skip to log on skip to main content
VoiceOver users please use the tab key when navigating expanded menus
Article related to:

Spend Carefully

How to benefit from this year’s Federal Budget

Financial Wellbeing Coach

2023-10-12 00:00

Estimated reading time
 9 min

In this article

  • More bulk-billing at doctor's appointments
  • Cost of living relief for homes
  • Subsidy for childcare
  • Relief for renters
  • Increase to Job Seeker payments

Since the Federal budget was announced in May, we thought we’d clear the air about what this year’s budget really looks like in practice, and how you can get your ducks in a row to make the most of what the government is doing for you.

Cast your mind back to May 2023. It’s getting chilly, everyone’s favourite European song contest is on the telly and – of course – the Federal Budget is being announced (scintillating, we know!), including Treasurer Jim Chalmers’ cost-of-living relief measures... which are only starting to kick in now.

Good news for GP visits

What’s changed?

To help make routine visits to the doc more affordable, the government announced a $3.5 billion investment that would see Medicare paying GPs more for bulk-billed consults1. This means that general practitioners can continue to bulk bill and help more everyday Aussies access healthcare, without patients having to pay high out-of-pocket costs.

What’s in it for you?

Your GP fee will likely stay the same, but you’ll get more back from Medicare – e.g. if a check-up costs $50, it will still cost $50, but the rebate will be $39 rather than $13. More doctors may also be willing to offer bulk billing options, and more Aussies will be able to afford check-ups and simple consults instead of waiting for emergencies only. This also means that you don’t have to rely on the emergency department for a minor health problem.

Cost of living relief for homes

What’s changed?

The government has put a cap on the price of coal used for electricity and a 12-month emergency cap on gas prices as part of the Energy Price Relief Plan2 which is coming into effect. And if that’s not music to your ears, then listen up – the government is also providing rebates of up to $3 billion in electricity relief for eligible households and small businesses across the country.

What’s in it for you?

Depending on where you are in the country, you might receive bonuses ranging from $175 (ACT) to $500 (NSW, South Australia and Tasmania). This means you’ll get a direct payment from the government for immediate financial support. And with the caps in play, they should (in theory) reduce your gas and electricity bills over time. Check your state government’s website for details. 

More support for first home buyers

What’s changed?

Getting a foot on the wild property ladder of Australia continues to be a challenge for many people – especially if you’re going it alone. In the federal budget 2023-2024 the government announced new eligibility criteria3 for the First Home Guarantee, the Regional First Home Buyer Guarantee and the Family Home Guarantee – giving you more ways to team up to get into the market.

What’s in it for you?

Now, your friends, siblings or other family members can submit a joint application with you for the First Home Guarantee or Regional First Home Guarantee schemes, which act as guarantor on up to 15% of your loan (heaps!). This was previously restricted to married, de-facto and single people. Buyers who’ve previously owned a home may also be able to apply if their last home was bought at least 10 years ago which is a bonus! 

The Family Home Guarantee4 is for single parents or legal guardians with kids and is designed to help them purchase a family home with a maximum deposit of up to 18% of the value of the property (versus the 20% usually required for a home deposit). There will be 5,000 places available from 1 July 2023 – 30 June 2024 – the more the merrier.

Great news for access to childcare

What’s changed?

If working from home taught us all anything, it’s that appropriate childcare shouldn’t just be considered a luxury. We’re sure all parents will relate. But we also know that cost can get in the way of access.

What’s in it for you?

The Child Care Subsidy5 kicked off in July 2023 and that sound you hear is parents sighing in relief. But the amount the government will pay for childcare will depend on your family’s income. If you want a general indicator of how much you’ll be subsidised, then Services Australia has a great table that explains how much the government will cover. If you want more accurate figures, there’s a handy online calculator that you can use to determine how much you’ll actually pay under this new scheme.

This will benefit 1.2 million families across Australia. 

A sigh of rent relief

What’s changed?

For tenants around the country, the government will be raising the maximum rate of the Commonwealth Rent Assistant (CRA)6 by 15% – a positive for renters who’ve been facing payment increases of up to 10% or more in the past year. To show you the increase in action, a single CRA recipient who has no dependants, isn’t sharing a home and receives the maximum amount of support will see an increase from $157.20 to $180.80 each fortnight.

What’s in it for you?

If you’re an eligible renter (find out if you are here), CRA offers fortnightly payments to Australians on income support or family tax benefits who live in private rental accommodation or community housing. If you’re needing help paying your rent this could be a solution.

A jump for Job Seekers

What’s changed?

If you’re between jobs or have been struggling to find work, the Government has offered an increase to fortnightly JobSeeker payments.

What’s in it for you?

If you’re one of the 900,000 Australians7 on JobSeeker, Youth Allowance, Austudy or other government payments, you’ll get an extra $40 a fortnight8 as you keep an eye out for work opportunities.

If you made it this far, that’s all for now! Stay tuned as benefits keep evolving and new policies come into play – whether it’s access to childcare, affordable housing, or new rebates for utilities, the effects of the May budget will keep cropping up new benefits for you to take advantage of. We hope this was a good place to start!

How to benefit from this year’s Federal Budget
Financial Wellbeing Coach

Rising cost of living a hot topic in your house?

Track, monitor and even negotiate your utilities to feel in control of your outgoings.

Plan Your Spend



The information set out above is general in nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on the information, you should consider whether the information is appropriate for you having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. By providing this information ANZ does not intend to provide any financial advice or other advice or recommendations. You should seek independent financial, legal, tax and other relevant advice having regard to your particular circumstances.

1. Department of Health and Aged Care, Building a stronger Medicare,

2. Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water, Energy Priorities,

3. Ministers Treasury Portfolio, Helping more Australians into home ownership,

4. National Housing and Investment Corporation, First Home Guarantee,

5. Department of Education, Budget 23-24 Factsheet – Childcare Subsidy Reform,

6. Ministers for the Department of Social Services, Boosting support payments to help with cost-of-living pressures,

7. Australian Government, DSS JobSeeker Payment and Youth Allowance recipients – monthly profile,

8. Services Australia, Rate increase for students and Australian apprentices on Youth Allowance and Austudy,