Published: 16:32, May 15, 2024
PM: Cost of living relief for all Australians to drive down inflation
By Xinhua

Australia's Prime Minister Anthony Albanese speaks during a National Cabinet meeting at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Offices in Sydney on May 1, 2024. (PHOTO / AFP)

CANBERRA - Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has defended his government's decision to offer every Australian, including high earners, cost of living relief.

Under the federal budget for 2024-25, which was handed down by Treasurer Jim Chalmers on Tuesday night, every Australian will receive a tax cut from July and every household an energy bill rebate worth 300 Australian dollars ($198.7) regardless of their income.

According to projections contained within the budget, Australia's annual rate of inflation is set to fall below three percent by December 2024 -- 12 months earlier than previously forecast by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) -- down from 3.6 percent in the 12 months to the end of March

Asked on Wednesday why the energy discount was not targeted to help only those in need of financial help, Albanese said offering it to every household would deliver cost of living relief and put downward pressure on inflation.

"We want to make sure that every Australian gets support during what is a cost-of-living crisis, which everyone is feeling," he told Nine Network television.

ALSO READ: Aussie govt says budget to help ease high inflation

"This is the most effective way to deliver support across the board."

According to projections contained within the budget, Australia's annual rate of inflation is set to fall below three percent by December 2024 -- 12 months earlier than previously forecast by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) -- down from 3.6 percent in the 12 months to the end of March.

Peter Dutton, leader of the opposition coalition, said on Wednesday that his party would support legislation for the 3.5 billion AUD ($2.3 billion) energy relief package but told state media the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) that he was worried about its impact on inflation.

READ MORE: Australia to suggest minimum wage rise due to inflation

In response, Chalmers told ABC television that advice from the Treasury indicated that the discount would not add to inflationary pressures elsewhere in the economy.