As you may be aware, the government is set to release the Federal Budget on May 9, 2023, at approximately 7:30 pm, to be precise. While we don’t know exactly what will be included in that announcement just yet, there have been rumours about the potential winners. In the weeks leading to budget day, we’ve been updating you on the rumblings regarding funding announcements on everything from welfare or Centrelink payments to potential investments in the arts.
Here’s what we know so far.
May 2023 Federal Budget rumours: What is expected?
For the moment, we’re light on details. But we have been able to stumble across a few hints at what may be coming in the Federal Budget.
Centrelink support changes
Per Yahoo Finance, Finance Minister Katy Gallagher has said that the budget is intended to “support the most vulnerable Australians”, and the belief broadly is that this will translate to increased Centrelink payment rates for single parents.
As of March 2023, when Centrelink welfare payments were last updated, fortnightly payments for single parents sit at a maximum of $949.30, including the Parenting Payment and a pension supplement of $27.20.
Since 2012 (when the Gillard government changed the cut-off age), this payment has only been valid for single parents with children under eight years old. After this point, parents needed to shift across to JobSeeker payments. Prime Minister Albanese has confirmed ahead of budget day, however, that lifting the age cut-off to 14 will be included in the budget.
Should this pass in parliament, the ABC reports, changes will take place as of September 20, 2023.
Additionally, the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) has called on the government to raise the JobSeeker payment rate “to at least $76 a day”. It also stressed that investment in social housing and improvements to the energy efficiency of low-income homes was a must.
ACOSS CEO Cassandra Goldie said, “With more than three million people in poverty in Australia, this Budget must deliver cost of living relief for those who need it most and help shape a more inclusive society.
“This means making the right choices about who needs more government support and who needs less.”
The latest in this space is that Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers has spoken about the disadvantages seen by unemployed people over 55. As the ABC has reported, Chalmers did not confirm that JobSeeker payments will be increased for this group, but there is speculation that it may be bumped.
“The group that is most likely to be long-term unemployed are people over 55, [and] that group is dominated by women,” the Federal Treasurer said.
Galleries and museums may get a little love
Turning to the ABC again here, reports share that Anthony Albanese has said these cultural institutions have been “starved of funds”, driving some to wonder if galleries and museums are set for a cash boost in May’s Federal Budget.
Nothing has been confirmed as yet, of course, but when speaking on the topic recently, Prime Minister Albanese said, “These are national assets that are a very important part about (sic) our fabric.”
“And so, that is something that the government will give consideration to in the lead-up to the May Budget,” the ABC quoted.
Energy relief is expected
Another cost-of-living related announcement expected in the 2023 Federal Budget is power price relief for households. The Australian Financial Review has reported that there’s an expected saving of up to $3 billion in power bills coming in this budget. This, the outlet reports, is believed to be paired with a package to subsidise low-income households to move away from gas usage.
Of course, these are just rumours for now, and we’ll have to wait a while longer to see what actually comes out of this federal budget. But here’s hoping it eases the pressure on struggling Aussies somewhat.
You’ll be able to catch Treasurer Jim Chalmers deliver his speech via the ABC at 7:30 pm AEST.
This article has been updated since its original publish date.
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