2023/24 Federal Budget outcomes
Everybody’s Home Pre-Budget Submission outlined four key policy recommendations to tackle Australia’s ongoing housing emergency. Below we have analysed these against the Federal Government’s 2023/24 Budget commitments.
Recommendation 1: Scale up social housing investment to meet the need
We called on the Government to address the growing housing emergency by funding a pipeline of at least 25,000 social homes each year.
- No new funding for social housing to meet the current 640,000 shortfall.
- The Government has included a cost neutral measure to increase the Government-guaranteed liability cap of the National Housing and Finance Investment Corporation (NHFIC) by $2 billion to $7.5 billion to enable NHFIC to provide lower cost finance to community housing providers from the Affordable Housing Bond Aggregator.
- The Government has also offered tax breaks to encourage build-to-rent projects.
Recommendation 2: Increase the existing level of funding for social and affordable housing in the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement
We called on the Government to sustainably fund and maintain social housing and homelessness services over forward estimates.
- No ongoing increase in the existing level of funding to meet the growing need.
- The Government has allocated $67.5 million in 2023-24 to plug a funding shortfall to the states and territories. This will enable homelessness services to cover the wages of the workforce while the new National Housing and Homelessness Agreement is negotiated.
Recommendation 3: Reform housing taxation to deliver fairer outcomes
We called on the Government to reduce negative gearing and capital gains tax exemptions, and use the revenue raised to encourage investment in social and affordable housing.
- No changes to negative gearing or capital gains tax exemptions. Rising interest rates are expected to push negative gearing tax deductions above $100 billion over the next four years. The overwhelming majority of these tax breaks go to higher income earners.
- The Budget was silent on stage three tax cuts, however these are still earmarked to go ahead — the cost to the budget is estimated at $20 billion a year from mid-2024.
Recommendation 4: Raise and reform Commonwealth Rent Assistance
We called on the Government to increase the maximum rate of Commonwealth Rent Assistance, broaden eligibility for the payment, and ensure that everyone who receives the payment is given equal treatment.
- The maximum rate of Commonwealth Rent Assistance has been raised by 15 per cent – or up to $31 a fortnight – but this is expected to be swallowed up by rising rents, with half of people receiving the payment still in rental stress.
- Eligibility for this payment was not expanded. This means two in three people on JobSeeker and nine in ten people on Youth Allowance will miss out on rent assistance altogether.
We supported calls for immediate investment of at least 8,500 new co-designed, culturally appropriate homes to address the severe overcrowding and disadvantage being experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
- The Government has allocated $112m for new remote housing in the Northern Territory.
- There is also $194 million in funding going towards the establishment of a dedicated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Action Plan for First Nations children and families affected by family violence.
We supported calls for the Government to raise the rate of JobSeeker and other income support payments to at least $76 a day so everyone can keep a roof over their head and food on the table.
- JobSeeker and Youth Allowance rates will increase by $40 a fortnight – equating $52.85 a day for people on Jobseeker and $42.85 for people on Youth Allowance.
- People aged 55 years and over and unemployed 9 months or more will now receive $56.70 a day.
We supported calls for the Government to implement minimum energy efficiency standards for rental properties.
- Establishment of Household Energy Upgrades Fund will support home upgrades that reduce energy usage, including in 60,000 social housing properties, providing long term energy bill relief.
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