Cost of Living

What We're Doing

As of the Monthly Consumer Price Index last updated 29 May 2024, the indicator reveals a moderation in inflation from 4.3 per cent in November 2023 and has remained below 4 per cent since. These figures signify the continual progress in our ongoing efforts to tackle inflation challenges. The policies implemented by the Albanese Government have played a role in this positive trend, and the new Budget will continue to halt inflation. Whilst we believe that inflation has peaked and the worst is behind us, inflation remains higher than we like, hurting Australians every day. 

Our focus remains on providing: 

  1.  Targeted cost of living relief which does not add to inflation, 
  2. Putting the budget on a more sustainable footing (which has seen us deliver the first back-to-back budget surplus in nearly two decades), and 
  3. Laying the foundations for our future prosperity by investing in skills, housing, manufacturing, and energy. 


Budget 2024-25

This Budget strikes the right balance between keeping pressure off inflation, delivering cost-of-living relief, supporting sustainable economic growth and strengthening public finances. This Budget responds and lays the foundation for future prosperity by:

  • Easing cost-of-living pressures,
  • Strengthening Medicare and the care economy, and
  • Broadening opportunity and advancing equality.

All of which is underpinned by responsible economic management.


Easing Cost-of-Living Pressures

The Government’s responsible fiscal and economic management has returned the budget to surplus faster than any major advanced economy. Inflation is the primary focus of the Budget in the near term, and this Budget continues to deliver responsible cost-of-living relief. At a glance, this Budget is delivering:

  • Getting consumers a better deal at the supermarket checkout and through the energy transition.
  • $1.1 billion to pay superannuation on Government-funded Paid Parental Leave.
  • Supporting wage growth through submissions to the Fair Work Commission and supporting pay rises for care sector workers.


Stage 3 Tax Cuts 

The Treasury Laws Amendment (Cost of Living Tax Cuts) Bill 2024 will deliver a tax cut to every taxpayer and bigger tax cuts to more Australians in a way that doesn’t add to inflation or burden the budget.

We have found a better way to deliver tax cuts in a way that’s better for the cost of living, better for returning bracket creep, better for women and the workforce, and better for the economy.

The legislation cuts two rates and lifts two thresholds and is the best way to provide more tax relief to more people and return bracket creep where it has the most impact.

The legislation ensures that from 1 July 2024:

  • The 19 per cent tax rate is reduced to 16 per cent (for incomes between $18,200 and $45,000),
  • The 32.5 per cent tax rate is reduced to 30 per cent (for incomes between $45,000 and the new $135,000 threshold),
  • The threshold above which the 37 per cent tax rate applies increases from $120,000 to $135,000, and
  • The threshold above which the 45 per cent tax rate applies increases from $180,000 to $190,000.

The legislation means all 13.6 million taxpayers will receive a tax cut – 2.9 million more than would have benefited from Scott Morrison’s plan from five years ago – and 11.5 million taxpayers (84 per cent of taxpayers) will receive a bigger tax cut.

It means that 5.8 million women (90 per cent of women taxpayers) will now receive a bigger tax cut. Nurses, teachers, and truckies are some of the most likely to benefit with more than 95 per cent of those taxpayers getting a bigger tax cut.


Strengthening Medicare

The Albanese Government is investing $2.8 billion to continue its commitment to strengthen Medicare. This includes the $1.2 billion package to address pressures facing the health system, which provides:

  • $882.2 million supporting older Australians to avoid hospital admission, be discharged from hospital earlier and improve their transition out of hospital to other appropriate care.
  • $227 million to deliver a further 29 Medicare Urgent Care Clinics and boost support for regional and remote clinics. This will increase the total number of clinics across Australia to 87. Since commencing last year, existing clinics have already provided almost 400,000 bulk-billed visits.

To improve health outcomes, we’re also providing:

  • $825.7 million to ensure Australians can continue to access testing for and vaccinations against COVID‑19. We are also ensuring continued access to oral antiviral medicines on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
  • $41.6 million over two years to continue funding for alcohol and other drug treatment and support services, including the Good Sports alcohol management program for community sporting clubs.

All of this is in addition to our previous achievements, ensuring that Australians can live to the fullest:

  • Individuals managing chronic conditions have seen a 50% reduction in the cost of many essential medicines, thanks to the introduction of 60-day dispensing. You can view my speech on this here.
  • Cheaper medicines – We reduced the maximum co-payment on prescriptions to $30, down from $42.50, resulting in a staggering $180 million in savings on 16 million prescriptions. At least 33, 643 people in Higgins will now enjoy a saving of $12.50 on medical scripts. 
  • Strengthening bulk billing: As part of our ongoing efforts to enhance healthcare accessibility, in August 2023 we invested $3.5 billion over 5 years to address the sharp decline in bulk billing. This measure aims to support 11.6 million eligible Australians, including children, pensioners, and other concession cardholders, ensuring that they can access a GP without incurring any out-of-pocket costs. 
  • A new Medicare rebate for GP consultations of 60 minutes or longer gave patients a rebate of $191.20 and doctors the time to provide better care for people with complex physical and mental conditions. 
  • We invested in more bulk billing Urgent Care Clinics, taking the pressure off GPs and hospitals, and providing care for illnesses and injuries that are urgent, but not life-threatening. These clinics are bulk billed, and open early and late for walk-in appointments. To find your nearest clinic, visit this link.



  • Our Capacity Investment Scheme provides a national framework to help build a more reliable, affordable, and low-emissions energy system for Australia. 
  • We are partnering with states and territories to deliver the Energy Price Relief Plan to address the immediate impact of price increases on Australian Households. We have provided targeted energy bill relief for households and small businesses, including electricity bill rebates of up to $500 to approximately five million low-income households.  
  • Our $108 million cheaper energy package also includes solar panels for up to 5,000 Victorian apartments.
  • We are co-investing $100 million into community solar banks, providing cheaper electricity or more than 25,000 households.



  • We delivered a historic expansion of paid parental leave, increasing to 26 weeks by July 2026, a change that’s good for families and good for the economy. We know support for families to balance care is critical to ensuring women’s long-term economic equality. Please view my speech on paid parental leave here.
  • Cheaper Childcare: We are proud to share that we have taken steps to make childcare more affordable for 1.2 million Australian households, including 4,400 families in Higgins. We are continuing to address the barriers that affect access to childcare. For more information, view the Productivity Commission’s draft report here. 
  • We increased the base rate of income payments like JobSeeker Payment, AUSTUDY and Youth Allowance payments for eligible people. This will support around 8,100 people in Higgins to benefit by $40 per fortnight.  
  • Around 355 eligible single parents in Higgins received an increase in their Parenting Payment (Single), from $745.20 per fortnight up to $922.10 per fortnight. 
  • Around 6500 households in Higgins benefited from the 15% increase in Commonwealth Rent Assistance rates, the largest increase in more than 30 years. 
  • We have allowed older Australians to work and earn more, increasing the amount pensioners can earn from $7,800 to $11,800 this year, without compromising their pensions. 
  • We are providing up to 30,000 eligible families with no internet at home with a free NBN service. To find out more about eligibility, please visit this link. 



  • We are committed to removing cost barriers to skills training. Fee-Free TAFE will enable Australians to re-train and gain access to better-paying jobs where demand is highest, which is critical to building Australia’s future workforce. 
  • The National Skills Agreement is a 5-year joint agreement to strengthen the VET sector, providing states and territories with access to additional Commonwealth funds of up to $3.7 billion over 5 years. 
  • Our government has played a pivotal role in overseeing the creation of over 550,000 jobs in our economy, marking a record for a new government. This substantial job growth is a testament to our dedication to providing more opportunities for individuals across the nation. 
  • Around 38,000 apprentices and trainees are now eligible for financial assistance. Beginning 1 January 2024, eligible apprentices and trainees may apply for loans, which provide cost of living assistance of up to $24, 492 interest-free throughout their apprenticeship. Upon completion of their training, they will receive a 20% discount on their total loans.  

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