2023 Federal Budget – Social security measures announced

The Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers handed down the 2023 Federal Budget on 9 May 2023, as part of the budget, the following social security measures have been announced.

Child care subsidy

From 1 July 2023 changes to the childcare subsidy will come into effect, families with a combined household income below $530,000 could see a lift in their subsidy of up to 20%.

For families earning less than $80,000, the subsidy for their first child will climb to 90 per cent, those on more than $80,000, their subsidy will progressively fall based on their income. This will go down by 1% for each $5,000 of family income.

Electricity bills rebate

Veterans, pensioners, concession card holders and people on government support payments will be eligible for relief of up to $500 in energy bills.

Up to $650 will also be paid to small businesses, as the government seeks to neutralise price rises for this year and 2024. Residents of Western Australia, the Northern Territory and the ACT will receive up to $350 in rebates and up to $500 for the other states to support with higher price rises.

Jobseeker recipients

The Jobseeker rate will permanently increase for all recipients from 20 September 2023, the effect of this will be as follows:

Older Australians – Australians aged 55 and over will benefit from the extension of the eligibility of a higher rate in the Jobseeker payment. People who have been on the welfare payment for nine or more continuous months will receive an extra $90 per fortnight. This was previously only made eligible to those aged 60 and over.

Young Australians – Young people on income support payments will also receive a much-needed boost, as Austudy and Youth Allowance are both set to be lifted by $40 a fortnight.

Single parents

Previously, single parents were required to apply for Jobseeker once their youngest dependent child reached 8 years of age, this age limit has now been lifted to 14 years.

The change means eligible parents will receive an additional $176.90 a fortnight if they are on the base rate, amounting to $922.10 per fortnight in total.This benefit is set to specially support women, as majority single parents in Australia are currently women.

Low-income renters

Recipients of commonwealth rent assistance (CRA) will receive more financial support. The maximum rate of the CRA payment will increase by 15%.

For a single CRA recipient with no dependents who does not share their rental home with anyone else, and who is receiving the maximum amount of assistance, their payment will increase from $157.20 a fortnight to $180.80.

Please note, all the above social security measures are pending parliamentary approval before they come into effect.

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