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More cost-of-living relief could be on the way: ‘If we can afford it’

Rising interest rates and energy costs have put increased pressure on Aussie households.

A composite image of Treasurer Jim Chalmers smiling and Australian cash to represent cost of living relief.
Treasurer Jim Chalmers said more cost-of-living relief could be on the cards in the May Federal Budget. (Source: Getty)

Aussies have been struggling to keep up with the rising cost of living thanks to rising interest rates, energy prices and grocery bills.

But more help could be on the way when the Government delivers its next Federal Budget in May this year.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers said work was already underway for the May Budget but, just as in the October 2022 Budget, Chalmers said the Government was focused on delivering “responsible cost-of-living relief without adding to inflation”.

“We understand and we appreciate that a lot of Australians are doing it tough because of the high inflation and the rising interest rates,” he said.

“The cost of living is really the key pressure on Australians as 2022 turns into 2023. We understand that, we appreciate that, and we're acting where we responsibly can. We will always do what we can to support people dealing with high inflation, provide responsible cost-of-living relief, as we did in October, as we will in May - if we can afford it.”

Cost of living expected to continue rising

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) expects inflation to peak around 8 per cent before declining slowly over the next couple of years to settle around 3 per cent in 2024.

“Inflation in Australia is too high, at 6.9 per cent over the year to October,” RBA governor Philip Lowe said in his December monetary policy decision statement.

“Global factors explain much of this high inflation but strong domestic demand, relative to the ability of the economy to meet that demand, is also playing a role.High inflation damages our economy and makes life more difficult for people.

“The path to achieving the needed decline in inflation and achieving a soft landing for the economy remains a narrow one.”

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