Who Came Out On Top in the 2024-2025 Budget?

Who Came Out On Top in the 2024-2025 Budget?

Every year, the federal budget brings a mix of financial cheers and groans, and this year is no different. We’ve sifted through all the fancy talk to bring you the key points that matter to you.

But before that, here’s a quick summary of where the money will be going this year:

Budget Breakdown

Winners

Essentials

  • From July, every Australian household will have a $300 rebate automatically applied to their electricity bills. $75 dollars will be credited per quarter. 
  • Eligible small businesses will also receive a $325 rebate.
  • From July 1 workers in every tax bracket will pay less income tax. Use this calculator to figure out how big the tax cut will be for you. 
  • $1 billion towards crisis shelters and transitional housing for women, children fleeing domestic violence, and youth.
  • Another $1 billion going to states and territories to pay for roads, sewers, energy and water connections for new homes.
  • The government has also doubled the funding it provides for homelessness services through its five-year agreement with the states and territories.

Health

  • The federal government will be investing $8.5 billion in new money into health.
  • The government will fund an additional 29 urgent care clinics, offering walk-in care seven days a week, completely covered by Medicare.
  • The Medicare levy threshold has increased
    • If you’re entitled to the senior’s and pensioner’s tax offset, the new threshold will be $41,089 (for individuals) or $57,198 (for families)
    • For all other tax payers, the new threshold will be $26,000 (for individuals) or $43,846 (for families).
    • The family income thresholds will now also increase by $4,027 for each dependent child 
  • The cost of PBS-listed medications will be frozen for everyone with a Medicare card for one year.
  • For concession card holders and pensioners, prices will be frozen for five years.
  • Starting next July, Medicare will cover longer consultations with specialists for endometriosis, chronic pelvic pain, and PCOS.
  • A $49.1 million investment is expected to provide about 430,000 more services to women across the country.

Social Welfare

  • $1 billion committed to permanently provide $5,000 to women leaving violent relationships.
  • Another $1 billion will be put towards crisis and transitional accommodation for women and children fleeing domestic violence.
  • Superannuation will be paid on parental leave, helping improve women’s retirement savings.
  • Starting July 2025, parents on Commonwealth-funded parental leave will get superannuation on top of their payments.
  • The scheme is part of a larger plan to extend parental leave to 26 weeks by mid-2026.
  • The maximum Commonwealth Rent Assistance payment is getting a 10% boost from September. This means singles on the maximum rate could see around $19 more every fortnight.
  • The government is investing $500 million to provide 24,100 more home care packages.
  • $610 million will be given to the states to assist long-stay older patients in being discharged sooner. An additional $190 million will be provided on top of this to redesign the Transition Care program, providing short-term care of up to 12 weeks for older people after a hospital stay.
  • Single Jobseekers with limited work capacity (under 14 hours a week) with children or those aged 55 and over (being on the payment for nine months or more) will get an extra $54.90 per fortnight from September.
  • Limits on participation hours for carers will be shifted to be counted over four-week periods instead to provide more flexibility.
  • The government will also continue to freeze the deeming rates for another year.
  • An additional $1.8 billion will be invested over the next three years for frontline staff at Services Australia to improve claim processing and reduce backlogs.
  • The federal government will spend close to $1 billion to make the Leaving Violence Program permanent. 
  • The scheme offers people leaving abusive relationships up to $5,000 in financial support as well as referring them to social services and safety planning.

Security & Safety

  • A national firearms register will be established. The register will provide law enforcement with near-real-time information on firearms and their owners, and link that information with other relevant police and government information.

  • $6.5 million will be committed to trialling the age verification scheme for children online, which will test options to restrict children from being able to access pornography or other inappropriate content online.

Education

  • People with student loans will have their debts reduced.
  • Pending a legislative change that must be passed through parliament, the annual growth for student debts will be capped to the lower rate of inflation or the wage price index.
  • This change will also be backdated to June last year, meaning loans for that year will grow at the lower wage index rate of 3.2% instead of the 7.1% inflation rate they were measured at.
  • Starting July 2025, Australian students in teaching, nursing, midwifery and social work will get a $319.50 weekly payment during mandatory placements.
  • The Commonwealth Prac Payment will be means-tested and in addition to any other income support students are already receiving.

Government

  • The federal government will spend an extra $5.7 billion on defence over the next four years, growing Australia’s navy, preparing the army for shoreline warfare, enhancing long-range strike capabilities and strengthening the nation’s northern bases.
  • The government expects a surprise surplus of $9.3 billion for 2023-24, continuing last year’s positive trend.
  • However, future forecasts show larger deficits due to ongoing program expenses.
  • Despite this, the government highlights a $200 billion improvement over six years compared to pre-election forecasts. This is mainly due to higher commodity prices, increased tax revenue, and strong employment.

Environment

  • Production tax incentives for critical minerals and hydrogen from 2027. 
  • $1.4 billion to develop solar and other clean technologies.
  • $500 million for Geoscience Australia to map Australia for critical minerals.
  • The government’s “Future Made in Australia” initiative will pump $3.2 billion over ten years into renewable hydrogen and solar/battery tech.
  • Half the funds will go towards a new fund supporting cutting-edge clean tech like green metals and low-carbon fuels.
  • An additional $8 billion will be directed at hydrogen production.
  • Roughly $100 million will be spent over the next four years to speed up approval processes for renewable projects
  • Snowy Hydro Limited gets an additional $7.1 billion (mostly loans) to keep building its massive renewable energy project.

Miscellaneous

  • Starting July 1st, a new $100 fee will expedite password processing to just 5 business days.
  • The government will spend just under a quarter of a billion dollars to upgrade the Australian Institute of Sport, based in Canberra, ahead of the 2032 Brisbane Olympics.
  • This comes after Queensland’s request to relocate the AIS to Brisbane was rejected.
  • The 2027 Rugby World Cup and the 2029 Women’s Rugby World Cup will be tax-free events. This means that income derived from the events and any interest, dividends or royalties will not be taxed.
  • The tax break that lets you write off new equipment costing up to $20,000 (think utes, ovens, coffee machines) is extended for another year. This helps small businesses with annual sales under $10 million.
  • The government is offering $90 million to train 20,000 new workers in housing, construction, and clean energy. 
  • Clean energy apprenticeships can now get you up to $10,000 in support under the revamped ‘New Energy Apprentice Payment’.
  • Australia is sending another $100 million in aid to Ukraine, including air defense systems, drones, and essential supplies like helmets and generators. 
  • This brings their total support for Ukraine to over $1 billion since the war began.

No Change

  • Reforms targeting the payment and accuracy of the Child Care Subsidy program will return savings of $410.7m over four years.
  • $30 million of these savings will be reinvested over two years to provide funding towards a wage increase for the early childhood education and care sector.
  • Several other measures to crack down on fraud and non-compliance were also listed in the budget, such as $84.2 million over four years to increase audits of providers in the sector and manage the collection of childcare gap fees in the family day care and in-home care sectors.

Losers

Social Welfare

  • Australians will soon have access to free mental health support without a referral, with the establishment of a national digital service.
  • The government is investing $588.5 million over the next eight years for this digital service, plus $71.7 million over 4 years for primary health networks.
  • Free mental health support will also be delivered through a network of 61 Medicare mental health centres.
  • Critics say that while this is a step in the right direction, it’s far from enough. They argue for more Medicare rebates for psychologists and worry waitlists will remain long.
  • To control rapid NDIS growth, automatic top-ups for participants who use all their funds will stop.
  • Stronger fraud detection will also be implemented.

Education

  • The government plans to cap international student places, with universities required to provide purpose-built student accommodation if they want to take students above those caps.
  • Universities must also direct 40% of their Student Services and Amenities Fees towards student-led organisations from next year.

Potential Migrants

  • The government will set the cap for next financial year’s permanent migration program at 185,000 places, with 132,200 of those places being allocated to skill stream.
  • A $25 ballot for working and holiday visas will also be introduced for people coming from China, Vietnam and India from next financial year.
  • On the bright side, a new program will be established for 3,000 Indian graduates and early-career professionals to be able to live and work in Australia for up to two years. 
  • The number of places for international students will now be capped, under legislation due to be introduced by the federal government.
  • If universities want to enrol international students above that limit, they will be required to build new purpose-built student accommodation to benefit both international and domestic students.

Other Groups

  • Although high-income earners will still receive income tax cuts. It will be less than what was originally promised.
  • The federal government will save $1 billion by reducing spending on external labour, including consultants and contractors.
  • The government made a pre-election promise to stop the live export of sheep from Australia.
  • It’s used the federal budget to set the date for the legislated ban, setting aside $107 million to help the industry end the trade by May 1, 2028.

What are your thoughts on this year’s budget?

Were there any specific items you were hoping to see included?

Source: ABC News
Compiled & Edited by Tailored Accounts

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