Cost of living relief, and energy spend for the Hunter in 2023/24 Budget

Cost of living relief is at the centre of Labor’s second budget that includes a $4 billion surplus for the first time in 15 years.

While we won’t know if the government’s bank account has been marked with black instead of red for a few more months, Labor has done their bit to help Australians who are struggling the most.

JobSeeker payments have been increased by $40 a fortnight, Commonwealth Rent Assistance has been lifted by 15 per cent and single parents will be $380 a month better off.

Eligible households and businesses will get some relief off their energy bills with $1.5 billion is being spent on rebates. The Federal government has teamed up with the states and territories to offer one-off bill deductions of $500 for five million households and about one million small businesses who receive government welfare payments.

Children under 16, pensioners and other concession holders will get greater access to GP visits as well.

For the Hunter region there was a further $4 billion poured into supporting green hydrogen production and $25 million a year recommitted to the Port of Newcastle’s clean energy project.

A $600 million Growing Regions Program would also help for community and economic infrastructure projects in the region.

$100 million will also be spent over the next four years building four more maintenance bays for the joint strike fighters project at the Newcastle airport precinct and $13.5 million was announced over three years for a new high speed rail authority to plan the high-speed rail project between Newcastle and Sydney.

More to come.

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