Jim Chalmers delivered the Albanese government’s third budget last night, announcing a second consecutive multibillion dollar surplus and outlining initiatives to address the needs of Australians amid global uncertainties and the cost of living crisis.

From a $9.3 billion surplus the treasurer also plucked a $300 energy rebate for every Australian household, which immediately proved controversial for not being means tested.

Here’s a breakdown of what’s in this year’s budget:

Tax cuts

The government said it aims to put more money back into the pockets of Australians.

From July, all 13.6 million taxpayers will get a tax cut of $36 a week ($1,888 a year) for average taxpayers.

Treasury will reduce the 19 per cent tax rate to 16 per cent and increase the 37 per cent tax rate threshold from $120,000 to $135,000.

The Morrison government’s original plan would have been better for high-income earners making more than $140,000.

“And for 84 per cent of taxpayers, and 90 per cent of women, [it is] a bigger tax cut than they would have under the previous government,” said the treasurer.

Calculate your tax cut here.

Redistribution of tax cuts

The original stage 3 cuts are those suggested by the Coalition and the revised tax cuts are those announced (and legislated) by the Albanese government | Source: H & R Block


Energy bill relief

The budget delivers $3.5 billion in new energy bill relief as one of its key cost-of-living relief measures.

Every household will get a $300 energy rebate from July, while eligible small businesses will get a $325 rebate.

“Just as every Australian taxpayer will get a tax cut, every Australian household will get energy price relief,” said Chalmers.

“The ABS has shown how cutting energy bills directly cuts inflation too.”

The government estimates inflation will be reduced by 0.5 per cent by the next financial year.

Affordable medicines

Rises in the cost of medicines will be put on hold. Medicines listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) will be capped at a maximum of $31.60 for two years. For concession card holders and pensioners, prices will be frozen for five years at $7.70. 

Freezing the cost of PBS will continue for another year.


A total of $1.1 billion has been allocated to cover superannuation during paid parental leave over the next four years and to address domestic violence (the annual cost estimate is $623.1 million from July 2028).

The government allocated funds towards women’s shelters and extended the Leaving Violence program offering eligible women up to $5,000 in financial aid when fleeing domestic abuse.

However, there have been criticisms and calls for additional measures. Read more HERE.


An extra $5.7 billion is allocated for defence over the next four years and $50.3 billion over the next decade. The funding includes investments in modern defence industries, strengthening supply chains and advancing critical technologies.

Debt relief for students

Students with HELP debts, VET student loans, Australian Apprenticeship Support Loans, and other student loans will see a reduction in their debts.

The government said it will cut $3 billion in student debt for more than 3 million Australians. 

This brings a change in how interest on student loans is calculated to make them cheaper and pay less overall, saving the average person around $1,200.

Despite the debt relief, the unfair cost of some degrees and date of indexation remain unaddressed.

Read more HERE.

Support for renters

Nearly one million Australians will benefit from the rental assistance boost, as $1.9 billion was allocated to increase the maximum rates of Commonwealth Rent Assistance by a further 10 per cent.

The measure will come into effect from September 20.

This is a 15 per cent increase on the 2023 budget.

“It’s the first back‑to‑back increase to Commonwealth Rent Assistance in more than 30 years,” said Chalmers.

Renewable energy and innovation

Ambitious plans were announced focusing on renewable energy and sustainable growth. 

The treasurer announced incentives to invest in renewable energy, like green hydrogen and critical minerals, to create new jobs and make Australia more prosperous.

It includes $13.7 billion for tax incentives to encourage companies to invest in these industries. There’s also $1.7 billion in funding to develop new industries such as green metals and low-carbon fuels.

To foster trade and partnerships in the region, $520 million will be used for efforts to reach net-zero emissions. Another $566 million will be spent to map out Australia’s geological resources, like minerals and groundwater.

Main picture Canva montage of Wikimedia Jim Chalmers and Mark Pegrum/Flickr parliament building.