Five million households and a million businesses will be bolstered by up to $500 in power bill relief.
The $1.5 billion package will be announced in Tuesday’s budget, which will subsidise electricity costs for small businesses, pensioners, and other people on government payments.
But the amount of money you’ll receive will depend on where you live, with Treasurer Jim Chalmers indicating the government has had to negotiate different energy agreements with eight different state and territory governments.
“More than 5.5 million households will get some assistance with their electricity bills, and around a million small businesses will be eligible as well, to take some of the edge off what is the key drivers of these cost of living pressures,” Dr Chalmers told ABC.
“People will be getting several hundred dollars if they’re on pensions and payments, or a small business, but depending on where you live, depending on what the price pressures are, depending on how much the states and territories are prepared to kick in, because this is a co-investment with them.”
Dr Chalmers says Tuesday’s budget will offer assistance to the vulnerable Australians doing it tough, but must not worsen inflation.
Dr Chalmers on Sunday would not be drawn into whether JobSeeker payments would be boosted for all Australians - not just over 55s as has been reported.
Asked on Sky News whether there would be an increase across the board, Dr Chalmers said Tuesday’s budget would be “a responsible budget for Australians who are doing it tough”.
“And central to that, probably the centrepiece of the budget will be a cost of living package which is broader than what has been speculated on, which prioritises the most vulnerable people and which applies to more than one age cohort,” he said.
“We’ve already announced cheaper medicines, cheaper early childhood education, help with energy bills, and there’ll be other elements to it as well.”
He’s also given hope for single parents, hinting that single parents could receive payments until their youngest child is 12 or 13 – well up from the current age of eight.
“If there’s an opportunity to do better there, we will,” he told Channel 7.