HomeFinanceBudget of no surprises aims to drive down inflation

Budget of no surprises aims to drive down inflation

Funding boosts for healthcare and aged care, a package to deliver one million affordable homes and cheaper energy were key features of the Albanese government’s first Budget.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers described it as solid and sensible and “right for our times”. The words “spending restraint” were oft repeated.

He emphasised that the Budget repair work was well under way and revealed a big improvement in the Budget bottom line, with the deficit for 2022-23 coming in at $36.9 billion compared to the $78 billion forecast by the Morrison government in March.

Spending on the Age Pension, JobSeeker and other social services were  budgeted to grow by $33 billion over the next four years.

Read: Jim Chalmers Budget speech

Increases to the Age Pension and other support measures for seniors will cost $55.3 billion, up $1.1 billion. Family assistance payments are forecast to be $20.5 billion this financial year, up $4.4 billion, while financial support for carers is tipped to be $10.6 billion, up by $800 million.

JobSeeker payments will be $14.3 billion this financial year, up $1.5 billion on the estimate before the election.

Medicines will be cheaper from 1 January with the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) maximum co-payment for a script to fall from $42.50 to $30.

Aged care received a $3.9 billion package of reforms.

Older Australians receiving care in their homes will have their administration and management fees capped and exit fees will be banned.

Read: Inflation hits retirement income hard

A dedicated Aged Care Complaints Commissioner will ensure complaints are thoroughly dealt with.

A new independent inspector-general of aged care will target systemic issues to improve outcomes for older Australians and there is funding for a pending Fair Work Commission pay rise for 300,000 aged care workers.

Expenditure on the National Disability Insurance Scheme will rise by 12.1 per cent a year.

A scheme to tackle housing affordability was announced. One million new houses will be built over five years from 2024 with funding to come from a historic accord between the federal government, the states and private investors including the superannuation sector.

The Treasurer announced a $20 billion fund for energy transmission to drive investment in renewable energy. This includes $800 million spending on subsidising electric cars, building national electric and hydrogen charging stations and solar battery storage for homes.

The reaction

Council on The Ageing chief executive Ian Yates applauded the government’s focus on reducing inflation as soon as possible, helping to get it from 7.75 per cent this year to 3.5 per cent in 2023/24. This was a welcome relief to older Australians on fixed incomes, he said, and would protect the savings of retirees and people saving for retirement.

“This Budget also builds on the recommendations of the Aged Care Royal Commission, and implements the government’s federal election commitments to further reform aged care… it puts financial flesh on the bones of the government’s election commitments.”

Read: Could the UK super crisis be repeated here?

He said the one-off $4000 credit to the Work Bonus scheme until 30 June 2023 had been welcome, but longer term solutions were needed.

Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) chief economist Jarrod Ball said the Budget sensibly avoided stoking inflation. He said the much-needed funding for aged care and provision for increased wages for aged care workers were critically important.

“Increased funding and higher wages for workers are critical to improve the quality of care with two-thirds of aged care providers already making a loss,” says Mr Ball. “Longer term, we must revisit how aged care is funded, including by providing much more in-home care and considering an expanded role for personal contributions.”

Do you think the Budget was sensible? Does it give you confidence we may be able to avoid a recession? Why not share your thoughts in the comments section below?

Janelle Ward
Janelle Wardhttp://www.yourlifechoices.com.au/author/janellewa
Energetic and skilled editor and writer with expert knowledge of retirement, retirement income, superannuation and retirement planning.


  1. $11B over 4 years is a joke. It means the government is actually going to reduce the pension payment per person if you calculate the forecast increase in the number of people getting the AP.
    Saying we can work a little is another joke. The costs to go to work have increased dramatically and the small amount we can earn for a year means very little once costs are netted out. I was working part time, but the costs of going to work outstrip what I could earn in well-paying jobs and then the take 50c in the dollar off after I exceeded the paltry allowed amount meant I actually paid to go to work. Yes, it helped the community, but it cost me and was unsustainable and delivered nothing to my pocket.
    Lucky some of the family can provide support.
    All smoke and mirrors. And to say workers will do it tough, but someone will pay them higher wages in the future is another joke. How can the government commit someone else’s money to be spent in the future? Very quiet about still letting the tax cuts for the rich flow through!
    For those doing it tough on the aged pension, after already having downsized (without benefits) and having had no protection of the funds that came from downsizing, who are unable to work (or have tried but can’t find work they can do), a 50% hike in electricity, a massive increase in fuel prices, a massive increase in insurance costs, a massive increase in home maintenance costs, and a massive increase on food costs, there is nothing.

  2. This Treasurer – if you can call him that – Is a “Dr” of Union politics.

    He cannot even “spell – ‘BUDGET’ – and to think he has the background to run the economy of Australia – is a total joke!! Just as Chris Bowen is the “energy minister!’ These people have no credibility – as they have NO training, NO experience and NO IDEA!!

    OzJames70 – is dead right! WiIPE the ceiling of earnings for Pensioners, and we (the grey nomads, the older Australians – THE BOOMERS) – will bring the country back to where it was 10 years ago. Under 40’s these days have no idea about “work ethic, customer service, loyalty to their employer, or even turning up on time!” I applied for “grocery team member job” at a small grocery chain in Tasmania, and they demanded you have “12 months experience!” WHAT? – to pack shelves??

    There are thousands of us “over 60’s” who want to work, but are told to “go away” – as you are too old!

    Employers – we have a work ethic that you are screaming for, we WANT TO WORK – but are restricted because of bureaucracy!! AND YOUR ATTITUDES towards older Australians.

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