Winter bill relief on the way for millions of Australians

The federal government has flagged a vital cost-of-living relief measure, as the colder weather kicks in and we fire up heating of all kinds.

It is estimated that up to 5.5 million households and one million small businesses will receive up to $500 to offset their power bills under a $1.5 billion package in tomorrow’s Federal Budget.

The relief will be aimed at pensioners, people on Centrelink payments and small businesses, according to Treasurer Jim Chalmers, in a move designed to “take some of the edge off” cost-of-living pressures.

States to contribute

Dr Chalmers said the subsidy for winter bills will be a central plank in the Budget.

How much you receive may depend on where you live, because the states are kicking in half and separate agreements had to be negotiated with each state.

“So, it’ll be different around the country. We’ve struck eight different deals with different jurisdictions … but we hope and we expect that it will take some of the sting out of these price rises, which are putting pressure on families, households and small businesses,” Dr Chalmers said on Sky News.

The government has also hinted that it might include more age groups in its promise to increase the Jobseeker payment.

It flagged last week that payments would increase for the 55-plus age group only, a decision that was met with public outcry.

Dr Chalmers told The Guardian that the government was considering “broad support for the most vulnerable in the Budget, and it won’t all be limited by age”.

Gas taxes

Dr Chalmers also confirmed a $2.4 billion increase in the Petroleum Resource Rent Tax (PPRT), which taxes profits from the sale of petroleum commodities at a rate of 40 per cent. It is paid by oil and gas companies on their offshore liquified natural gas products.

The PPRT has, however, not raised the revenue expected. The legislation allows companies to claim tax credits for the cost of exploring and developing gas fields, which can be carried forward and deducted against future liabilities.

Dr Chalmers has said that rather than allowing companies to fully deduct their project costs against income, deductions will be capped at 90 per cent. The changes will come into effect on 1 July.

“Australians will get a fairer return on their resources sooner, and what this change means is about $2.4 billion in the forward estimates that the gas companies wouldn’t be paying, the offshore LNG projects wouldn’t be paying, were it not for this change,” the Treasurer told the ABC.

Wipe out credits

“This means more tax sooner from these projects. And it means that it can help fund our cost-of-living package and other priorities in the Budget.”

The PPRT generates about $2 billion a year.

The Greens commissioned an independent costing, which found that with a significant overhaul the tax could net $94.5 billion for the Budget over a decade.

The Greens want to wipe out all the gas industry’s tax credits, with Greens leader Adam Bandt saying “it’s time to make big gas corporations pay their fair share of tax”.

“Greedy gas corporations are taking Australia for a ride, making billions of dollars in profits and sending it offshore tax free,” he said.

Do you think you will qualify for the winter bill payment? Do you need it? Why not share your opinion in the comments section below?

Also read: How to avoid winter bill shock

Jan Fisher
Jan Fisher
Accomplished journalist, feature writer and sub-editor with impressive knowledge of the retirement landscape, including retirement income, issues that affect Australians planning and living in retirement, and answering YLC members' Age Pension and Centrelink questions. She has also developed a passion for travel and lifestyle writing and is fast becoming a supermarket savings 'guru'.


      • Hi Dianne, you are right, the State Government has nothing to do with the Federal Budget and I might add… the Federal Budget has nothing to do with the Federal Government.
        King Charles 111 is officially Head of the Commonwealth now, so the Treasurer within his Government sets down the fiscal policy for the coming year. His proposals cannot be passed into Law because future needs and provsions are unknown. Nor can new Laws be applied retrospectively. Therefore the Winter Fuel payment is a refund on last years bill, money that we have already spent, not money to offset future Demand Notices.
        Its called Creative Accounting not AI!

  1. The clowns that run this country have a chronic serve of Gore/Thunberg Syndrome. Shut Liddell and power prices go down? Try reading Dr John Nicol”s physics-based analysis of the behaviour of CO2 in our atmosphere. CO2 is not the cause of climate change catastrophe promoted by our politicians. Unfortunately none of our politicians or their back-up staff have the intellectual energy/integrity to come to grips with the physical facts…so we destroy an energy industry and industry in general. Meanwhile we export coal so China can operate its growing population of coal -fired power stations. And we use some of the royalties from those coal sales to offset the cost of the over priced electricity supplied in our country.

    • I wonder if the average voter ( including all those social progressives) really understand just where all the revenue comes from which they take as their right to receive without question. Wonder if their attitude would change if they knew it mainly comes from Oil /Gas / Iron Or and Coal taxes and royalties. They should then stand on true principles and refuse to accept the handouts…Ah but that would incur personal financial sacrifice in support of their beliefs …….Not going to happen.

    • Agree 100%. Many who can’t think for themselves get caught up in the rubbish that the Energy and Climate Change Minister, Bowen sprouts. Professor Flannery, an Economist in Sydney said a few years ago that the dams will dry up because of the lack of rain caused by climate change. It rained and rained and rained. An idiotic statement to make. Currently, it hasn’t stopped raining here in Melbourne for over a week. The dams are more than 90% full. These clowns are soothsayers and people get sucked into believing the rubbish they preach. Their cost to implement their ideas is ruining this country. People are un-necessarily been slugged with higher prices for gas and electricity to save the world from climate change.

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