From Centrelink Payments to Energy Bill Relief, Here Are the Highlights From the 2024 Federal Budget

From Centrelink Payments to Energy Bill Relief, Here Are the Highlights From the 2024 Federal Budget

Get ready, Australia, because the 2024-25 Federal Budget is here. Treasurer Jim Chalmers handed down the government’s federal budget last night and, as the rumours suspected, there are some key sectors set to get a boost that will hopefully ease some of our cost of living woes. Here are the key highlights from the new federal budget.

Federal Budget date: When was it released

The federal budget was officially handed down on the evening of Tuesday, May 14. You can find the full thing over on the official website.

2024 Federal Budget key takeaways

federal budget 2024 predictions australia
Julia Nikhinson/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Cost of living assistance

As was predicted by the AFR, energy bill relief was a big focus of the 2024-25 Federal Budget. The budget has allocated $3.5 billion in energy bill relief, which will result in all Australian households saving $300 on their next power bills, as well as one million small businesses. This will automatically be deducted from household power bills from July 1.

Students are getting relief in the previously announced HECS indexation credits. This will see the indexation rate lowered slightly on student debts this year and backdated through last year as well – which will result in a credit being applied of between $670 and $5,835, depending on your debt amount.

The Federal Budget outlines $1.9 billion that is going towards Commonwealth Rent Assistance which will be increased by 10 per cent. This will raise the maximum rent assistance rate from $249.90 to $274.90.

All this, combined with recent announcements regarding government-funded paid parental leave now including superannuation payments, an inquiry into supermarket pricing practices and new payments for teaching, nursing, midwifery and social work students in mandatory prac placements round out the cost of living support coming in the Federal Budget.

Future Made in Australia Federal Budget focus

There’s been a fair bit of attention placed on the Albanese Government’s Future Made in Australia initiative, which centres on investing Australia’s ability to produce products locally – ideally creating more well-paid jobs.

This was outlined further in the final budget, which focused on “making Australia a renewable energy superpower” by allocating $6.7 billion in production incentives for renewable hydrogen products, $1.7 billion to promote net zero innovation, and $1.5 billion to strengthen battery and solar panel supply chains.

Additionally, $88.8 million is going towards 20,000 new construction training places, $466.4 million is going towards Australia’s quantum computing capabilities, and $1.6 billion is being allocated over 5 years to help reform our tertiary education system.

Tax changes in the 2024 Federal Budget

The Budget’s biggest focus when it comes to tax is the new Stage 3 tax cuts. As we shared earlier in the year, from July 1, every taxpayer will get a tax cut. The government says this will average an extra $36 a week in take-home pay.

Housing shortages

The housing shortage has been somewhat addressed in the 2024-25 budget, with the government investing $6.2 billion into new housing. This aims to deliver 40,000 social and affordable homes through the National Housing Accord and the Housing Australia Future Fund. A further $1 billion is being made available to states and territories to deliver new housing and its essential infrastructure.


The federal budget reveals that $2.8 billion is going towards strengthening Medicare and our health system.

The government is introducing a one-year freeze on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) for everyone with a Medicare card – plus a five-year freeze for pensioners and concession card holders – which will help to keep the costs of medicines down.

Funds are also being allocated towards the testing and vaccination against COVID-19, improving aged care, mental health, disability support, and frontline staff at Services Australia.

Other announcements from the Federal Budget

As has been widely reported, it’s been confirmed a new $5,000 emergency support payment will become available to people seeking to escape violent partners.

In addition to the above, Australia’s defence department is getting $50.3 billion over ten years, and a national firearms register is being implemented thanks to $161.3 million in funding. $100 million is also going towards assistance to Ukraine.

It would also be remiss not to mention the budget has forecast a surplus of $9.3 billion in the current year (which has been criticised by some, including the Greens Party, for “hoarding” money when the public needs it the most). However, it’s also worth mentioning this surplus is expected to slip sharply into a deficit of $28.3 billion in the following year as spending ramps up.

Lead Image Credit: Stock

This article has been updated since its original publish date.

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