Federal Budget 2024: Biggest winners revealed

Tax cuts, cheaper medicines and extra money for aged care places are just some of the highlights of the 2023-24 Federal Budget for older Australians. What’s in it for you?

Treasurer Jim Chalmers has announced a second consecutive surplus in just his third year in charge of the nation’s finances, and easing cost-of-living pressures was the priority.

All Aussies will receive at least some cost-of-living relief in the form of tax cuts, direct energy bill relief or reduced healthcare costs but the Treasurer was keen to point out the economic measures have been carefully calibrated to ensure that inflation isn’t made worse.

The nation’s coffers are in surplus to the tune of $9.3 billion, the second year in a row it’s been in the black, after high commodity prices drove a $21.9 billion surplus last year.

But he was clear in his speech to parliament that these surpluses were unlikely to continue, at least in the short-term, with deficits predicted for the next four years, due to what he calls “unavoidable spending” on items such as defence and the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

This year’s budget is heavy on items that will benefit older Australians in particular, beginning with the rejigged tax cuts inherited from the previous government.

Tax cuts for every taxpayer

The centrepiece of this year’s budget are undoubtedly the changes to individual income tax rates and thresholds. Originally designed to only deliver tax cuts to middle- and high-income Australians, the redesigned changes will now deliver a cut to all 13.6 million taxpayers.

From 1 July, the lowest 19 per cent tax rate will be reduced to 16 per cent, and the 32.5 per cent rate reduced to 30 per cent.

On top of that, the threshold for the 37 per cent rate will rise from $120,000 to $135,000, while the threshold for the top 45 per cent rate rises from $180,000 to $190,000.

So, if you earn between $45,000 and $135,000 per year (about 8.2 million people), you’ll pay between $804 and $3729 less tax annually after June.

For the 8.2 million taxpayers who earn between $45,000 and $135,000 a year, this means tax relief of between $804 and $3,729 come July. These changes will not impact your 2023-24 tax return.

Energy bill relief for everyone

All Australians will get relief from their energy bills in the form of a $300 rebate. Rising energy bills have been one of the largest cost-of-living pressures faced by Aussies this year and are a key driver of inflation.

The $300 will be delivered via a $75 reduction on your quarterly electricity bills for the next financial year. The government says this measure will cost the budget $3.5 billion.

While the relief is welcome, it is less than the $500 rebate eligible families got last year – but this year’s relief is extended to everyone where last year was only open to concession card holders, pensioners and veterans.

PBS medicine freeze

The price of medicines listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) will be frozen for everyone for at least two years – and longer for older Australians.

The maximum price for any PBS-listed drug will be $31.60, or just $7.70 per for pensioners and concession card holders.

The price will be frozen for everyone for two years, and pensioners and concession card holders for five years. The government estimates the price reduction will cost $310m cost over the next five years.

Increased funding for aged care packages

The government will spend almost $500 million this financial year on supporting another 24,100 home care packages.

State governments will also be given $610 million to assist long-stay older residential patients in leaving hospital and returning to the community.

On top of that, another $190 million will be spent on extending and redesigning the Transition Care Programme, which provides short-term care for up to 12 weeks for older people after a hospital stay.

Rent Assistance increase

Renters will also receive some help, with the Treasurer announcing the maximum rate of Commonwealth Rent Assistance will increase by 10 per cent from September.

This will lift the maximum rate for a single person living alone from $188.20 per fortnight to around $200 per fortnight, and for a single person in a share house from $125.47 to around $138 per fortnight.

Deeming rate freeze extension

Deeming rates for those on government support payment such as the Age Pension have been frozen at their current rates for a further 12 months until the end of June 2025.

Deeming rates are used by the government to calculate an estimated annual return on a person’s assets for the purposes of means testing – whether the asset made that return or not.

The lower deeming rate will remain at 0.25 per cent and the upper rate will remain at 2.25 per cent until 30 June 2025.

Medicare boost

Older Australians will benefit from more than $8.5 billion in extra funding going to Medicare services.

In particular, the government will fund an additional 29 Medicare Urgent Care Clinics (MUCCs), which provide free walk-in medical care to all Australians. The new clinics will be in addition to the 58 clinics already in operation across the country.

MUCCs are designed to provide care for urgent, but not life-threatening, medical episodes that would normally require them to go to a hospital emergency department.

The facilities are designed to help people receive aid for simple ailments, including many that would otherwise have required them to go to an emergency department.

The government has also increased the Medicare levy low-income thresholds for seniors and pensioners to account for inflation and will now be $41,089 for single seniors and $57,198 for couples.

Are you satisfied with what’s in the budget? Is there anything else you would have liked to see covered? Let us know in the comments section below.

Also read: Don’t expect the budget to tackle record fuel prices, economist warns

Brad Lockyer
Brad Lockyerhttps://www.yourlifechoices.com.au/author/bradlockyer/
Brad has deep knowledge of retirement income, including Age Pension and other government entitlements, as well as health, money and lifestyle issues facing older Australians. Keen interests in current affairs, politics, sport and entertainment. Digital media professional with more than 10 years experience in the industry.


  1. “ All Australians will get relief from their energy bills in the form of a $300 rebate.”
    Really, I bet my electricity bill will increase and that I will pay less now than in 12 months time?

    This $300 rebate will merely of set the increase in my electricity prices.

    Being a self funded retiree, what a fool I was to do that, is the only benefit I would get.

    • Only benefit is the $300 power rebate. I don’t rent, and use no medication. We have a new so-called ‘super clinic’, where you can’t even get ear blockage seen to, they refer you to local hospital. I don’t work, so no tax relief.
      Still cannot see any real benefits from this hollow budget.

  2. What a load of unhelpful help! I am an aged pensioner with no savings to fall back on due to bringing up 3 children on my own. Employee super came in too late in my 50 year + of work to amass very much. I have downsized already as I could not afford the mortgage so now I have to pay a site fee. Yes the pension went up in February and in May my site fee went up which has left me with only a $2 per fortnight extra.🤣🤣
    Luckily I am not a sick person only have one script every 6 months but now I may just have to let the health insurance go, an electricity rebate does not help with that, does not help with house/car insurance, does not help with fuel costs nor putting food on the table.
    I do not work, after 50+ years of working full time and a working tax credit of $12000 for working past retirement age, tax cuts give me nothing and even if I did want to go back to work who is going to employ a 76 year old with chronic back issues.
    Politicians need to turn the light on, stop giving to the rich and themselves the benefits, penalize the ones who don’t work because of laziness, have babies as an excuse not to work and get a larger handout and do not penalize the oldies who supported this country for all those years with no child care subsidies, no maternity leave, no work from home, no extra sick leave for IVF and worked under “no work, no pay” conditions.

    • Jennifer, sound exactly the same as me. I scrimp and save to keep my PHI, I’ve experienced the benefits of keeping it and I’ll live on bread and home made soup before I’ll give it up. But you’re right. That power rebate doesn’t really help, I economize and watch my power usage diligently, bill is always less than $300 a quarter.

  3. Yes some welcome relief for most as championed by the author, however how do you deliver a big spending budget designed to lower inflation? Well that’s AlboEconomics for you.
    Have alook at the foward estermates..a sea of Red as far as you can see.
    They have mortgaged us and our offsprings way into the future…

  4. More correctly, the $300 energy payment is available to all households, not all Australians but I’m sure that Gina Rhinehart and the rest of Australia’s billionaires will welcome it, along with their tax cuts.

  5. Nothing to help pensioners or low-income people at all. The high-income tax rate should increase not decrease and stop shipping income OS to avoid paying tax would help the bottom line. All money raised or earned in Australia should stay here.

  6. Let’s be honest. For the average aged Australian on the old age pension, there was no help in the Budget.

    Tax cuts, cheaper medicines and extra money for aged care places may be highlights of the Budget, but they deliver little for most older Australians.

    After two consecutive aged pension reviews where we were told we were not forgotten and our plight would be recognized.
    Well a $14 increase in the last pension indexation and $75 in this budget, we were clearly forgotten and those in charge of the nation’s finances, did nothing to ease our cost-of-living pressures, which they claimed was the priority.

    To state all Aussies will receive at least some cost-of-living relief in the form of tax cuts, is a lie. While the Treasurer was keen to point out the economic measures have been carefully calibrated to ensure that inflation isn’t made worse, he completely ignored the plight of older Australians. Basically the message was you are forgotten and may as well just die and stop taking up valuable housing space!

    Great to crow about the nation’s coffers being in surplus, but sad nothing real could be done to help pensioners.

    To claim this year’s budget is heavy on items that will benefit older Australians is a lie. The rejigged tax cuts do not benefit retirees. It does help wealthy Australians who are still working and maybe some other Australians, although the benefits may be offset for many by rising prices and interest rates.

    Tax cuts for taxpayers is a vote catcher. Clearly the government knows it has lost the seniors vote and has abandoned us. Middle- and lower-income Australians, should look at the reality. The redesigned tax cuts might deliver tax cuts to 13.6 million taxpayers, but the cost of this will be higher mortgage rates and a higher cost of living. It will be a short-lived win and felt by all!

    The 8.2 million people, who might pay between $804 and $3729 less tax annually next year, will see their mortgage interest rates and other costs escalate much more than the modest gains, but their votes will have been bought.

    The energy bill relief for everyone is a furphy. Many like me, have seen their imbedded energy rates increase $1,000 in the last 12-months, but will now get $75 a quarter relief from their energy bill. How long till the energy providers hike rates again to compensate? Energy has been one of the largest cost-of-living pressures faced by all Aussies, but especially pensioners, but this measure is too little, too late. And there are no controls to stop the energy providers clawing it back. And it doesn’t start till the next financial year, and for people with multiple properties, will be paid for each property.

    The $500 rebate eligible families got last year was more realistic, but clearly didn’t buy enough votes. Last year’s rebate was aimed at concession card holders, pensioners and veterans.

    The PBS medicine freeze is another joke. Our PBS scripts went up from $3.50 to $7.70 last year, so freezing them for at least two years is a con. Claiming it will be for longer for older Australians is a promise that will be forgotten in the next term of parliament and is making a promise to older Australians that many might not survive to see!

    Claiming there will be a maximum price for any PBS-listed drug ignores many are having to go to non-PBS products because the PBS equivalents are unavailable. At a mere $310M price reduction over the next five years, it is a pittance to the government.

    The government needed to increase funding for aged care. As fewer older Australians are able to maintain their homes, there will be more demand. While this will help with the housing shortage, it will mean the increased funding will not put a dent in the availability of home care or other residential care as demands will increase. The money given to State governments will not improve the situation for older residential patients in leaving hospital and returning to the community.

    There are no resources for any of these programs and the assessment and approval times exceed the transition times for older people, even if they can get treatment in a hospital.

    The $12 rental assistance increase is a joke. Who is the Treasurer trying to con in stating the Commonwealth Rent Assistance increase will help when rents are going up well in excess of this amount.

    The higher increase ($13) for shared homes shows the government’s focus is to get older Australians to leave their homes. The cynic in me feels they are trying to marginalize older Australians to solve the housing crisis.

    The deeming rate freeze extension is another one of those sleight of hand measures. Most older Australians have been living off their savings, so for many there is little left to earn returns and they have never been anywhere near the level Centrelink claims you can earn. I once asked where can I earn the deeming rate and was told “it is not a real rate, just one we use to reduce the amount we pay you”. I think this was an honest Centrelink worker.

    The government can freeze the current rates until hell freezes over. It will make little difference to most aged pensioners.

    The Medicare boost doesn’t help older Australians. The 8.5 billion in extra funding going to Medicare services, just means more voters will have access, which will make it harder for pensioners without PHI to get medical care.

    The increase in the Medicare levy low-income thresholds for seniors and pensioners may have changed, but access for services still involves ridiculous wait times and specialists are still beyond the reach of most seniors. Clearly the governments wants us gone. Hopefully most can hang in and vote at the upcoming elections.

    Interesting that the Medicare Levy was adjusted to account for inflation, but the aged pension wasn’t and won’t be!

    I for one am not satisfied with the budget. Nothing was done to address the widening gap between singles and couples pensions, which relies on some fictional savings as a couple.

    In the past three years, we pensioners have seen dramatic increases in the cost of living, especially food, electricity, gas, internet, telephone, healthcare, insurance, transport, travel, Council and other Government fees and home maintenance costs. While other Australians were given support in the Budget, older Australians were given platitudes, lies and no help whatsoever. Well done to our heartless leaders!

    Government charges have all increased, including passports and almost every other government charge. Even the Council Rate rebate, which was introduced in 1993 is still a flat $250, which ignores the fact that Council rates have increased. The value of $250 in 1993 is nothing in 2024, but again government ignores the changes in the cost of living to the people this rebate was introduced to help. This concession should have been indexed in line with CPI and has a lot of catchup to retain the value it provided in 1993.

    Either the pension rate should have been addressed or there should have been a one-off payment.

    • What a doomsayer! I suspect that you’re one of those people employed by political parties to go onto public forums and post what are essentially party political rants against the government of the day under whatever guise is necessary. I’m a single pensioner and although I cannot afford a trip to Europe every year I manage my income sensibly, make good use of discounts and privileges available to concession card/Seniors Card holders and live quite well within my means.

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