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Centrelink boost, tax fines, cheap child care: The changes coming in 2023

Aussies on Centrelink will see higher payments and those who miss the tax deadline will get hit with larger fines from the ATO. Here's what you need to know.

A composite image of a Centrelink logo on a sign, Australian money and parents walking their their child.
More paid parental leave and a boost to Centrelink payments are on the cards for 2023. (Source: Getty)

The new year is upon us and, along with a fresh start, Aussies will also see a raft of new legislation come into effect, especially for those on Centrelink and for new parents.

Some of the changes will come into effect right away on January 1, while others will be introduced during the year.

Here’s a rundown of some of the more notable changes happening in 2023.

Centrelink boost

From January 1, 2023, around 1 million Aussies on Centrelink will see their payments rise by roughly $20 a week.

Young people, carers and students will receive a 6 per cent increase on the first day of the year when the most recent indexation kicks in.

Youth allowance will increase by between $19.10 and $41.40 a fortnight, while people on Austudy will receive between $32.40 and $41.40 more each fortnight.

People on the disability support pension aged under 21 and without children will receive between $27.40 and $40.70 a fortnight.

Cheaper child care

Cheaper child care was a central part of the Albanese Government’s first Federal Budget, promising $4.7 billion of investment over four years from 2022/23.

From July 2023, childcare subsidy rates will increase up to 90 per cent for eligible families earning less than $530,000. Currently, the subsidy stops once a family reaches the $356,756 income mark.

Families will continue to receive existing higher subsidy rates of up to 95 per cent for additional children in care aged 5 and under.

Increased tax fines

Aussies will soon be hit with higher fines, with the Federal Government hiking costs by $53.

From January 1, 2023, the Government will increase the cost of a commonwealth penalty unit from $222 to $275.

Penalty units are used for fines that are payable for breaches of commonwealth law, including for communication, financial, tax and fraud offences.

Increased paid parental leave

New parents will be able to access six months of paid parental leave over the next four years, with paid leave reaching 20 weeks in 2023.

Currently, parents are eligible for 18 weeks of paid parental leave for the primary care giver and two weeks of leave for the secondary carer, both paid at the national minimum wage of about $812 a week.

Eligibility for the scheme will be expanded to include families earning up to $350,000 from July 1, 2023. Currently, there is an individual income test of $156,647.

New rules for homeowners

Aussies looking to downsize their property in the new year may be able to benefit from new asset and income tests.

Services Australia said if Aussies sold their principal home, sale proceeds that they intended to use for their new principal home wouldn’t be included in their asset test.

This means if you sell your home for $1 million, but are buying a new one for $700,000, only $300,000 will be included in your asset test. The same rule applies if you use the funds to buy, build, rebuild, repair or renovate your new principal home.

New monarch on our money

OK, so it’s not a legislation change but it is a change that will affect everyone’s money.

From January 1, 2023 all newly minted coins in Australia will feature King Charles III after the death of Queen Elizabeth II back in September.

The Royal Australian Mint will engage with its British counterpart to obtain an appropriate effigy that will then be confirmed with Buckingham Palace. The new effigy will be tested and then put into production.

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