaction to relief on live TV

Cost-of-living relief took centre stage in last night's Federal Budget, with Treasurer Jim Chalmers unveiling a series of cash boosts for struggling Aussies. But of course, not everyone is happy and many feel they've been left out including Aussies doing it tough and first homebuyers trying to get onto the increasingly-daunting property ladder.

And while the major supermarkets were put on notice once again, there is nothing new impacting Coles and Woolworths. Read more below.

Today's live blog has now concluded, but below you'll find our breakdown of the winners and losers of last night, as well as all the reaction from across Australia.

Last night's major stories include:

  • Treasurer clarifies budget prediction for first rate cut

    Optimism has quickly disappeared for an imminent rate cut in Australia. And the budget dealt a another devastating blow to homeowners when it suggested a rate cut might not come until mid-2025.

    Treasurer Jim Chalmers was pressed at the National Press Club about this and he said the prediction derived from the "fairest" method.

    "It's a good opportunity to remind everyone that the interest rate assumptions in the budget are just informed by the Bloomberg survey of market economists," he said.

    "The Treasury has to make an assessment about the future trajectory of interest rates and the fairest, most appropriate way to do that is to let the survey of market economists inform that."

  • 'Litter prevention' funding sneaks into budget

    There are a few eyebrows being raised over the $1.3 million committed to "litter prevention" in this year's federal budget.

    The Department of Environment failed to provide any clarity on where that money will go when asked on Wednesday by Yahoo, saying further details will be released in due course.

    Read more about funding – or the lack of – for environmental issues here.

  • Man's very Aussie reaction to budget relief on live TV

    The $300 energy bill saving for all Australians has been the talking point of the day so far.

    But with cost of living through the roof, how much of an impact will it actually make for the everyday Aussie?

    Well for one bloke on the Gold Coast, he's put it into perspective in a truly Australian way.

    “Put it this way, you used to be able to get 60 schooners for 300 bucks, now you only get 30 schooners,” the man said as he was stopped by a Today reporter on Wednesday.

    Read more here.

  • Federal Budget 2024: Cost-of-living recap

    Here's a little cost-of-living recap for you in just 90 seconds.

  • Albanese confirms 2025 budget will be earlier than normal

    We'll be going through all this again in 10 months time, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese confirmed on Wednesday morning.

    The reason? Well there's a federal election to think about in 2025.

    “You can’t have a budget and an election at the same time in May, so we’ll have to make that adjustment," he told Sunrise.

  • The question you shouldn't be asking this budget

    The cost of living is hitting us all. That's why it's rightly been labelled a crisis. So, it can be easy to jump to asking 'what's in it for me?'.

    But Yahoo Finance contributor and economist Stephen Koukoulas explains how the overall economic impact of the budget will actually ease pressure on households.

    Take a look at why he thinks energy rebates and rent relief will bring down inflation, and could be key to the RBA dropping interest rates. Read his full take here.

  • Budget assistance for sweet potato industry

    Now here's a peculiar one from last night's budget.

    Labor announced it would cut the levy on sweet potatoes from 1.5 per cent to 0.5 per cent, proving music to the ears of the Australian Sweetpotato Growers Inc.

    Here's to cheaper veggies (if savings for growers are passed on, of course).

    Wooden board with cut and whole sweet potatoes on table, closeup
    You could be getting cheaper sweet potatoes very soon. Source: Getty, file. (Liudmila Chernetska via Getty Images)
  • Supermarkets mentioned, but no new surprises for Coles and Woolworths

    There's been an energy rebate and tax cut for all, but what about the unavoidable pain Aussies have been copping at the supermarket checkout? Well, the government did make mention of the supermarkets in its cost of living relief package.

    Why haven't you heard much about it? Well there's nothing new in it. They pointed to three measures being taken by the government:

    Jim Chalmers referenced the play in his speech, claiming the government had "empowered the competition watchdog to hold supermarkets accountable" and was working to improve competition in the sector.

    “That is why we are taking steps to make the food and grocery code mandatory and making our economy more competitive across the board," he said.

    “More competition means more choices, it means lower prices and better services and better jobs.”What's clear is these measures won't have an impact on the prices you see at the Coles or Woolworths checkout today.

    "But, bigger picture, it could help with competition."

    The government says its committed to ensuring fair grocery prices across the country.
  • Hidden Budget detail another blow to homeowners

    Mortgage holders will need to wait another year for much-needed interest rate relief. That’s according to a grim prediction hidden within the Federal Budget papers.

    Along with expecting the Reserve Bank (RBA) to cut rates later than many economists are forecasting, the government is also expecting only 0.75 per cent worth of cuts over the next two years.

    "The cash rate is assumed to gradually ease from around the middle of 2025 to reach 3.6 per cent by the middle of 2026," the budget papers state.

    The Big Four banks' prediction of a November 2024 cut is becoming increasingly more unlikely, especially after RBA governor Michele Bullock said there was no guarantee of movement this year.

    Read more here.

  • Aussies offered more affordable passport option

    Here's one you might have missed. Aussies will be given a cheaper option if they desperately need to renew their passport.

    For an extra $100, you can receive your passport within five days – a much cheaper option than the current $252 fast track option.

    Plenty of us can remember the daunting passport office queues of 2022 so I'm sure this is a welcome addition for forgetful travellers.

    Read more here.

  • Senator mocks Labor with 'Jimflation' tweet

    I think we can safely assume what Nationals Senator Matt Canavan thinks of last night's Budget.

    Despite criticism, Treasurer Jim Chalmers says the budget will help tackle inflation while providing cost-of-living relief.

  • Chalmers grilled over $300 energy bill rebate

    The government has been under pressure this morning to explain why every single Australian household will get a $300 energy rebate.

    Treasurer Jim Chalmers was grilled on Sunrise about the measure and why it wasn't just targeted to struggling Aussies.

    Host Natalie Barr asked why people earning $1 million a year would need it.

    Treasurer Jim Chalmers has been grilled about why every household is receiving the $300 energy rebate. (Source: Channel 7)
    Treasurer Jim Chalmers has been grilled about why every household is receiving the $300 energy rebate. (Source: Channel 7)

    "Because cost-of-living pressures are being felt right around our country," Chalmers said.

    Barr replied: "The million-dollar people are under pressure?"

    He said: "Yes, so once you go beyond providing this energy bill rebate, like we did in the last budget, for people who are on pensions and payments, once you go beyond that, you have to design a whole new system because the energy retailers that we use to provide this help, they don't have income information for people.

    "So the easiest, most efficient way is to provide this energy bill relief for every household. We're pleased and proud we're able to do that. It's part of a cost-of-living package which is substantial, but responsible."

  • 'Housing hell to continue' for young Aussies trying to buy

    While Treasurer Jim Chalmers said "turbocharging" housing construction would lead to affordable housing, those looking to get onto the property ladder have been left scratching their heads.

    Their big question is how do you expect us to afford that first home?

    Housing spokesman for the Greens, Max Chandler-Mather said Labor should have frozen rents so first-time buyers could save for a deposit.

    “Millions of renters and first home buyers are living in housing hell, giving up on ever being able to buy a home, and Labor has offered them nothing,” he told NCA NewsWire.

    Head of the Monash Business School Lionel Frost says Chalmers may have neglected first home buyers to avoid upward pressure on inflation.

    Read more here.

  • 'Let me spell it out for you': Karl Stefanovic's billionaire question lost on Albo

    karl albo
    Karl's Gina from Noosa remark went over Albanese's head – or did it?

    Would you know who Gina from Noosa was? Well the PM didn't when asked by Today host Karl Stefanovic.

    Of course, he was referring to billionaire Gina Rinehart who will be entitled to claim the $300 power bill relief, receiving the same payment as struggling Aussies.

    Albanese laughed off Karl's question saying he's "not aware" of who Gina is.

    "Let me spell it out for you. Gina is Gina Rinehart. Does she need help with her power bill?" a stern-faced Karl then asked.

    Unsurprisingly, Albanese didn't answer that particular question, but stressed the $3.5 billion package is the "most effective way" to deliver support for all of Australia.

  • $300 power bill payment under fire

    Labor are copping a bit of flak for their $300 power bill relief, with Independent senator Jacqui Lambie saying the country simply doesn't need it.

    “We don’t need $300. I can assure you. That should have been passed forward. I find it bizarre,” Senator Lambie said on Tuesday night.

    “Are we back in Covid days? We’re just chucking money, left, right and centre. (The Albanese government are) too lazy to do some means testing.”

    Australian Council of Social Service chief executive Cassandra Goldie echoed her sentiment, saying the $3.5bn should have been spent elsewhere.

    What do you think?