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Australian Labor Party

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Australian Federal Budget 2024: Key Highlights and Expectations

On 14 May, Treasurer Jim Chalmers will unveil his second full-year budget, striking a balance between cost-of-living relief and economic growth. Let's delve into the details:

Tax Cuts and Cost of Living

The budget includes changes to stage-three tax cuts, a $359 billion 10-year package announced by Labor in January and legislated in February. Under this plan, all Australian taxpayers earning over the tax-free threshold of $18,200 will receive a tax cut, effectively doubling the benefit for an average income earner compared to the Coalition’s original proposal. While 84% of taxpayers will fare better under Labor's plan, those earning over $146,486 would have received more under the Coalition’s model.

Additional Measures

Chalmers has confirmed there will be “additional steps” to reduce poverty and introduce “new initiatives for housing.” The government will also address student debt by indexing HECS and HELP debts to the lower of the consumer price index or the wage price index, retroactive to June 2023. Furthermore, student teachers, nurses, midwives, and social workers will receive $320 per week during mandatory work placements starting from July 2025.

Education and Skills

The budget allocates $90.6 million to boost skilled workers in the construction and housing sector, creating 15,000 fee-free TAFE places and 5,000 pre-apprenticeship positions. Additionally, school funding will rise as the federal government negotiates with states to cover the 5% funding gap, recently offering to increase its share from 20% to 22.5%.

Overall, Chalmers aims for a budget that balances economic stability with targeted relief measures, positioning Australia’s economy for sustainable growth.

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