There were few surprises in Tuesday night's budget announcement, though against a backdrop of stubborn dwelling prices and rapidly rising interest rates, the new National Housing Accord was described by a few as quite ambitious.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers himself described it as a "bread and butter" budget.

ANZ economists called the overall budget modest.

"The new government has announced an unsurprisingly modest budget with a focus on updating the numbers given the very different economic outlook, 'reprioritisation' and a start to budget repair. The government says they are 'returning 99 per cent of upgrades to tax receipts to the budget'," they said.

"While the absence of measures to ease cost of living pressures over and above those already announced may disappoint some, critically there is nothing in this budget that will spook the inflation hawks."

AMP chief economist Dr Shane Oliver outlined the winners and losers for this budget.

"Winners include: parents; students; medicine users; patients; electric car buyers; NBN users; aged care residents; pensioners; new home buyers;skilled migrants; neighbouring countries; electric car buyers; and the environment," Dr Oliver said.

"But unlike in the March Budget there are more losers this time including: multinationals; tax avoiders; foreign investors; federal law breakers; and consultants, contractors and travel agents to the public sector."

Federal Budget for Pensioners

Outlined in the Federal Budget, pensioners are set to receive the largest payment increase in 12 years.

Alongside the increase to pension payments, a new initiative will also assist older Australians to work and keep more of their money.

The initiative will grant age and service pensioners who look to get back into the workforce, a one-off $4,000 credit. 

National Seniors Australia (NSA) has welcomed the governments commitment to ease cost of living pressures for older Australians, but is disappointed the opportunity to help fix urgent workforce shortages has been missed.

According to NSA, there are 74,300 job vacancies in the critical Health Care and Social Assistance sector, which includes aged care, disability care, child care and health.

National Seniors Australia Chief Advocate Ian Henschke said the workforce crisis in the care sector could be eased by allowing pensioners to work, and work more, without being financially penalised.

"Modelling by Deloitte shows if more than 8.3% of pensioners rejoined the workforce and worked more our policy to exempt work income would make money for government on income tax alone," Mr Henschke said.

"For sectors desperate for workers such as health, aged, disability and child care we need a full income exemption to fill shortages.

"Letting pensioners work in the care sector without being penalised is a win for government, a win for the economy and a win for pensioners."

Federal Budget for Housing

The Albanese Government has announced a National Housing Accord in the budget, which will provide $350 million across five years to fund one million new homes from 2024.

Housing Industry Association’s (HIA) Managing Director Graham Wolfe said Labor’s first budget shows leadership to tackle Australia’s housing supply and affordability challenges for all Australians.

"Year on year housing supply shortfalls, as we’ve seen for most of the last two decades, inevitably add pressure to Australia’s housing challenges," Mr Wolfe said.

"For every year that Australia doesn’t deliver enough new homes to meet demand across the housing continuum, we will see a negative impact on both housing affordability and rental affordability.

"The budget commitment of $10 billion to create the Housing Australians Future Fund which aims to deliver 30,000 social and affordable rental homes, has the capacity to bridge the housing deficit.

"The addition of a further 10,000 affordable homes in tonight’s budget is an important extension of this commitment."

Federal Budget for Savers & Households

According to Treasurer Jim Chalmers, the budget will address responsible and targeted cost-of-living relief, with savers expected to see benefits like cheaper medicine, childcare and the push for more affordable housing.

The Budget deficit has improved to $36.9 billion, down from the $78 billion previously predicted in the March budget and the April pre-election fiscal update.

Australian Banking Association (ABA) CEO Anna Bligh said the budget is set against a worsening global economic outlook, with many risks weighing on the economy.

"Against this backdrop, the Government has laid the foundations to put Australia on a solid footing, whilst continuing support for important initiatives," Ms Bligh said.

"The Government’s commitment to establish a national scams centre and review managed investment schemes is an overdue and very welcome investment in protecting customers from financial harm."

Federal Budget for Parents

Delivered in the budget, the Federal Government announced the increase to paid parental leave. 

The scheme will now transition from a total 20 weeks' leave in July 2023 up to a total 26 weeks' leave by July 2026 - coming at a cost of $531.6 million over four years

The Parenthood Executive Director Georgie Dent said this budget recognises investment in early childhood education and care and paid parental leave as critical infrastructure that delivers for children, women, families, communities and the economy.

"It’s estimated paid parental leave changes will benefit more than 180,000 families over coming years and 1.26 million families will be better off under changes to the child care subsidy that begins mid-next year," Ms Dent said.

"These reforms are not just good for children, women and families, they are good for the economy too.

"The budget estimates the expansion of the child care subsidy will lead to an additional 37,000 full-time employees participating – mostly mums.

"But for parents to be able to work additional days it is critical that action is taken to address the workforce crisis in early childhood education."

Federal Budget for SMSFs

National Director of Superannuation and SMSF Services Katie Timms believes there was little in the budget for the industry for SMSFs, apart from the pre-election announcement about the downsizer contribution.

"While it was good to see the residency rule changes are still on the radar, they have been delayed - it would have provided the industry with more confidence if the Federal Government had confirmed a start date," Ms Timms said.

"Many in this sector no doubt were wishing for certain items to be covered in this first Labor Budget in a decade, for example, legacy pensions - there were changes announced in the 2021-22 Budget but they remain unlegislated, despite constant cries to simplify outdated processes and rules."


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