Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 2023-2024
House of Representatives, 31 May 2023
No budget in the past decade has done more to reduce inequality than the 2023 budget. In that budget we brought down initiatives that make medicines cheaper for Australians with long-term health conditions. We funded a pay rise for aged-care workers. We are delivering nearly 500,000 fee-free TAFE places and 20,000 new university places directed primarily at those who are the first in their family to attend university. We have established 10 days family and domestic violence leave. And we have extended eligibility for the parenting payment single to a single principal carer with a youngest child aged under 14.
In the last budget we increased the rates of JobSeeker, youth allowance, parenting payment partnered, Austudy, Abstudy, the youth disability support pension and special benefit. We've extended eligibility for JobSeeker to single recipients aged 55 and over. And we've increased Commonwealth rental assistance by the largest amount in the last 30 years. These changes to payments will help around 580,000 women, 318,000 young people, 150,000 First Nations Australians and 245,000 mature-age Australians. The budget will also provide additional support for people currently in supported employment with greater employment stability. It includes funding for pilots to develop evidence-based approaches for early intervention for infants with early signs of autism and includes an exciting new initiative, partnering with philanthropy on an investment dialogue for Australia's children, a whole-of-government framework to address community disadvantage. One of the main reasons why I got into politics was to make a difference on issues of inequality, and the Albanese government and our latest budget are delivering on that.