Like a lot of Australia, we are watching the Australian Federal Budget. But why should it matter to you?
Image: A woman stands outdoors, wearing a light grey shirt with her arms crossed. The text in green says 'Budget 2023" at the top and Australian Federal Budget. Here's why it should matter to you. The Life Without Barriers logo is in the bottom right-hand corner
What is the Federal Budget?
The 2023 Federal Budget explains how the government will share funding for the next financial year, including what programs and support services will be given support, and how they will manage the money they have.
Just like anyone might make a weekly or monthly budget from their income, spending and savings, the Federal Government does the same for the country, explaining what they will spend public money on and how they will pay back debts.
When will the next federal Budget be delivered?
The next Federal Budget will be delivered in Parliament by the Federal Treasurer, Jim Chalmers MP, on Tuesday 9 May 2023. You can watch the Treasurer hand down the Federal Budget here.
Why does the Budget matter?
The Federal Budget tells the Australian public what taxpayer money will go towards, including things like our hospitals, schools, roads and the NDIS.
The decisions the Government makes in the Federal Budget will influence the lives of everyday Australians, because it decides how much the government will cover when it comes to tax, paying for things like gaining new skills through Tafe or in school, various health items under Medicare, the rate of welfare payments like the jobseeker payment and the Aged Pension and much, much more.
Why is Life Without Barriers interested in the Federal Budget?
Life Without Barriers is interested in budget outcomes because we know they will impact the people we support. We make sure that we don’t only offer services to people, but that we use our skills and the information people we support share with us to help the government think about ways to allocate money so it helps people.
We are particularly interested in any decisions the government makes around the NDIS, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities, education, aged care, childcare and support for families, and funding to assist refugees and asylum seekers, just to name a few.
In 2023, Life Without Barriers is anticipating a lot of announcements about NDIS reforms, more funding in aged care, changes to Australia’s visa and migration systems, changes to Australia’s health system, and some anti-inflation adjustments which could help the people we support with the cost of living.
So, what do we know about the 2023 Budget so far?
The Government makes “pre-budget" announcements in the lead-up to budget night to shape how people are thinking about the budget before the big numbers are revealed, and this year's been no exception.
Here is a bit more about some of the 2023 budget teasers that may matter to the people we support, their families and their communities:
People with Disability
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has been a major focus of the Budget 2023. The Government has confirmed that we will likely see the NDIS undergo systemic reform, in 6 key areas. These include increasing the NDIS workforce, addressing costs, introducing long-term plans, reviewing SIL arrangements and targeting criminal syndicates within the system.
As one of Australia’s largest disability providers and a member of Alliance20, we look forward to seeing the positive changes across the country brought on by the May budget. We look forward to an invigorated NDIS!
Aged care is another area where the Government spends a lot of their budget. The Albanese government will spend an extra $4.8bn on aged care, but we won't know how that money will be spent until budget night. The Treasurer has also pledged to fund a 15% pay raise for aged care workers which will cost almost $8 billion over four years.
Image: A family of two dads and a happy toddler running between them. The text reads 'Families. The Labor Government has committed $55.31 bn to make childcare more affordable from July."
The Labor Government has committed $55.31 billion across the next four years to make childcare more affordable from July.
The package includes measures to make childcare cheaper for around 1.2 million families nationwide and invests in training more childcare workers.
The Federal Health Minister, Mark Butler MP, has announced changes within the Medicare system, but no additional funding in the budget. He has also announced pharmacy reform which will allow Australians to buy twice as many common medicines for the price of one script.
There will be a lot more announcements to come. To keep you informed of the decisions that will impact the people we support, Life Without Barriers will post a budget breakdown after the 9 of May. Watch this space and follow us on Twitter for updates on the night!
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Statement from the Board of Life Without Barriers
The Life Without Barriers Board supports a constitutionally enshrined First Nations Voice to Parliament.