This budget's winners and losers

Lanie Tindale
Updated May 15 2024 - 11:24am, first published May 14 2024 - 7:36pm
Budget winners and losers.
Budget winners and losers.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers passed down the 2024 budget on Tuesday.

We have scoured through the budget papers to tell you who the biggest winners and losers are. And if you want to see how your demographic fares, read this.

Watch: What's in the budget.


University students

Picture by Shutterstock
Picture by Shutterstock
  • The average university student will save $1200 on their HELP debt because the government is capping indexation on student loans. This indexation will be backdated to mid-2023.
  • Domestic students in sectors like nursing, social work and teaching will be paid $319.50 per week while on practical placements.
  • Government to supply fee-free university-ready courses to encourage more students to attend university.
  • A National Higher Education Code to Prevent and Respond to Gender-based violence, alongside a National Student Ombudsman to help address student complaints.

VET, TAFE students and apprentices 

  • Any vocational student with a loan will save money on it, as the government is capping indexation. This indexation will be backdated to mid-2023.
  • There will be an extra 20,000 fee-free TAFE and VET places.
  • Some VET students, such as nursing students, will be paid $319.50 a week during placements.
  • Apprentices in priority occupations to continue receiving $5000 support payments for another 12 months, until July 1, 2025.

PBS patients

  • A one-year freeze on the price of Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme medicines will stop patients paying extra for medicines because of inflation.
  • Extra medications added to the PBS will help some patients with conditions including multiple sclerosis, advanced melanoma of the eye, lymphocytic leukaemia, chronic kidney disease and chronic heart failure.


  • Parents receiving government-funded paid parental leave will receive 12 per cent superannuation for babies born or adopted from July 1, 2025. The government said this will benefit around 180,000 women each year. The Australian Tax Office will pay it in a lump sum at the end of the financial year, including interest.
  • Second parents, such as dads, will receive an extra two weeks of parental leave at the same time as the primary carer from July 1, 2025.
  • Around 96,000 single parenting payment recipients are expected to benefit from an extension to the social security deeming rates freeze until June 30, 2025.
Lauren King, owner of Braddon Flowers
Lauren King, owner of Braddon Flowers

Small businesses

  • Some small businesses will receive $325 off their energy bills through a rebate from July 1, 2024.
  • The $20,000 instant asset ride off is being extended until June 30, 2025.
  • Employers of apprentices in priority occupations will receive a $5000 hiring incentive.
  • The government has invested $10 million into Services Australia to improve the experience of businesses trying to administer Paid Parental Leave.
  • Employers can receive up to $10,000 in wage subsidies to employ people with disabilities.

Aged care workers

  • The government will fund a Fair Work Commission decision to increase the award wage of aged care workers.

Early childhood educators

  • The government has also promised to fund early childhood educators wage increases, if that is decided by the Fair Work Commission.

Low and middle-income taxpayers

  • Low-income earners on $18,201 to $45,000 will save up to $804 at tax time.
  • Those earning between $45,001 and $135,000 will save between $804 and $3,729 on tax.
  • It will be cheaper to buy goods such as toothbrushes, fridges, dishwashers, clothing and sanitary products because the government is abolishing 457 tariffs - which are taxes on products being imported to Australia.
  • All households can access a $300 energy bill rebate.

Some renters

  • The maximum Commonwealth Rent Assistance rate will increase by 10 per cent for all payments. Singles will get up to $18.80 per fortnight, while families with children may receive up to $25.06 more per fortnight.
  • Renters can access a $300 energy bill rebate.
Picture by Shutterstock
Picture by Shutterstock


  • The PBS co-payment will remain the same price for the next five years for pensioners and other concession-card holders.
  • Freeze on social security deeming rates to continue for another year, until June 30, 2025. The government says this will benefit around 450,000 Australians on the age pension.
  • There will be an extra 24,100 home care packages in 2024-25 to help older people live at home.

Concession-card holders

  • The PBS co-payment will remain the same price for the next five years for concession-card holders.


  • Carers payment recipients will be able to spend more time working and volunteering from March 20, 2025. The activity test will not include study, volunteering activities or travel time, just employment. Carers can be employed for 100 hours over four weeks.

Women's health

  • Money invested to train GPs to deliver better menopause care and be qualified in inserting and removing contraceptives.
  • Delivery of free period products in remote and rural First Nations communities.
  • Removal of tariffs for some sanitary products, including some menstrual cups and period undies.
  • Longer Medicare-subsided gynaecology consultations provided for people with suspected endometriosis or pelvic pain.
  • Access to a PBS drug will be expanded to include early breast cancer with a high risk of returning. Patients will pay a maximum of $31.60 per script.
  • Nursing practitioners will be able to provide MBS-subsidised ultrasounds for medical abortions.
  • Birth parents will be given a birth debriefing and mental health screening at their six week postnatal appointment.
  • Some midwives will be able to prescribe PBS medicines.
  • Extra money to provide midwives indemnity insurance when assisting with low-risk homebirths.
Picture by Shutterstock
Picture by Shutterstock

Regional airports

  • Government will provide $101.9 million to upgrade regional airports and remote airstrips.

Hydrogen sector

  • Government is introducing a hydrogen production tax incentive to encourage more investment at an estimated cost of $6.7 billion. over a decade. It is also investing an extra $1.3B into the Hydrogen Headstart program.

Shipping industry

  • The government is investing $101.8 million to attract and retain a skilled industrial workforce to support Australian shipbuilding and the delivery of submarines.
  • Creating a pilot apprenticeship program in trades and technology specific to ship building.

Indian nationals

  • The validity of the business visitor visas from Indian nationals will be extended.

Losers ​


  • Universities will be restricted in how many international students they can enroll, depending on factors including how much housing is available for those students.

International students

  • It will be harder for internationals to enroll in Australian universities following new enrollment caps.

Jobseeker recipients

  • Around 4700 Jobseeker recipients working up to 15 hours per week will receive at least $54.90 more per fortnight (though this includes the energy supplement). However, advocacy groups have called for much higher increases to the payment.

Government coffers

  • While expecting a $9.3 billion surplus in 2023-24, the government expects to be in a $28.3 billion deficit in 2024-25. The government said it has avoided around $80 billion in interest payments due by reducing spending.

High-income earners

  • While high income earners will be receiving a tax cut, it is lower than the government promised before the last election. Those earning between $135,001 and $190,000 will save between $3729 and $4529, while those earning above $190,000 will save $4529 a year. However, these are fewer savings than originally planned before changes to Stage 3 tax cuts.
Picture by Shutterstock
Picture by Shutterstock


  • Participants: Eligibility for NDIS access will tighten. The government is investing money to re-design the NDIS, hoping to save $14 billion by mid-2028.
  • Rorters: The government will invest $83.9 million over two years to crack down on NDIS fraud.

Fraudulent childcare services 

  • The government expects to save money by spending $84.2 million to increase audits of child care services, including those in Family Day Care and Home Care sectors. This includes $1.3 million over four years for the Department of Education to identify "individuals of high, unexplained wealth with connections to the child care sector".


Lanie Tindale

I am City reporter at The Canberra Times. I previously covered health for the masthead, and was a trainee before that. I have written on courts, federal politics, breaking news, features and opinion.