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Budget 2022: No ‘counterproductive’ one-time cash payments

·Personal Finance Editor
·3-min read
Budget: A composite image of Treasurer Jim Chalmers and Australian money.
Treasurer Jim Chalmers is preparing to hand down the Albanese Government's first federal budget. (Source: Getty)

The Albanese Government is preparing to pass down its first Federal Budget in October, at a time when many Aussies are struggling with the rising cost of living.

Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers has remained adamant the Budget will focus on easing cost of living but Aussies should not expect any one-time cash payments.

Chalmers warned Aussies to brace for tougher times ahead and said the Government was balancing relief against rising inflation and rates.

"The last thing we want to do is to provide that cost-of-living relief in a way that's counterproductive and just costs people more in the end," he told ABC radio.

"You're right to assume that our priority is the cost-of-living relief that we've already announced.

"It's difficult enough, frankly, to make room in a budget with $1 trillion of debt for those commitments."

How Labor plans to relieve cost of living

So, how is the Government planning to provide cost-of-living relief without handing out cash payments?

Chalmers said the focus would be on providing measures that reduced the cost of things like child care, but also provided economic benefits.

“Child care eases people's cost-of-living pressures but also delivers big economic dividends when more parents - and especially more mums - can return to work if they want to,” Chalmers said.

The Government also plans to reduce the cost of education, through free TAFE courses, which will ease the burden on students while also filling essential roles businesses are struggling to fill.

“Making it cheaper to go to TAFE, obviously has cost-of-living implications but it’s also good for the economy,” Chalmers said.

“Cutting medicine costs - as we intend to do - all of these things are important ways to ease people's cost of living without adding to the inflationary pressures because it delivers an economic dividend.”

The Treasurer said he was taking full responsibility - under the constraints of a massive amount of government debt - to help reduce the rising cost of living.

“My job is to get the system right and also to focus on the things that the Government can have an influence on,” Chalmers said.

“So, in my case, in the Budget and at the Jobs and Skills Summit last week, it is all about dealing with the constraints in our economy which are pushing up inflation, whether it is labour and skills shortages, lack of training, whether it is issues in energy.

“All of these other key investments that we want to make in the Budget are about lifting the speed limit on the economy without adding to the inflationary pressures.

“That is my job, I take responsibility for that.”

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