Treasurer Jim Chalmers shared a special family moment with his wife and children after delivering Labor’s first Budget in almost a decade.

His proud wife Laura watched her husband’s speech in Parliament alongside her children Annabel, five, and Leo, seven.

They were seated next to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s girlfriend Jodie Haydon in the public gallery of the House of Representatives. 

Dr Chalmers rushed to their side after he revealed details of the government spending and celebrated with a hug for Annabel and a kiss with his wife.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers shared a special moment with his family after delivering the 2022/23 federal budget on Tuesday night

Laura Chalmers was seated next to her children Annabel and Leo as well as Anthony Albanese’s girlfriend, Jodie Haydon, as the Treasurer gave his speech 

Australia’s two leading ladies had cheered Dr Chalmers on along with the rest of government benches after the Treasurer concluded his Budget day speech.

He received a boisterous round of applause as he walked towards his family, where he picked up his daughter and embraced her lovingly.

Ms Chalmers joined in on the heartwarming moment and leaned over to kiss her husband in a touching family moment amid the intense politics of the spending plans.

Dr Chalmers delivered Labor’s first Budget since former Treasurer Wayne Swan presented the Gillard government’s last one in 2013. 

Dr Chalmers received a boisterous round of applause from members of the Albanese government after he concluded his speech

He proceeded to walk over and greet his family in the House of Representatives as the cheers continued 

The Treasurer was pictured embracing his little girl Annabel, 5

Parents of young children, TAFE and university students, and anyone needing medication are the big winners of Anthony Albanese’s first Budget. 

But Australians struggling to pay rent, put food on the table, and power their cars and homes are crying out for help with a crisis that hits them every time they buy groceries or switch on their heater.

Power bills are forecast to surge by 56 per cent in just two years with a predicted average increase of 20 per cent nationally in late 2022, and a further 30 per cent in 2023/24.

But with the world economy reeling from war and plague and Australia’s debt at $927 billion, the Treasurer refused to put a single dollar of direct relief in tonight’s Budget.

Dr Chalmers said too much government spending to address cost of living pressures would only make inflation worse.

‘We can’t spray money around indiscriminately because that would have an impact on inflation and could be counterproductive and I think Australians understand that,’ he said.

Instead, Labor spent $7.5billion to cut the price of childcare, medicine, education, and other costs millions of Australians have to bear, and he announced plans to invest in affordable housing.

Although there were no new cash boosts revealed for your next tax return, there are still ways most Australians will benefit from the $650.9billion 2022/23 Budget.

With the world economy reeling from war and plague and Australia’s debt at $927 billion, Treasurer Jim Chalmers refused to put a single dollar of direct relief in tonight’s Budget.

Labor’s first budget does not feature cash handouts. Above, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Treasurer Jim Chalmers and Finance Minister Katy Gallagher on Budget day

Huge boost if you are a parent…

A flagship policy of the Albanese Government is forcing down the exorbitant cost of childcare that is hampering household budgets and reducing female workforce participation.

The Budget includes $4.7billion to increase the subsidy for families earning less than $530,000 from July 2023.

Families on less than $80,000 a year get the full 90 per cent subsidy, up from 85 per cent, falling one per cent for each $5,000 over that until it reaches zero.

Labor’s $7.5 billion five-point plan to tackle cost of living 

1. Cheaper child care;

2. Expanding Paid Parental Leave;

3. Cheaper medicines;

4. More affordable housing;

5. Getting wages moving again.

This would save a family earning $120,000 a year $1,780 of their current $4,700 out of pocket childcare costs.

The government claims this will slash costs for 96 per cent of families and increase hours worked by women with young children by 1.4 million a week in FY2023-24.

A Productivity Commission review will also consider if the $530,000 cap should be removed entirely so all families can benefit.

Anyone who knows a new parent has heard how they can’t go back to work because the cost of childcare would render their wage useless, and even leave them earning too much to qualify for subsidies.

Long day care costs typically range from $70 to $188 a day, which means a parent working part-time, most often the mother, sometimes spends every dollar they earn on child minding. 

‘The significant cost of early childhood education and care can prevent parents, particularly women, from working as much as they want,’ the Budget paper states.

The ACCC will conduct a year-long inquiry into why childcare became so expensive, and what could be done to reduce it.

The Budget pairs the cheaper childcare policy with an increase in paid parental leave that brings Australia in line with the more generous countries in the world.

From July 1, 2024, the scheme will be expanded with two additional weeks a year until it reaches its full 26 weeks, or six months, in July 2026.

Young mother Tahnee-Lee Goldman is desperate to return to work two years after her son Leo was born but can’t afford the massive cost of childcare that would wipe out her salary

Parents can share the leave as they like, with reserved ‘use it or lose it’ weeks for each parent to encourage fathers to take more time off and be more involved with the early development of their child.

The increase to the program will cost $531.6 million over the next four years.

Starting from July next year, parents will be assessed on a dual income basis, with $350,000 the combined cut off and 180,000 families expected to benefit.

Parents hoping to access Commonwealth paid parental leave were previously assessed on their individual incomes.

Parents will be able to take their leave at the same time and the rules will be tweaked to make it easier for those whose partners’ don’t meet residency requirements to access the scheme.

Other family-focused budget items include $12.4 million over four years from 2022–23 to support community playgroups and toy libraries to expand their services.

Big changes if you are a worker…

Australian workplaces will be changed forever under new plans unveiled in the Budget to boost wages and make it harder for workers to be sacked.

Federal Budget papers have revealed Anthony Albanese’s Labor government wants to introduce 1980s-style ‘multi-employer bargaining’ – where pay rises from one employer flow through to other workplaces in the same industry.

‘Workplace bargaining will be reinvigorated through targeted and balanced changes to the workplace relations system,’ the Budget documents said.

‘This will support more businesses to reach agreements with their employees that improve pay outcomes, especially for those in low-paid occupations.’

The new system would revive the industry-wide bargaining system that had existed until 1983 and shows Labor embracing a concept which had been pushed by the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU).

Australians will see their workplaces change forever under new plans unveiled in the Budget to boost wages and make it harder for workers to be sacked (pictured are Sydney construction workers)

Treasury said the new system could be used to resolve industrial disputes and hinted at a bigger role for trade unions, with wages growth expected to lag behind inflation until 2024.

‘The government will also provide additional support to help employers and employees reach agreements and resolve disputes, with improved access to arbitration for intractable disputes,’ it said.

‘This will be complemented by enhanced access to multi-employer bargaining.

‘Unions and employer representatives will also be supported to work together and with the government to improve safety, fairness and productivity in the workplace.’

Workers will also have easier access to recover unpaid wages more easily through a small claims process.

Women and minorities are also set to benefit from enhanced anti-discrimination protection.

Labor trumpeted the idea of reviving industrial relations practices from the early 1980s to boost wages growth and make it harder for workers to get the sack

With wages lagging well behind inflation, the government had supported the minimum wage on July 1 rising by 5.2 per cent, which was in line with inflation earlier this year.

Treasury said the government was likely to support bigger award wage increases so the lowest paid could better cope with high inflation.

‘Supporting wage increases for our lowest paid workers and getting wages moving again,’ it said.

Pay levels are expected to significantly lag behind inflation in 2022-23 despite labour shortages and unemployment being at a near 48-year low of 3.5 per cent.

Treasury is expecting inflation to hit a 32-year high of 7.75 per cent by the end of 2022.

Inflation is forecast to moderate to 5.75 per cent in 2022-23 but this would still be well above the predicted wage price index of 3.75 per cent.

This would make workers would continue to suffer real wage cuts despite pay levels growing at the fastest pace since 2012.

In another nod to unions, the government has abolished the Australian Building and Construction Commission, a body a previous Coalition government created.

This is expected to save $130.9million from 2022-23 to 2025-26.

Cheaper medicine if you’re sick…

Australians who need to regularly buy medications through the pharmaceutical benefits scheme will save hundreds that they spend to offset the rising cost of living.

Parents Demika Snape, 26, and Jonathan Cucca, 26, of Ripley, Queensland, with baby Eliana. Demika will win from the parent-friendly policies in the budget

‘Some Australians are having to choose between filling prescriptions for potentially life‑saving medicines and providing other essentials for their families,’ the Budget papers stated.

From the beginning of next year, the co-payment – the maximum cost of each Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme prescription  – will drop from $42.50 to $30, with the government picking up the difference.

The Budget estimates this will save about 3.6 million Australians a combined $190million-plus a year, and cost the Budget $770 million over four years.

Dozens more prescriptions will also be added to the scheme at a cost to the Budget of $1.4 billion, saving patients who need them thousands of dollars.

Public hospitals also get a $235 million boost over the next four years to open urgent care clinics aimed at reducing massive emergency department wait times.

The clinics will provide urgent but not life-threatening care, freeing up emergency wards for serious patients who could die in an overstretched hospital.

They will be open during extended business hours with no appointments required, and will ensure that patients do not have out-of-pocket costs.

GPs will be able to access $229.7 million in grants to help upgrade their IT systems to hold more telehealth consultations, and upgrade infection prevention and control arrangements. 

The program is expected to cost $198 million in 2022-23, which means it’s likely to be a short-term grants project.

Public hospitals got a $235 million boost over the next four years to open urgent care clinics aimed at reducing massive emergency department wait times

The grants are part of $750 million set aside to strengthen Medicare, with the rest to be divvied up based on the recommendations of a dedicated taskforce.

Another $452 million over six years from will be spent on creating two world class cancer centres in Brisbane and Adelaide.

Diabetes sufferers will get $327.7 million over four years from (and $94.6 million per year ongoing) to to provide subsidised glucose monitoring devices to type 1 diabetes patients.

Eligibility for a program that provides insulin pumps to financially disadvantaged families with children with type 1 diabetes will be increased from 18 to 21 years.

There is also $33.6 million in medical research grants for 41 projects to help Australians suffering heart disease and stroke and $5.4 million for three brain cancer research projects.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme costs will blow out by $8.8 billion to $166.6 billion over the next four years, including another $158.2 million for another 380 staff.

More nurses if you’re elderly in aged care… 

Even before Covid tore through nursing homes in 2020, Australia’s aged care sector was exposed as utterly broken and in need of serious overhaul.

As such, Labor went to the election with a $2.5 billion four-year plan to fix aged care – one of its flagship policies based on the findings of the royal commission.

The Budget will fund subsidies so every aged care facility has a registered nurse on duty 24 hours a day, every day.

Labor promised during the election campaign to fund more carers so the elderly had 215 minutes of care every day, as recommended by the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety’s final report in February 2021.

Winners and losers in Federal Budget 2022

WINNERS

Mothers – childcare package

Migrants – big boost in intake

Students – extra TAFE and university places

Downsizers – incentives to free up housing stock

LOSERS

Motorists – lost the cut in fuel excise

Contractors to the government – slashed in budget cuts

Multinational corporations seeking to dodge tax – extra resources for tax office

Fine defaulters – increased penalties

Foreign investors – extra fees and penalties

The budget also will fund a package ensuring better pay for aged care workers, and new nutritional standards governing food quality in aged care homes.

Smaller amounts will be spent on other aspects of aged care including $23.2 million over four years to improve aged care infrastructure and services that provide additional support to older First Nations peoples.

Another $9.9 million over two years will establish and Aged Care Complaints Commissioner within the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission from December, and $8.2 million to increase financial transparency through the introduction of new financial reporting requirements for residential aged care providers.

More vaccines to protect you from Covid… 

Though almost all Covid restrictions are lifted and the pandemic is mostly in the rearview mirror, it is still costing Australians a huge amount.

Extended hospital and emergency response costs total $808.2 million this year, mostly in subsidies to the states to handle vaccine delivery, testing, and treatment.

Another $162.4 million will cover Medicare-related expenses such as rebates for PCR tests, and $234.9 million to buy 261 million units of PPE, $174.8 million for 31 more rapid antigen tests, and $600,000 to test the effectiveness of RATs.

The budget has well over $1 billion spent on Covid, including $234.9 million to buy 261 million units of PPE

Buying Covid vaccines, mostly for fourth doses, will cost $355.8 million, plus another $500 million put aside for future jab stockpiling.

Aged care Covid costs will total another $845.4 million, mostly to pay out claims by nursing homes for additional costs they incurred during the pandemic.

Monkeypox is also on the government’s radar with $73.9 million to be spent buying smallpox vaccines and treatments that counter the disease.

No immediate relief if you’re a homebuyer…

After a massive housing boom across Australia over the past decade, millions of people face the prospect of never owning their own home.

The Budget is relatively restrained in this area and provides little direct assistance such as first homebuyer grants, instead focusing on increasing affordable housing.

The government wants a million new homes built over the next five years as Australia’s population grows.

For its part, a $10billion to a Housing Australia Future Fund will be set up, interest from which will be used to deliver 30,000 social and affordable homes over the next five years.

The government pledged $10 billion to a Housing Australia Future Fund, interest from which will be used to deliver 30,000 social and affordable homes over the next five years

A ‘housing accord’ between federal, state, and local governments is claimed to be on track to build another 20,000 affordable homes over the next five years.

The federal government will chip in $350 million to build half the homes with the states stumping up the rest.

A more limited assistance scheme will help 10,000 first homebuyers in regional areas by guaranteeing up to 15 per cent of the purchase price.

Veterans will get another $46.2million added to a scheme that subsidises their mortgage payments.

What was cut? 

  • $4.7 billion over four years in reprioritising infrastructure spending
  • $3.57 billion savings from reducing external labour hire, advertising, legal and travel expenses
  • $1.4 billion regional program cuts
  • $4.6 billion over 12 years saved in not going ahead with Hells Gate Dam, deferring the Dungowan and Emu Swamp projects, the Hughenden irrigation scheme and Wyangala Dam wall raising projects, and returning national water grid funding
  • $746.9 million over four years from scrapping and reprioritising coalition energy and climate programs
  • $555 million over four years by not going ahead with self-assessment of effective life of intangible depreciating assets
  • $506.4 million over four years in coalition industry and manufacturing programs

Incentives to downsize if you’re an empty nester… 

Another housing measure aims to convince older Australians to downsize their homes to make way for younger families trying to enter the market.

Homeowners 55 and over can get a tax break on a one-off post-tax contribution to their superannuation of up to $300,000 after selling their home.

The Budget also extends the asset test exemption for pensioners to downsize their homes without losing any of their payments. This will cost $73.2 million over four years, and then $400,000 a year after that.

Age and veteran pensioners will also get a one-off $4,000 tax credit to increase how much they can earn, from $7,800 to $11,800 without having their payments cut so they can work longer hours if they choose to go back to work.

Free tuition if you’re a student…

 Labor campaigned on the skills shortage with unemployment now at a near 48-year low of 3.5 per cent and employers struggling to find staff.

Vocational education was a big part of that with the government promising 480,000 fee-free TAFE places and 45,000 new TAFE places over the next four years, beginning with 180,000 in 2023.

The fee-free TAFE policy will cost $112million in 2022-23 and $871.7million over the next five years.

At least 15,000 of the 2023 places will be in aged care to relieve pressure on the chronically understaffed sector.

To ensure they get work after graduating, at least a tenth of all workers on Commonwealth-funded projects must be an apprentice, cadet, or trainee.

Another $50million will upgrade TAFE facilities to modernise IT systems, workshops, laboratories, and telehealth simulators. 

A further $95.6million over nine years will be spent on 10,000 ‘new energy apprenticeships’ to work on renewable energy projects.

University student Ashleigh Satterthwaite, 20, said said it was a good thing $485.5 million would be spent funding another 20,000 university places so more people have the opportunity to go to university if they want to

Eligible apprentices will be able to claim a payment of up to $10,000 over the duration of the apprenticeship, comprising $2,000 on commencement, $2,000 per year for up to three years, and $2,000 on completion.

Universities will also get a boost with an extra 20,000 government-funded places at a cost of $485.5 million.

However, the new students must be indigenous or have a disability or from low socio-economic backgrounds, rural and remote areas, or be the first in the family to go to university.

Labor campaigned on the skills shortage with unemployment now at a near 48-year low of 3.5 per cent and employers struggling to find staff. Vocational education was a big part of that with the government promising 465,000 fee free TAFE places and 45,000 new TAFE places

For schoolkids, the government will spend $201.5 million in 2022-23 funding school counsellors and psychologists, along with camps and excursions.

Schools will also get $270.8 million to improve their ventilation and air quality, a concern that came to the fore during the Covid pandemic.

Top teachers will be eligible for bonuses of up to $40,000 each to retain them at public schools.

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Easier visas if you’re a migrant… 

Immigration will be increased to 195,000 places a year, up from 160,000, after closed borders during Covid starved businesses of skilled staff.

To address the resulting surge in demand and clear a backlog that is frustrating employers, $42.2 million will be spent to accelerate processing. 

A new Pacific Engagement Visa, allowing up to 3,000 Pacific Island and East Timorese nationals to permanently migrate to Australia will be part of the $900 million aid package over four years. 

However, students who had their hated 20 hours a week cap on working removed during the pandemic will have it reinstated from June 30 next year.

Australia has been blasted by wild weather in the past year and a new series of storms have flooded parts of the east coast in recent weeks. Pictured is Moree, NSW, on the day of the Budget

Billions more if you’re hit by floods… 

Australia has been blasted by wild weather in the past year and a new series of storms have flooded parts of the east coast in recent weeks.

A staggering $3 billion from the Budget will be needed to help those communities hard hit this year get back on their feet.

To be better prepared for future expensive cleanups, Disaster Relief Australia will get another $38.3 million to support another 5,000 volunteers, 

Then $200 million a year will go to the Disaster Ready Fund to pay for flood levees, sea walls, cyclone shelters, evacuation centres, and fire breaks.

Australians living in disaster zones face massive hikes to their insurance premiums, so $22.6 million will be spent to subsidise them.

Cash splash for Indigenous Voice to Parliament… 

The Budget finally reveals what Anthony Albanese’s referendum to enshrine the Indigenous Voice to Parliament in the constitution will cost: $75.1 million.

However, that may not be the total figure as the poll is expected to take place in FY2023-24 and the allocation for this year is to ‘prepare for the delivery’ of the referendum.

Some Aboriginal activists like Greens Senator Lidia Thorpe are against the Voice referendum because they believe a treaty and truth telling about Australia’s past treatment of indigenous people is more important.

The Budget includes $5.8 million to ‘fund the first step in delivering the government’s $27.7 million election commitment to establish an independent Makarrata Commission’ on truth-telling, but no mention of a treaty.

Some Aboriginal activists like Greens Senator Lidia Thorpe are against the Voice referendum, which got $75.1 million in the Budget 

Almost $300million to probe corruption claims

After the Morrison Government promised to, but never actually did, establish a federal anti-corruption body, the Budget allocated $262.6 million over four years to get it done.

The National Anti-Corruption Commission will investigate serious and systemic corruption at a federal level that state versions like NSW’s ICAC and Western Australia’s CCC don’t have jurisdiction.

A royal commission into the ‘Robodebt’ scheme, where an automated system contacted thousands of Australians to, often wrongly, demand huge Centrelink backpayments will cost $30 million this financial year.

Gender equality plan if you’re a woman… 

In addition to increased paid parental leave and cheaper childcare, the Budget had a big package of measures aimed at women.

A record $1.7billion will be spent over six years to end violence against women and children.

The funding will go towards programs included in a national domestic and family violence prevention strategy, with the Commonwealth also developing a framework to make Australia a global leader in gender equity.

An extra 500 frontline service and community workers will support women experiencing domestic and sexual violence, in an effort to clear a backlog of cases and relieve pressure on strained services.

Minister for Women Katy Gallagher (pictured with Mr Chalmers) said increased equality was key to reducing gender-based violence

An initial $3.4 million will be set aside to introduce a program offering 10 days of paid domestic and family violence leave.

Minister for Women Katy Gallagher said increased equality was key to reducing gender-based violence.

‘We made a promise to deliver a national gender equality strategy that will map how we can improve outcomes for women by boosting their economic security and addressing structural barriers and inequalities that are a major driver behind gender-based violence,’ she said.

Education for consent and respectful relationships will receive $83.5 million over six years, with $42.5 million set aside for sexual harassment at work, to implement recommendations of the Respect@Work report.

No help in sight for fuel or power bills if you run a car, a business or a home…

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has forced up gas and electricity prices around the world, massively adding to household bills and forcing up petrol prices to more than $2 a litre.

The government already discontinued the 22c cut to the fuel excise implemented by the Morrison Government that cost $3billion over six months, and, despite pleas from voters, will not bring it back.

Instead it wants to use better regulation, improved infrastructure, and a switch to renewable energy to bring prices down over time.

Labor during the election promised to lower household power bills by $275 a year, but instead they went up dramatically. 

The government still maintains this will happen down the track once Australia’s energy becomes greener and cheaper, in line with its plan to slash emissions by 43 per cent this decade.

Lisa Kramer, 51, fills up her Volkswagen at BP Wollahra in Sydney where petrol cost about $2 a litre

First it will use $20 billion in low-cost finance to upgrade the electricity grid, including investing in Marinus Link to connect Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation pumped hydro and renewables to the East Coast transmission network.

The policy has so far included $1.5 billion for renewable energy projects in Victoria.

A Parliamentary Budget Office costing on the policy showed that from January 1, 2023 to December 31, 2025, a new government-owned corporation would be responsible for building, managing and operating a new transmission network that would have to earn enough to cover its financial costs.

Another $1.9 billion fund will ‘transform regional industries and help regional Australians access the economic opportunities of decarbonisation’.

A late addition to the budget was tougher regulation on the energy market, including $67 million to overhaul regulation frameworks and monitoring.

The price of groceries is one of many things that has jumped as a result of higher energy prices

The ACCC will get $10.4 million for an inquiry into the gas industry to improve the domestic supply of gas, preventing too much from being sold to overseas buyers.

The consumer regulator will also look into options for improving price transparency and ensuring reasonable pricing. 

The Energy Market Operator will have an extra $23 million over three years to use extra powers to intervene in the market during times of volatility and respond to security concerns.

Yet another regulator, the Australian Energy Regulator, will get $22.8 million over four years to make sure gas companies are acting in the best interests of consumers.

New Labor spending

NATIONAL BROADBAND NETWORK: $2.4 billion equity investment over four years to expand fibre broadband access to 1.5 million premises by 2025

ABC: Extra $20.9 million for the national broadcaster in 2022-23

GREAT BARRIER REEF: $204 million for Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan and Reef protection activities 

Encouraging Australians to drive electric cars, EVs only having a 2.7 per cent market share so far this year, is another major focus with a third fund, this one with $500 million, to build 117 charging sites on highways.

The government put a bill to Parliament in July to remove the fringe benefits tax and the five per cent import tariff from electric cars, helping employers who provide vehicles to their employers.

The Budget paper claimed that for an electric car valued at about $50,000, the FBT exemption would save an employer up to $9,000 a year. 

For an individual using a salary sacrifice arrangement, their saving would be up to $4,700 a year. Removing customs duties will also help the purchaser save up to an additional $2,500 if the car was previously subject to an import tariff.

The electric car discount is expected to cost $54.3 million in 2022-23, and $345 million in total.

The government will lead by example with 75 per cent of its fleet cars being electric by 2025.

A $224.3 million program will assist up to 100,000 households to reduce their power bills by providing up to 400 community batteries to store excess solar energy 

Another $102.2 million for community solar banks will help up to 25,000 households access solar-powered energy.

Billions earmarked to tackle climate change… 

Having already legislated Australia’s 43 per cent emissions reduction by 2030 target, the Budget allocates $42.6million to creating the Climate Change Authority to monitor the progress towards the target.

The government will spend $7.1million to reduce its own emissions to net zero by 2030, $39.1million to improve the public service’s climate expertise, and $45.8million to form the National Climate Risk Assessment.

A further $105.2million will support First Nations people to respond to climate change in their communities.

Big spending was also allocated to address non-climate-related environmental issues with a $1.8billion investment.

Cleaning up and restoring urban waterways and protecting local species will cost $91.1million over six years and $224.5million will help save endangered native species.

The Great Barrier Reef will get another $204million for protection activities, taking its total conservation funding to $1.2billion by 2030.

Another $15.3million will ensure the Coastal Marine Ecosystems Research Centre in Gladstone is completed. The Centre will provide science to guide management of the reef in a changing climate.. 

Tax relief axed but no U-turn on tax cuts if you’re taxpayer 

Labor has hinted it will keep some of the Morrison Government’s tax policies but the $1,500 low and middle-income tax offset is being discontinued.

Individuals earning up to $126,000 were eligible for the LMITO of up to $1,080, which was topped up by another $420 by the Morrison Government in the last budget to help ease cost of living pressures.

‘We’ve been supportive in the past of the LMITO for good reason and that’s because we support genuine tax relief for people on lower-middle incomes and that’s what that policy was designed to provide and that’s why we supported the lower-middle income tax offset through the parliament,’ Dr Chalmers said on October 6. 

But given the constraints on the Budget, the government let the tax break expire without extending it on Tuesday’s Budget. 

Treasurer Jim Chalmers (pictured in May with wife Laura) on Thursday confirmed the tax relief over 10 years, from July 2024, would cost $254billion – a higher figure than the Parliamentary Budget Office’s estimate of $243billion earlier this year

How much you get back under Stage Three

$45,000: Nothing

$60,000: $375

$80,000: $875

$120,000: $1,875

$150,000: $3,975

$200,000: $9,075

Tax liabilities for 2024-25 compared with 2022-23

Labor has also softened the ground for delaying or abandoning the Stage Three tax cuts in the future.

However, they did not get the chop in Tuesday’s Budget.

But there is speculation those tax cuts could be reworked in favour of those on lower incomes at the expense of high earners in next year’s Budget.

Those tax cuts are planned to provide relief of $9,075 a year for those earning more than $200,000. 

Dr Chalmers on Thursday confirmed the tax relief over 10 years, from July 2024, would cost $254billion – a higher figure than the Parliamentary Budget Office’s estimate of $243billion earlier this year.

‘It’s been pretty clear to everyone, including all sides of this conversation over the last few weeks, that these tax cuts make an impact on the Budget,’ he said.

‘They come in in a couple of years’ time, we’ve got more pressing priorities.’

Laws were passed in 2019 that will see the number of tax brackets cut from five to four from July 1, 2024.

This would see the 37 per cent tax bracket abolished and a new 30 per cent tax bracket created for all individuals earning between $45,000 and $200,000.

A new top marginal tax rate of 45 per cent would apply for those earning more than $200,000, which includes the likes of members of parliament.

Lower-income workers earning between the tax-free threshold of $18,200 and $45,000 will pay a marginal rate of 19 per cent.

This means those earning more than $200,000 doing their tax returns for the 2024-25 financial year will get back $9,075 compared with 2023-24.

Someone earning $80,000, a level shy of Australia’s average full-time salary of $92,030, would get back $875.

Lower-income workers earning between the tax-free threshold of $18,200 and $45,000 will pay a marginal rate of 19 per cent under the legislated changes 

Stage Three tax brackets on July 1, 2024

$18,200 and under: Nothing

$18,201 to $45,000: 19 per cent

$45,001 to $200,000: 30 per cent

$200,001 and over: 45 per cent

An Australian on $60,000 – a level slightly below the median or middle income of $62,400 – would get back $375.

A professional or tradie earning $120,000 a year would get back $1,875 while someone on $150,000 would see their tax liability fall by $3,975. 

Former treasurer Chris Bowen, who is now Climate Change Minister, on Thursday said Labor went to the election promising the Stage Three tax cuts.

‘We’re going to implement our election commitments which include delivering those tax cuts,’ he told the ABC’s Q&A program.

He doubled down when Q&A host Stan Grant asked him whether $254 billion earmarked for the Stage Three tax cuts could be better spent on other things.

‘Well Stan, you can ask the new government to renege an election promise,’ Mr Bowen said.

‘That’s your right but I’m going to respectfully disagree.’ 

Labor went to the election with a $2.5 billion plan to fix aged care and on Radio National on Tuesday, Dr Chalmers pledged to stand by that commitment 

The Budget is likely to fund subsidies so every aged care facility has a registered nurse on duty 24 hours a day, everyday (pictured is a Sydney nursing home)

Spending reversals and more protection for ABC and SBS 

The ABC and SBS will be better protected against political interference and arbitrary funding cuts under a big change outlined in the federal budget.

The funding cycle for the public broadcasters will be increased from three to five years.

Communications Minister Michelle Rowland said the shift would safeguard the independence of the national broadcasters, as well as support long-term planning and innovation.

The funding shift has been bundled together with additional money for the ABC and SBS.

Over the last eight coalition budgets, the ABC copped $526 million worth of funding cuts, forcing the broadcaster to slash 640 jobs.

In Labor’s first budget, the ABC received a $115million funding boost.

ABC chairwoman Ita Buttrose can smile with the national broadcaster given a funding boost along with SBS

The cash injection has been designed to override a funding freeze imposed in 2018, which cost the broadcaster $83.7million.

An extra $500,000 will be used to expand digital radio station Double J to FM frequencies.

As part of a broader plan to improve engagement in the Pacific, the national broadcaster will receive an additional $32million over four years to expand coverage across the region.

SBS will get $1million to bankroll a study into relocating its Sydney studio to the western suburbs.

Huge debts ahead for all Australians 

Australia’s debt levels are expected to surpass the $1 trillion mark for the first time ever as welfare costs surge.

The Treasury Budget papers warned rising National Disability Insurance Scheme and aged pension costs were a particular challenge, with social security and welfare spending making up a third of government expenditure.

Most of Australia’s pandemic spending was done when interest rates were low but rising rates mean an increase in net interest payments on federal government debt.

Treasury noted higher recurring expenses on the NDIS and the aged pension would be a particular drain on the Budget during the next three years and beyond.

‘The structural Budget balance has undergone a deterioration since the onset of the pandemic, with a deficit projected to persist over the forward estimates and medium,’ it said.

‘This reflects the major investment in essential services that the government has undertaken in recent years in areas such as the NDIS and aged care.’

Treasurer Jim Chalmers’ Budget warned Australia’s debt levels were expected to surpass the $1 trillion mark for the first time ever as welfare costs surge

The NDIS now supports more than 500,000 Australians with more than 280,000 recently joining the care program.

The scheme, designed when Labor was last in government more than a decade ago, was expected to cost $166.6 billion over four years – an increase of $8.8 billion.

‘This will ensure funding for expected growth in participants’ plans,’ Treasury said.

With more people joining the NDIS, Labor has promised to spend $158.2 million to employ 380 new permanent staff.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers told Parliament the government wanted to make the NDIS sustainable.

‘We choose dignity for Australians with disability,’ he said.

‘This Budget begins the task of repairing the NDIS and securing its future.’

Overall disability spending was expected to increase by 9.6 per cent between 2022-23 and 2025-26, as costs for every individual on the NDIS rose by 18.6 per cent.

‘These increases largely reflect an increasing number of people with disability entering the NDIS,’ Treasury said.

Treasury is also expecting more demand for the aged pension make up the bulk of new welfare spending during the next three years, with fewer Australians now needing unemployment benefits and pandemic leave.

Social security and welfare spending was expected to cost $221.7 billion in 2022-23, making up roughly a third or 35 per cent of total government spending of $628.5 billion.

Australian workers are saddled with escalating national debt and depressed wages for the foreseeable future

Since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, the federal government has borrowed $360billion by issuing new Treasury bonds through the Australian Office of Financial Management.

Australia’s gross government debt is expected to reach $1.004 billion in 2023-24, making up 40.8 per cent of gross domestic product or economic output.

This was expected to rise to $1.091 trillion in 2024-25, comprising 42.5 per cent of GDP, and $1.159 billion by 2025-26 comprising 43.1 per cent of the economy.

Rising interest rates also mean it’s more expensive for the government to service its debts.

‘An increase in interest payments also contributes to the higher payments profile over the medium term, reflecting the increased levels of debt accumulated as a result of the pandemic,’ Treasury said.

Net interest payments on were expected to rise from 0.7 per cent of GDP in 2024-25 to 0.9 per cent of GDP in 2024-25, which Treasury said was manageable.

‘Despite the considerable fiscal cost of responding to Covid–19, the Australian government’s debt burden remains manageable and Australia continues to have lower debt as a share of its economy than many other advanced economies,’ he said.

‘Australia is one of only nine countries to maintain a AAA credit rating from all 3 major ratings agencies.’

Labor’s Budget aims to find $28.5 billion in savings or revenue improvements.

This includes cutting $3.6 billion in outsourced external contractors to the public service, raising $1 billion over four years by cracking down on multinationals not paying tax, and finding another $3.7 billion through catching tax avoidance among Australians.

In a bid to save money, Labor is abolishing the Australian Building and Construction Commission, a body a previous Coalition government created which trade unions have hated.

This is expected to save $130.9 billion from 2022-23 to 2025-26.

From July 2023, Australians will no longer be allowed to self-assess ‘intangible’ depreciating assets on their annual tax return, saving the government $550 million over four years from 2022-23.