Federal Budget 2023-24: BCCM summary and overview

10 May 2023

In handing down his second budget last night, the Treasurer’s “Commonwealth of common purpose”, strikes a chord with our business models. As businesses focused on equity, fairness and putting people before profits there was plenty to welcome in budget measures aimed at tackling disadvantage as well as lifting the wages of essential workers. Easing cost of living pressures is also good for the businesses that support more than eight in 10 Australians with essential services and fairly priced goods.

A welcomed 15 per cent wage increase for aged care workers recognises their vital importance and is aimed at boosting the local care workforce.

The government is focused on supporting community-led responses to health and care delivery especially in regional and remote Australia. The budget includes $445 million “to enable doctors, nurses and allied health professionals to co-operate for better care”. The BCCM has been funded through the Care Together program to provide education, information and advice to community members to explore co-operative business models in places where current service delivery is failing.

Measures to support rural and remote pharmacies to improve pharmacy services and extended 60-day dispensary times aim to lower consumers’ out-of-pocket health costs. BCCM will work with members to ensure the friendly societies pharmacies sector can compete to continue to serve more than 1 million Australians.

Budgetary investment in housing is vital. The BCCM is leading a co-op housing study tour to ensure the Government’s $10b investment in the Housing Australia Future Fund is inclusive of co-op models which are proven to deliver empowered housing solutions and security of tenure for people on lower incomes. The government commits to add 1 million new homes over 5 years from 2024 and is increasing the liability cap of NHIFIC by $2 billion, to support more lending to community housing providers. We will work with our members to ensure this includes co-operative housing providers.

For an overview of key measures by sector/industry read our detailed Budget Summary.

Budget summary

With projected economic outlook expected to see growth slow from 3 ¼ per cent in 2022–23 to 1 ½ per cent the year after, this year’s budget is modest, prioritising responsible spending, with targeted allocations to relieve cost of living pressures, rejuvenate and modernise the Australian economy, while remaining sensitive to the inflationary economic environment.

Overview

The Budget’s key aims are to:

  • Provide cost-of-living relief
  • Deliver investment in Medicare and the care economy
  • Broaden opportunity by breaking down the barriers of disadvantage and exclusion.
  • Lay the foundations for growth by:
    • Embracing clean energy, and
    • Investing in value-adding industries, people, skills, technology and small business.

Supporting Australians doing it tough

  • $4.9 billion in support to around 1.1 million Australians including,
    • $40 per fortnight increase for JobSeeker, Youth Allowance, Austudy and other recipients of income support payments.
    • Extending the extra support for those aged 60 and over to include Australians aged 55 and over.
    • Expanding Parenting Payment (Single), to single parents until their youngest child turns 14, rather than 8.

Energy cost saving

  • $3 billion in direct energy bill relief for eligible households and small businesses, co-funded with the states.
  • $1.6 billion Energy Savings Plan which includes $300 million to support upgrades to social housing, co-funded and co-designed with the states and territories.

Climate and Energy Transition/ Manufacturing

  • Establish the National Net Zero Authority to:
    • Support workers in emissions-intensive sectors to access new employment, skills and support as the net zero transformation continues.
    • Coordinate programs and policies across government to support regions and communities to attract and take advantage of new clean energy industries and set those industries up for success.
    • Help investors and companies to engage with net zero transformation opportunities.
  • $2 billion for Hydrogen Headstart, providing revenue support for large-scale renewable hydrogen projects through competitive hydrogen production contracts.
  • Capacity Investment Scheme that will unlock over $10 billion of investment in firmed-up renewable energy projects up and down the east coast.

Australian small business

  • A $20,000 instant asset write-off.
    • Small businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $10 million will be able to immediately deduct eligible depreciating assets costing less than $20,000.
  • Small Business Energy Incentive to support investments in power-saving assets.
    • $310 million tax relief to provide businesses of less than $50 million turnover with an additional 20 per cent deduction on spending that supports electrification and more efficient use of energy.
  • And new help for small businesses to adopt and adapt to digital technology.

Health

  • $445 million to enable doctors, nurses and allied health professionals to co-operate for better care.
  • Community pharmacy
    • Extended 60-day dispensary times for over 300 different medicines, lowering out-of-pocket health costs.
    • The Government is investing $1.3 billion in the 2023–24 Budget to ensure access to existing pharmacy programs, support rural and remote pharmacies and deliver on improved pharmacy services.

Aged Care

  • $11.3 billion to fund a 15% increase in award wages, for more than 250,000 aged care workers.
  • $81.9 million will be provided to develop and implement a new Aged Care Act and $72.3 million to support a new, stronger Aged Care Regulatory Framework.
  • $139.9 million to improve the accountability and transparency of approved aged care providers through enhancements to the Star Rating system.
  • $52.1 million to increase the funding available to aged care providers in very remote areas under the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program. In addition,
  • $487.0 million will extend the Disability Support for Older Australians Program.
  • Additional funding to continue to reform in-home aged care, including $15.7 million to establish a single aged care assessment system.

Housing

  • Housing Accord aims to build one million, new, well-located homes over 5 years from 2024 through:
    • tax breaks for build-to-rent projects, cutting managed investment trust withholding tax from 30 to 15%.
    • increase liability cap of NHIFIC by $2 billion, to support more lending to community housing providers.
  • The Budget recommits to the $10 billion Housing Australia Future Fund.
    • Investment in social and affordable housing to deliver 30,000 social and affordable homes in five years.
  • Widening the remit of the National Housing Infrastructure Facility, making up to $575 million available to invest immediately in social and affordable rental homes.
  • $1.7 billion under the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement.
    • Funding will support access to affordable, safe and sustainable housing, which includes preventing and addressing homelessness.

Indigenous Skills, Education and employment

  • $38.4million to support high quality and culturally appropriate education for First Nations boys and girls in remote areas.
  • $21.6 million to extend the Indigenous Boarding Providers Grants Program for one year, to provide rural and remote First Nations students the opportunity to complete schooling away from home.
  • Replace the Community Development Program with a new program to support job seekers in remote Australia. $97.7 million is being provided to support development of a New Jobs Program trial and to meet the sustained service demand that arose during COVID-19.

Latest news

15 May 2024

Co-operative sector welcomes Budget measures to boost social housing

Australia’s $40 billion co-operatives and mutuals sector has welcomed the Federal Government’s Budget initiatives to help ease cost of living pressures and address...
15 May 2024

BCCM Federal Budget 2024–25 alert

Measures of note for co-ops and mutuals across housing, small business, social care, manufacturing, competition policy and financial services.