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Budget 2023 cost-of-living relief: The good, the bad and the ugly

Energy bills and welfare payment increases were major shouts in the federal budget.

😃 The Good: Every cent counts
😔 The Bad: Millions still in poverty
😡 The Ugly: Not all are equal

Treasurer Jim Chalmers handed down the Labor government’s second federal budget last night, touting a major $14.6 billion cost-of-living relief package.

But not everyone is happy about the measures, with some saying they don’t go far enough to help those most in need.

A little money can go a long way

One of the major changes is for Aussies on Centrelink, who will receive a cash boost - even if it is only $40 per fortnight. Those aged 55 or over will be getting an even larger $92.10-per-fortnight increase.


At a time when everything is costing more, even $20 a week can really help those struggling to keep up.

Single parents will also get a helping hand, with the government raising the cut-off age for children to 14.

At the moment, single parents receive about $961 a fortnight, but are shifted to the JobSeeker payment when their child turns eight, receiving about $176 less a fortnight.

The new cut-off age means parents could get an extra $27,456 before moving over to the JobSeeker payment.

“This measure is certainly welcome and will assist the financial security of single parents, 90 per cent of whom are women,’ Financy CEO BiancaHartge-Hazelman said.

“But what’s also needed are further incentives on employers to not just hire single parents but also ensure flexible work arrangements are provided to them, allowing them to meet family juggle demands.”

Budget 2023: A composite image of Australian money and Treasurer Jim Chalmers,
Treasurer Jim Chalmers handed down a cash boost to Aussies on welfare in the federal budget. (Source: Getty / AAP)


Millions still in poverty

Yes, more money is nice, but the payment increases do little to lift Aussies above the poverty line.

“No-one in their right mind would choose to live ON the poverty line, let alone way below it, if they had any other viable choice,” one Twitter user said in response to the JobSeeker increase.

“We acknowledge the government’s intent to ease some of the pressures for people who are doing it tough, and their genuine discussions with the community sector,” Mission Australia CEO Sharon Callister said.

“However, the lack of a serious move to address poverty by making substantial increases to JobSeeker and other income support payments is a sharp and continuing disappointment.”


Not all payments are created equal

More than 5 million Aussie households will get up to $500 in energy bill relief. But there is a major catch - what you get will depend on where you live.

Amounts will vary between states and territories, depending on their electricity prices and systems. This means millions of households in Western Australia, the Northern Territory and the ACT will miss out on claiming the full amount.

Here's a state-by-state breakdown:

  • NSW - $500

  • Vic - $500

  • Qld - $500

  • SA - $500

  • Tas - $500

  • WA - $350

  • NT - $350

  • ACT - $350


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