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Federal Budget: Cost-of-living relief for Newcastle families

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Newcastle MP Sharon Claydon believes the Federal Budget will provide much-needed cost-of-living relief to families in her electorate.

Treasurer Dr Jim Chalmers handed down his financial plan on Tuesday 14 May, determined to help people “doing it tough” while trying to prevent the RBA (Reserve Bank of Australia) from hiking up interest rates again.

Newcastle’s 78,000 taxpayers will receive a tax cut from 1 July – 13,000 more than would have benefitted from Scott Morrison’s proposal from five years ago, saving on average $1,642.

Also, households are set to secure a $300 energy rebate.

“Like our first two budgets, this one is responsible, affordable and suited to the times,” Ms Claydon said.

“We know people are under pressure.

“And, that’s why our wages policies and tax cuts for every taxpayer are so important.

“This is all part of a big focus in the budget on helping to ease cost-of-living pressures.”

The Australian Government will invest in several local infrastructure projects, too, including:

  • $10 million for Critical Renewable Energy Zones Road Infrastructure (Port of Newcastle to Renewable Energy Zone)
  • An additional $30.6 million for the Newcastle Inner City Bypass, Rankin Park to Jesmond
  • An additional $112 million for M1 Pacific Motorway Extension to Raymond Terrace

“The budget is locking in progressive increases to roads funding,” Ms Claydon said.

“This brings the total five-year investment in Roads to Recovery in the Newcastle electorate to $25,510,046.

“The Regional Airports Program will be extended with an additional $40 million in competitive grant funding over three years from 2024-25.

“We’ll also invest $100 million in a new Active Transport Fund open to states and territories for bicycle and walking paths across the country.”

Other Federal Budget highlights for Novocastrians include:

HECS-HELF relief for students

We’re making HECS simpler and fairer. The government will cut $3 billion in student debt for more than 3 million Australians backdated to 1 June 2023. This change will support 25,398 persons with a HELP debt in Newcastle.

Paid placements

The Commonwealth Prac Payment will students undertaking mandatory work placements with $319.50 per week during their clinical and professional placements. This will help up to 5,200 students who are enrolled in teaching, nursing, midwifery and social work at the University of Newcastle.

Cheaper medicines

Pensioners and concession card holders in Newcastle won’t pay more than $7.70 for their PBS medications for the next five years, thanks to the Albanese government’s commitment to delivering cheaper medicines. No one in Newcastle will pay more than $31.60 per script for PBS medicines.

Commonwealth Rent Assistance

We’re increasing the maximum rates of Commonwealth Rent Assistance by 10%. This will benefit 7,810 households in Newcastle. This builds on the government’s 15% increase, which started in September 2023.

Superannuation on Paid Parental Leave

Eligible parents with babies born or adopted on or after 1 July 2025 will receive an additional payment, based on the Superannuation Guarantee (12% of their Paid Parental Leave payment), as a contribution to their nominated superannuation fund. This will make the super system fairer and benefit 180,000 families a year.

Making Australia a renewable energy superpower

The Labor government is building an economy that will position regions like ours to benefit from the opportunities of the decades ahead, bringing new jobs and opportunities to communities in Newcastle and the Hunter.

  • We’re investing $3.2 billion over the next decade through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency to support the commercialisation of technologies that are critical to net zero, including through a new $1.7 billion Future Made in Australia Innovation Fund for the deployment of innovative technologies and facilities linked to priority sectors, including green metals, batteries and low carbon liquid fuels;
  • We’re implementing a Hydrogen Production Tax Incentive to provide a $2 incentive per kilogram of renewable hydrogen produced between 2027-28 to 2039-40, for up to ten years per project, at an estimated cost to the Budget of $6.7 billion over the medium term;
  • We’re investing $1.3 billion over the next decade in the Hydrogen Headstart program to provide additional support to early-movers investing in the industry’s development; and
  • We’re investing $17.1 million to implement our National Hydrogen Strategy which will help Australia become a global hydrogen leader by 2030.

Homes for more Australians

The government is supporting the construction of more homes for home buyers and renters by:

  • $1 billion to get homes built sooner, with funding for states including to provide roads, services and parks, essential for additional housing supply;
  • Providing $88.8 million for 20,000 new fee-free TAFE places, including increased access to pre-apprenticeship programs, in courses relevant to the construction sector;
  • Doubling Commonwealth funding for homelessness support and building more social housing through offering a new $9.3 billion National Agreement on Social Housing and Homelessness with $423.1 million in additional funding;
  • Building more social and affordable rental housing with a $2.5 billion increase in the liability cap of Housing Australia, and an additional $3 billion in loans to Housing Australia to support ongoing delivery of the program; and
  • Unlocking up to $1 billion for more homes through the National Housing Infrastructure Facility to be directed towards housing that supports women and children fleeing domestic and family violence and young Australians.

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