$400 one-off payment for 700,000 families

Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan will oversee her first state budget on Tuesday. Picture: NCA NewsWire/ Nicki Connolly

Jacinta Allan will oversee her first state budget as premier, flagging it will be “sensible and disciplined” and prioritise alleviating cost-of-living pressures on families, despite the state’s massive debt.

The premier – who only took over for her predecessor Daniel Andrews in September last year – said she was aware of the global and domestic inflationary pressures, which added to the budget’s challenges.

One of the key cost of living measures included in today’s budget will be a $400 bonus for an estimated 700,000 Victorian students.

The one-off payment will be administered by schools later this year, and can be spent on education related expenses such as sporting events, uniforms or school camps.

“We are focused on how we can support Victorian families as Labor governments always do,” she told reporters on Monday.

“The budget will be firmly focused on Victorian families.

“We will also be taking the sensible and disciplined decisions that we need to make.”

Victorian Premier has said the budget will be ‘firmly focused’ on Victorian families. Picture: NCA NewsWire/ Nicki Connolly

The state’s Treasurer Tim Pallas has also flagged spending cuts and budgetary repairs in what will be his 10th budget, however he said the “wellbeing of family budgets,” will be kept front-of-mind.

“Treasurers always tend to be entirely focused on tough decisions. It’s good to see that we’ve got a Premier who’s a little bit more focused on the wellbeing of the broader community and her responsibilities as leader of the government,” he said last week.

“She’s made very clear to me that she wants to make sure that we don’t adversely impact upon the wellbeing of family budgets at a time they’re dealing with higher cost of living and the challenges of getting their own finances in order.”

The promise comes amid the state’s rising debt levels, which has been criticised by the opposition.

Victoria’s debt is forecast to hit $135.5bn in June 2024, and $177.8bn by 2026/27. The next state election will be held on November 26, 2026.

However, the state did receive an extra $3.7bn in this year’s GST carve up, which could help the state maintain a narrow surplus.

Estimates Victoria
Treasurer Tim Pallas will hand down his 10th state budget on Tuesday. Picture: NCA NewsWire/ Luis Enrique Ascui

On the even of the budget, Mr Pallas’ federal counterpart Jim Chalmers welcomed cost-of-living relief from states, and acknowledged the “difficult decisions and trade-offs” confronting both state and commonwealth governments.

“I think these cost of living pressures are acute, they are still substantial, we need all shoulders to the wheel and so I welcome the contributions that some states are making to that effort,” he said.

“I respect Tim and I like working with him and no doubt he has had some difficult decisions and trade-offs to make in the same way that we have.

“I like to work with the states and territories rather than against them”.