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2023-24 Federal Budget: Individuals


Increased rate for income support payments

Income support payment base rates will be increased by $40 per fortnight.

The increase will apply to JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance, Parenting Payment (Partnered), Austudy, ABSTUDY, Disability Support Pension (Youth) and Special Benefit from 20 September 2023.

Sources: Budget Paper No 2, p 199; Budget Factsheet — Stronger foundations for a better future, p 17.

Expanded eligibility for higher Jobseeker Payment rate

The minimum age for which older people qualify for the higher JobSeeker Payment rate will be reduced from 60 to 55 years. This applies to those who have received the payment for 9 or more continuous months.
Eligible recipients will receive an increase in their base rate of payment of $92.10 per fortnight.

Sources: Budget Paper No 2, p 199; Budget Factsheet — Stronger foundations for a better future, p 17.

Workforce participation incentive measures extended

The workforce participation incentive measures to support pensioners who want to enter the workforce, or work more hours, without impacting their pension payments will be extended for another 6 months to 31 December 2023.

Originally announced in the Labor government's 2022–23 Budget, the measure provides age and veterans pensioners a once-off credit of $4,000 to their Work Bonus income bank and temporarily increases the maximum income bank.

Under this measure, pensioners can earn up to $11,800 before their pension is reduced. 

Source: Budget Paper No 2, p 201

Improved support for single parents

Eligibility for Parenting Payment (Single) will be extended to support single principal carers with a youngest child under 14 years of age.

The existing eligibility provides support to single principal carers with a child aged under 8 years of age.
Improved support for single parents will provide wellbeing benefits particularly for single mothers, who are overwhelmingly the recipients of this payment, and their children. This measure recognises that caring responsibilities can act as a barrier to employment while also recognising that connections with the labour force are likely to improve economic outcomes throughout a carer’s lifetime.

Source: Budget Paper No 2, p 202. 

Increasing the supply of social and affordable housing and making it easier to buy a home

A number of housing measures will be introduced to increase support for social and affordable housing and improve access for home buyers, including:

  • increasing the Government-guaranteed liability cap of the National Housing and Finance Investment Corporation (NHFIC) by $2 billion to $7.5 billion to enable NHFIC to increase its support for social and affordable housing through loans from the Affordable Housing Bond Aggregator
  • amending NHFIC’s Investment Mandate to require NHFIC to take reasonable steps to allocate a minimum of 1,200 homes to be delivered in each state and territory within 5 years of the Housing Australia Future Fund commencing operation
  • expand the eligibility of the Home Guarantee Scheme to:
    • allow any 2 eligible people to be joint applicants for a guarantee beyond spouses and de facto partners
    • allow non-first home buyers who have not owned a property in Australia for at least 10 years to access the First Home Guarantee and Regional Home Guarantee
    • allow a single legal guardian of children to access the Family Home Guarantee
    • allow Australian permanent residents to access the Scheme
  • redirecting interest earnings on unallocated NHFIC funds to support more social and affordable housing and delivery of housing priorities.

This measure expands on the Labor government’s 2022–23 Budget measure titled “Safer and More Affordable Housing”.

Source: Budget Paper No 2, p 212. 

Increased support for Commonwealth rent assistance recipients

The maximum rates of the Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA) allowances will be increased by 15% to help address rental affordability challenges for CRA recipients.

Source: Budget Paper No 2, p 200.

Medicare low-income thresholds for 2022–23

The CPI indexed Medicare levy low-income threshold amounts for singles, families, and seniors and pensioners for the 2022–23 year of income have been announced. The new thresholds are:

Medicare levy low income threshold (at or below which no Medicare levy payable)

Class of People Single Family
Individual $24,276 ($23,365) $40,939 ($39,402)
Senior Australians and eligible pensioners $38,365 ($36,925) $53,406 ($51,401)
Threshold increment for each additional dependent child/student $3,760 ($3,619) $3,760 ($3,619)

Source: Budget Paper No 2, p 22. 

Exempting lump sum payments in arrears from the Medicare levy

Eligible lump sum payments in arrears will be exempt from the Medicare levy from 1 July 2024.

This measure will ensure low-income taxpayers do not pay higher amounts of the Medicare levy as a result of receiving an eligible lump sum payment, eg as compensation for underpaid wages.

Eligibility requirements will ensure that relief is targeted to taxpayers who are genuinely low-income and should be eligible for a reduced Medicare levy. To qualify, taxpayers must be eligible for a reduction in the Medicare levy in the 2 most recent years to which the lump sum accrues. Taxpayers must also satisfy the existing eligibility requirements of the existing lump sum payment in arrears tax offset, including that a lump sum accounts for at least 10% of the taxpayer’s income in the year of receipt.

Source: Budget Paper No 2, p 22.