For a second consecutive year, the Federal Labor Government has revealed a $300 energy bill rebate as part of its Federal Budget.

All households will receive the rebate, with small businesses coming away slightly better off, with $325 coming their way.

The payment is expected to go to around 10 million households and cost the government’s coffers $3.5 billion in total.

It comes on the back of 2023’s $500 energy bill relief payment to low-income households and pensioners, specifically.

This year’s payment is smaller but it’s already being slammed by commentators, with many claiming the measure should have been means tested so as to ensure support for those who most need it. 

The rebate won’t come in the form of cash.

Rather, it will be applied to Australians’ electricity bills in the form of a credit and will come in quarterly instalments.

The first instalment will be provided in July 2024.

It's being offered in addition to any state-based energy bill relief payments, such as Queensland's $1,000 rebate and Tasmania's $250 payment

Non-inflationary cost-of-living relief?

The rebate appears to have been designed as a way to provide cost-of-living relief without fanning inflation.

“The ABS has shown how cutting energy bills directly … keep[s] downward pressure on inflation,” Treasure Jim Chalmers told the nation on Tuesday night.

Treasury estimates show the rebate can be expected to reduce headline inflation by around 0.5% this financial year.

It’s a move that has worked in the past.

The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics inflation data showed that electricity prices have risen 3.9% since the June quarter of last year.

That rate of growth would have been notably higher – at 17% – if not for the Federal Government’s previous $500 rebate.


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