Budget 2024-2025: What single mothers need to know

by | May 16, 2024 | 0 comments

Anyone who caught the news this week knows all the top stories were about Budgets – first the Victorian Budget was handed down, then the Federal Budget. Every Budget covers a broad range of issues, and every Budget is followed by many interviews with experts and interest groups – it’s like a fiscal tsunami.

Both the state and federal Budgets contained items that will benefit some single mother families. We’ve made it easy for you by pulling out the topline items that impact single mothers.

Victorian Budget 2024-2025

Given the pandemic-related debt the State now finds itself with, this Budget was always expected to be lean – and it was. Yet, while there were headlining cuts to high profile infrastructure, there have been significant investments aimed at providing relief for families in this the cost-of-living crisis.

School Savings Bonus: A $400 allowance per child to help cover the costs associated with school activities and essentials, paid to the school.

Glasses for Kids program: Funding has been earmarked for an expansion of the program.

Energy affordability and consumer protection: A $12.1 million investment will see the continuation of the Victorian Energy Compare website and the Energy Assistance Program, tools that help people to navigate their energy options.

Financial counselling for family violence survivors: This initiative will support victim survivors of family violence by addressing financial issues.

Strengthening food security: A $3.5 million funding boost will enhance food distribution across Victoria, supporting Regional Food Relief Hubs, local volunteer-led initiatives and Neighbourhood Houses.

Expanded School Breakfast Clubs Program: An additional $21.1 million commitment will enable the expansion of the School Breakfast Clubs Program to include all government schools who wish to participate in the program.

Federal Budget 2024-2025

“Australians are under the pump right now,” Treasurer Jim Chalmers said in his Budget speech on Tuesday. “That’s why providing responsible, targeted relief is the number one priority in our Budget.” It’s a message he reiterated in every post-Budget interview – here’s what that means.

Energy rebate: From July, all households will get a $300 credit automatically applied in quarterly instalments to their electricity bills. It’s worth noting, homeless single mothers are ineligible.

Tax cuts: The much-publicised stage-three tax cuts will result in all 13.6 million taxpayers paying less. The average taxpayer will get a tax cut of $1,888, or $36 a week.

Rent assistance: Around one million families will get a slightly higher rate of Commonwealth Rent Assistance, with the maximum rate to increase by 10 per cent. That translates to up to $18.80 a fortnight for singles and $25 a fortnight for families. Unfortunately, homeless single mothers will not benefit from this.

Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme: Pensioners and concession card holders will only pay a maximum $7.70 for medicines on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme for the next five years. For the general public, prescription co-payments will be frozen at $31.60 for the next two years.

Study: The government has added a cap indexation of HECS debts, payments for students undertaking work placements, superannuation on government-funded paid parental leave, and 20,000 new fee-free TAFE places.

Powerful Safety Levers

In the lead-up to the Federal Budget, Single Mother Families Australia campaigned vigorously for the government that would “pull all the levers” required for the safety of women, particularly those escaping family violence. Read their take on whether the Budget rose to the challenge.

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