Cost-of-Living Measures: what they mean in detail

Article published 6 April 2022

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LEGISLATION has been passed on the various cost-of-living measures announced by the Government on Budget night, 29 March 2022.

A $250 one-off Cost of Living Payment for all recipients of social security payments, including pensioners, will be paid during April.

As pensions are no longer paid on an official ‘pension day’, exactly when you will receive your $250 depends on which day you receive your pension.

From 1 July 2022, the lowering of the safety net thresholds for the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) should give you twelve more free prescriptions a year, worth about $80.

Officially, the halving of the petrol excise for six months (from 44.2 cents per litre to 22.1 cents per litre) started on 30 March, the day after the Budget was delivered.

However, not all service stations will have been able to reduce their prices straight away.

They have paid excise on the supply they bought before 30 March and need to recoup that money before cutting the litre price at their bowsers. It depends on when servos get in fresh supplies before they can reduce their litre price by 22.1 cents.

So, keep an eye on what’s happening with petrol prices in your area. A cut of 22.1 cents per litre means a $10 dollar saving on a full (45-litre) tank of petrol.

If you are still working, and your annual income is lower than $120,000, you will qualify for the one-off $420 Cost of Living Tax Offset for the 2022-2023 financial year.

At the end of the current financial year, check if you are eligible for the Low- and Middle-Income Tax Offset. This has been in place for a number of years.

As the $420 Cost of Living Tax Offset is specifically one-off, it means that there will be no low-to-middle-income tax relief beyond 30 June 2023.

You’ll be paying more tax from then on, unless the next Budget provides an out-of-jail card.

Also read:

The future of nursing home staffing ratios

Killing two birds with one stone: the flu and COVID-19

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