Cost-of-living relief on the way for some households

The cost of living continues to bite household budgets across the country but the federal government is promising measures to ease the squeeze are on their way.

The start of the new financial year on July 1 will bring a 15 per cent pay rise for aged care workers, cheaper childcare and changes to paid parental leave.

The policies promised in the last federal budget will come into effect, including electricity bill relief for some households and a small business incentive to help eligible companies become more energy efficient.

Eligibility for the first home guarantee and regional first home guarantee will now include any two borrowers beyond married and de facto couples.

It will also apply to non-first home buyers who have not owned a property in Australia in the previous 10 years.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers said many Australians were doing it tough and the measures were designed to help.

“The suite of policies which will start to roll out from Saturday, will make a real difference in the lives of millions of hardworking Australians while delivering an economic dividend and laying the foundations for future growth,” he said.

“Key policies like energy price relief will directly reduce inflation, while others like cheaper childcare and enhanced paid parental leave will boost the capacity of our economy.”

The aged care pay rise will benefit more than 250,000 workers and means nurses on an award wage can earn an extra $10,000 a year while personal care workers can earn an extra $7000 a year.

Five million households will be eligible for up to $500 in power price relief while one million small businesses will be able to access up to $650.

Around 1.2 million families will pay less for child care and existing parental leave and dad and partner pay will be combined into a single 20-week scheme which is expected to benefit 180,000 families a year.

Education Minister Jason Clare said the changes would help businesses trying to maintain staff and parents, particularly mums, who wanted to get back into the workforce.

Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth said the more flexible parental payments would promote shared care, but there was more work to be done.

She flagged additional legislation in coming months will provide families with an extra six weeks of paid parental leave by 2026.


Maeve Bannister
(Australian Associated Press)


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