Big hint for winners in federal budget

Treasurer Jim Chalmers will deliver his second budget on Tuesday night. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Martin Ollman

Single parents may be in for a boost on budget night, with the treasurer hinting that a much-maligned measure introduced under a previous Labor government will be changed.

The big change would be to the decision made under the Labor Gillard government to force single parents onto a lower payment once their youngest child turned eight.

While not confirming the age limit would change, Treasurer Jim Chalmers did indicate it was a possibility in a pre-budget interview on Sunday, saying he did not want to “pre-empt any announcement” in the next couple of days.

“If there’s an opportunity to do better there, we will,” he told Sunday Sunrise.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers will hand down his second budget on Tuesday. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Martin Ollman

Single parents with older children hoping to receive more generous government benefits have been on tenterhooks waiting to find out whether the measure will feature in the federal budget.

Australians receiving this payment, who are predominantly women, are shifted to the less generous JobSeeker payment when their youngest child turns eight-years-old and lose about $100 a week as a result.

It’s the biggest hint yet from the government that the measure will be scrapped.

Dr Chalmers also said Tuesday’s budget would have a strong focus on addressing cost-of-living pressures.

“The cost of living package in the budget will be much broader than what’s been speculated on,” he said.

“This will be a responsible budget for Australians doing it tough, and that means some responsible cost-of-living assistance at the same time as we lay the foundations for future growth as we get the budget on a much more sustainable footing.”

Dr Chalmers also confirmed the government would impose reforms to the Petroleum Resource Rent Tax that would result in an extra $2.4bn from offshore oil and gas companies.