Welfare payments, renters’ help boosted

Renters, unemployed people and students are among the welfare recipients set to receive a boost to their payments in the federal budget.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers will announce the measures under the government’s $14.6 billion cost-of-living package on Tuesday night.

The government will increase the base rate payments of JobSeeker, Austudy and Youth Allowance, with the figures to be unveiled in the budget.

The rate for commonwealth rent assistance will also be raised.

The government’s economic inclusion committee in a report advised a substantial lift to JobSeeker payments, finding the current rate inadequate.

Gross debt is expected to be almost $300 billion lower over the decade, which will save $83 billion in interest over that period.

Debt will also be significantly lower than what was expected in last year’s October budget, and is expected to peak five years earlier than previously forecast.

Earlier, Dr Chalmers said he was “really proud” of the budget.

“This will be the first budget surplus in 15 years, this wouldn’t be possible without the disciplined approach that we have taken,” he said.

“A stronger budget position is not an end in itself.

“It’s the foundation on which we build everything that we want to do for our people, their economy and our society.”

A slim $4 billion surplus will be announced by Dr Chalmers.

Further measures to ease pressure off households will also be revealed.


Tess Ikonomou
(Australian Associated Press)


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