Senate debates

Tuesday, 9 May 2023

Statements by Senators


1:38 pm

Photo of Nita GreenNita Green (Queensland, Australian Labor Party) Share this | Hansard source

I thank Senator Reynolds for her comments on commemoration of the Boer War and also recognise those who served during the Boer War conflict. It is an incredibly important thing for us to remember today in the Senate.

I'm here today to talk about today's budget. It is budget day, and tonight's budget does three things. It provides cost-of-living relief that doesn't add to inflation, it creates more opportunities for more Australians and it builds a stronger and more resilient economy in the future—three incredibly important principles. We know that the most important part of this budget will be delivering cost-of-living relief, and the centrepiece of this budget that we'll hear the details of tonight is a $14.6 billion cost-of-living relief package. It's incredibly important that our government is able to deliver cost-of-living relief where it's affordable and responsible. This budget has been carefully calibrated and designed to take the pressure off the cost of living, rather than add to it. More than five million households and one million small businesses will be eligible for energy price relief rebates from 1 July—we've already announced that measure—and, from 1 September, general patients will be able to save up to $180 per script per year for medicines that are able to be prescribed for 60 days, building on our cheaper medicines policy. This is on top of the $2.2 billion Strengthening Medicare package in the budget to make health care more accessible and affordable for all Australians. This is a budget that is in the best Labor tradition—helping the vulnerable with the cost of living.

We're also making sure that we create more opportunities for more Australians. We're doing that by making a change to the single parenting payment, raising the age to 14 and increasing payments by an extra $176 per fortnight from 20 September. We're also funding the biggest pay rise ever for aged-care workers. (Time expired)


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