Your Guide to All the Cost of Living Relief Policies Dropping in July

Cost of living relief payments are coming into effect from 1 July

The government is rolling out a number of previously-announced cost of living relief policies that are coming into effect in July.

The bill for the privilege of merely existing has been climbing skyward for the past few years. Inflation, the knock-on effects of the pandemic, and the war in Ukraine have all been blamed for why people are having to choose between heating and eating.

In what was dubbed the ‘cost of living budget,’ Treasurer Jim Chalmers handed down a range of measures in May designed to make life that little bit more affordable for Aussies. These measures include pay rises, parental leave changes, and cheaper childcare amongst other things.

The suite of policies which will start to roll out from Saturday will make a real difference in the lives of millions of hardworking Australians while delivering an economic dividend and laying the foundations for future growth,” Chalmers has said.

“Key policies like energy price relief will directly reduce inflation, while others like cheaper childcare and enhanced paid parental leave will boost the capacity of our economy.”

At the time of the budget, Chalmers said that his policies were designed to limit their impact on inflation while still providing meaningful financial support.

Tackling inflation, currently at 7%, is the main motivator behind the Reserve Bank of Australia’s interest rate rises. They have suggested that Chalmers’ budget may contribute to inflation and experts are expecting that another rate hike is on the horizon.

Still, for the people who the current crop of policies impact any relief will be greatly welcomed. Here’s what’s changing from this Saturday and whos going to benefit.

Cost of Living Relief Policies

Energy Bill Relief Payments

Five million households and one million small businesses will be eligible from July ` for the government’s power bill rebate programme.

Eligible households will get up to $500 off their energy bills over the coming financial year whereas small businesses will get up to $650 off.

However, the policy is one worked out between the government and state and territory jurisdictions, meaning the rebates vary depending on where you live.

The ACT has the smallest rebates for homes and businesses, at $175 and $325 respectively. NSW, the NT, QLD, SA, and WA all have $500 and $650 rebates while TAS has $250 and $650 deals. In VIC, households get $250 on top of the $250 they already get under the Power Saving Bonus while businesses get $325.

Eligible households are generally those on Centrelink payments. People with Pensioner Concession, Health Care, DVA Gold, or Commonwealth Seniors Health cards are eligible, as are those who get Family Tax Benefit or Carer Allowance.

Deductions will be made automatically and you don’t need to apply or do anything to get them.

Cheaper Child Care

1.2 million families are expected to benefit with cost of living relief savings in the form of an average of $1,700 in cuts to the cost of childcare.

From 10 July, the government will cover 90% of the cost of childcare for families earning less than $80,000 per year. For every $5000 over the threshold, the coverage rate decreases by 1%.

That means a family earning $130,000 a year, with one child in care seven days a week, would pay $287 per fortnight. From 10 July, they will be paying $168 per fortnight.

The changes will be applied automatically under the Child Care Subsidy scheme.

Parental Leave Changes

Paid Parental leave is getting an overhaul, with both the current scheme and the Dad and Partner Pay entitlement being merged into one, giving 20 weeks in total.

This means that each parent will be allowed to take ten weeks each, or leave can be divided however families see fit.

It allows fathers to take more leave than they were able to before in an effort to equalise care responsibilities. Leave can also be claimed in blocks until the child is two and parents no longer have to be returning to work to get the paid leave.

The changes will affect anyone who has a baby born or adopted after July 1.

Aged-Care Worker Pay Rises

People who work in the aged care sector will receive a 15% pay rise, effective from July 1.

“The Government recognises the complex and previously undervalued work of the aged care workforce which is why we are investing $11.3 billion to fund the Fair Work Commission’s interim decision for a 15% pay increase,” Health Minister Mark Butler has said.

The changes mean that a registered nurse on a 2.3 award wage will take home an extra $196.08 per week, more than $10,000 per year.

Instant Asset Write-Off

Changes to the way small businesses claim items, tools, and equipment mean that small businesses could save thousands in tax write-offs.

Businesses with a turnover of less than $10 million will be able to deduct $20,000 from the cost of business assets. Previously the instant-write-off cap was $1,000.

The changes come into effect from July 1 but only apply to purchases made in the 2022/2023 financial year. It’s not been confirmed if the scheme will be carried on next year.

Small Business Energy Incentive

Businesses with a turnover of less than $50 million are being given cost-of-living relief measures to transition to more sustainable energy practices.

Up to $20,000 in tax deductions will be made available on up to $100,000 of spending on things that promote more efficient energy use. These include things like the electrification of heating and cooling systems, induction stovetops, batteries, and heat pumps.

Some states and territories also have energy efficiency grants for small businesses as well, so it’s worth looking around to see what else you could be eligible for.

Related: A Cost of Living Crisis: 57% of Menstruating Aussies Can’t Afford Period Products

Related: How to Use Meal Planning to Help Combat the Cost of Living Crisis

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