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Budget 2022 at a glance: The key numbers you need to know

The new government has set the scene for future reforms while trying to alleviate the rising cost of living without spurring inflation.
The new government has set the scene for future reforms while trying to alleviate the rising cost of living without spurring inflation.

Here are some of the key economic figures and forecasts from Labor's first budget in nine years.

The state of the accounts

Tough times ahead: The economy is forecast to grow by 3.25 per cent in 2022/23, before slowing to a growth rate of just 1.5 per cent in 2023/24.

Inflation is here for longer: Annually, it is expected to peak at 7.75 per cent later this year before moderating gradually to 3.5 per cent by June 2024. Damage from floods and high energy prices are being blamed for more persistent inflation.

The deficit: The difference between what the Government brings in and what it spends in a financial year is estimated to be $36.9 billion (1.5 per cent of GDP) in 2022/23. That’s an improvement of $41.1 billion since the March pre-election budget, thanks to high resource prices and a strong income tax base from low unemployment.

The total size of Australia's national gross debt hovers around $895 billion. It is expected to hit $1 trillion.

The net debt figure (which subtracts many of the Government's financial assets — like cash, deposits and loans it is owed) is a little over $570 billion.

Against a backdrop of slowing economic growth, forecasts for the unemployment rate have been revised upwards from July estimates to peak at 4.5 per cent next financial year. The department previously expected the jobless rate to peak at 4.25 per cent.

The tight labour market is starting to push up wages, with the wage price index sitting at 2.6 per cent for the June quarter. The treasury is optimistic wages will rise by 3.75 per cent by next financial year.

Australia’s population is tipped to exceed 27 million in 2025, with an uptick in immigration.

Where is the money being spent?

More than a third of the 2022/23 budget (35.1 per cent) will go to paying for social security and welfare – things like aged care, supporting families with children, people with disabilities, veterans, carers and unemployed people.

More than a sixth of government expenses (16.9 per cent) occur in health, including Medicare Benefits Schedule and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme expenditure.

Education accounts for just over 7 per cent of the national Budget, with the Federal Government providing support for public and private schools, as well as universities and vocational education and training.

A breakdown of where funds are being allocated. Source: Budget papers
A breakdown of where funds are being allocated. Source: Budget papers

Key policy expenditures in Labor’s budget

Child care

  • $4.7 billion is being spent over four years to deliver cheaper child care for 1.26 million families.

Paid parental leave

  • $530 million spent to progressively scale up the generosity of the paid parental scheme, reaching six months' paid leave in 2026.

Aged care

  • A new investment of $3 billion to deliver better aged care, including more registered nurses in aged care homes.

Health

  • $6.1 billion more is being spent on hospitals and Medicare.

Environment

  • $1.8 billion has been allocated for environmental and heritage protection. That includes an extra $204 million to accelerate the defence and restoration of the Great Barrier Reef.

Defence

  • Funding for Defence will increase by 8 per cent in 2022/23 and rise to more than 2 per cent of GDP over the forward estimates - a key sticking point during the election.

Energy

  • Labor will push ahead with a $20 billion ‘Rewiring the Nation’ fund which aims to spur investment in cheaper, cleaner and more secure energy.

Infrastructure

  • The Budget includes more than $120 billion of investment in transport infrastructure over the next 10 years.

Women’s safety

  • $1.7 billion will be spent over six years to support women’s safety.

Disaster preparedness

  • In the face of floods and fires, $200 million a year will be set aside for disaster prevention and resilience initiatives.

Medicines

  • $787 million is allocated over four years to make prescription medicines more affordable.

Manufacturing

  • The Albanese Government is establishing a $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund “to support a future made in Australia”. The money is earmarked for things like clean energy manufacturing, medical manufacturing, new technologies in agriculture and in critical minerals.

Better NBN

  • $2.4 billion is allocated to extend fibre access to 1.5 million more premises and $1.2 billion for the Better Connectivity for Regional and Rural Australia Plan.

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