Queensland Budget: $8.2 billion to help ease cost of living pressures
Queensland Government media release
The Queensland State Budget 2023-24 will deliver an unprecedented $8.2 billion in concessions funding for all Queenslanders to ease cost of living pressures, with more than $1.6 billion in new or expanded measures.
The 2023-24 Budget delivers $1.48 billion for additional electricity bill support for Queensland households and small businesses in 2023-24.
This is the most significant electricity bill support package announced by any state or territory, more than doubling the size of the Federally agreed support package for Queensland under the National Energy Bill Relief Fund.
As part of the package, all Queensland households will automatically receive a $550 Cost of Living Rebate on their electricity bill in 2023-24, while around 600,000 vulnerable households will benefit from a higher $700 Cost of Living Rebate.
This is in addition to the existing $372 rebate for electricity bills for vulnerable households under the Queensland Electricity Rebate Scheme, bringing total rebates for this group to $1,072.
Around 205,000 eligible Queensland small businesses will also receive an automatic rebate of $650 on their electricity bill in 2023-24, cutting the cost of doing business in Queensland.
The Queensland Government will also provide 15 hours of free kindergarten per week from January 2024 for all 4-year-old Queensland children, easing the burden of early childhood costs for Queensland families.
On average, a family attending a sessional kindy for 15 hours per week that charges $46 per day will save $4,600 a year in fees.
The Budget will also allocate $4.8 million over 2 years to expand the availability of FairPlay vouchers, providing up to $150 for eligible children aged up to 4 years to learn to swim.
Increased funding of $2.7 million over two years will be provided to extend and expand school breakfast programs in areas experiencing hardship across Queensland.
The Budget will also deliver increased funding of more than $70 million over four years to increase accommodation and fuel subsidies under the Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme, helping rural and regional Queenslanders travel to access essential healthcare services.
Other measures to tackle cost of living:
- Additional funding of $22 million over four years will be provided to support the Nursing and Midwifery Student Regional Placements Allowance of $5,000 per student
- The Government Managed Housing Rental Rebate continues to target low-income families and individuals, with assistance to be provided to approximately 55,000 Queensland households
- Vehicle and Boat Registration concessions will continue to be made available to eligible Queenslanders, as part of a $206.8 million concessions package in 2023-24
- Textbook and Resource Allowance is available for all parents and caregivers of secondary school age students to assist with the cost of textbooks and learning resources, providing support of either $146 per student or $317 per student in 2023 (depending on year level)
- From 1 July 2023, the cost of replacing Queensland Driver Licences, photo identification cards and industry authority cards will reduce to just $35 at an estimated cost of $23.1 million over four years.
A new website has been launched by the Queensland Government to help Queenslanders access the range of concessions, rebates and supports available to ease cost of living pressures. Visit www.QueenslandSavers.qld.gov.au to find out more.