2024-25 budget ‘focused on helping families’: Premier Jacinta Allen

MELBOURNE, 7 May, 2024: The 2024-25 Victoria budget was today presented by Treasurer Tip Pallas in Parliament saying, “In this Budget we’re making sensible choices. We’re helping families. And we’re building a strong future for Victoria.”

In a media release, Premier Jacinta Allen says, ” By continuing our investments in education, healthcare, road and rail, we’re investing in the things that matter to Victorian families. That includes our $400 School Saving Bonus for every government school student, and those doing it tough at non‑government schools – giving families one less thing to worry about.We’re providing other cost-of-living relief, like the free Glasses for Kids program – which we’re tripling – and delivering more Get Active Kids vouchers.

This comes on top of our cost-of-living support for families across Victoria – with almost $5 million in food relief across the state, including support for food hubs in regional Victoria and in high-rise social housing settings. We promised we’d build 100 schools by 2026, and that’s exactly what this Budget delivers. With funding for the final 16 schools and more upgrades to classrooms, we’re making sure every family has a great local school.

Since we came to government, we have 5,000 more doctors, over 13,000 more nurses, and almost 8,000 more ancillary support officers in Victorian hospitals.

Now, we’re delivering the biggest multi-year investment in our healthcare system ever – with $11 billion to give hospitals certainty about their funding future and give families confidence they can get the care they need, when they need it. We’ll build and improve our hospitals too – including a new emergency department for the Northern Hospital, with a dedicated paediatrics zone, a mental health, alcohol and other drugs hub and extra inpatient beds.”

She adds, “This year’s Budget will get us ready for Day One of the Metro Tunnel in 2025 – recruiting and training drivers, timetabling and completing final testing – and delivers new camera technology that will enforce truck bans on local roads in Melbourne’s inner west when the West Gate Tunnel also opens next year.

Alongside our Big Build, we’ll also continue our work to get every Victorian into a home. Our $5.3 billion Big Housing Build already has more than 9,000 homes under construction or complete – to give more families a leg up into the housing market. This Budget will extend the Victorian Homebuyer Fund for a final year with an extra $700 million.

We’re also providing $197 million for accommodation and support for Victorians experiencing homelessness, while $19 million will improve response times for repairs and maintenance for residents in public housing.

Credit- Victoria Govt.

Funding of $37.7 million will deliver an extra 35,000 energy-efficient hot water rebates, saving families up to $1,000 on the installation of electric heat pumps and solar hot water systems, and an average of $400 on their power bills every year.

We’ll also invest $5.9 million to improve the Victorian Energy Upgrades program to help Victorians switch to energy‑efficient products and reduce emissions, and $3.4 million to support vulnerable Victorians who are struggling to pay their energy bills through the Energy Assistance Program.

Our economy is projected to be the fastest-growing in Australia – and with more than 560,000 new jobs created since September 2020, there are now more Victorians in jobs than ever before with unemployment near its lowest rate in 50 years.

We’re also supporting recruitment and training for 17,000 nurses – and we’ve invested $32 million to encourage doctors to specialise in general practice, and almost $370 million to bolster the early childhood workforce, with scholarships, traineeships and overseas recruitment.

This Budget builds on this record investment, with a further $394 million to boost access to vocational training and more than 80 courses now available as part of Free TAFE.

This Budget invests more than $211 million to help keep women and children safe and support victim-survivors – including making sure our Respectful Relationships program continues to prevent family violence before it starts.

With this Budget, we’re supporting communities affected by catastrophic weather events, with $302 million to help rebuild schools, roads, and other community infrastructure, as well as temporary accommodation, relief payments and mental health support for residents who are recovering.

We’ll also invest more than $50 million in our future emergency management response, and $105 million to bolster our state’s capability to prevent, prepare and respond to fire.”

Premier Jacinta Allan said, ” This is my first Budget as Premier, and I’m proud to say it’s a Budget firmly focused on helping families.”

“We know inflation is hurting – that’s why this Budget is all about making life that little bit easier for families, including help to cover the costs of sending kids to school.”

“It’s also a Budget that makes the sensible and disciplined decisions to respond to the challenges ahead and secure a strong future for our state.”

“Our Labor Government is continuing its record of investing in health, education, transport and homes – while also making sure our state is stronger, fairer and safer for all Victorians.”

Melbourne 2022 file photo SAT/NN.

Reacting to the budget John Pesutto, Leader of opposition said, ” Under Labor, Victoria’s net debt has increased from $21.8 billion to a projected $187.8 billion by 2028, while total tax revenue has increased from $17.8 billion to a projected $45 billion over the same period. Yet for all this additional debt and revenue, outcomes continue to worsen for Victorians.

This budget shows the real-world consequences of Labor’s financial mismanagement and with interest repayments on Victoria’s record debt to reach over $25 million a day, Labor has been forced to cut critical services at a time Victorians can least afford it.”

Reacting to the budget, the Greens said, “Labor is giving zero help to renters and spending no new money on building homes – a decision by Labor that means more rent increases and more unaffordable homes for first home buyers. Meanwhile, Labor has let big profiteering corporations off the hook.

At a time when the big banks and corporations are making big profits, Labor could have made them pay their fair share of tax, to pay for the things we all need. But Labor chose not to.

The Government is also doing nothing to regulate supermarkets to lower grocery prices.

Labor and the Liberals do what the big corporations want, not what people need.”

2024-25  Victoria Budget Website

Treasurer’s speech

2024-25 Victoria Budget Media Releases

 

By Neeraj Nanda

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