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Cost of Living

The Challenge

  • More than 1 million people in NSW are living in poverty.
  • Rising cost-of-living pressures continue to severely impact households across NSW, particularly those living in low-income households and below the poverty line.
  • These households are under increasing pressure, forced to go without meals and other essentials, such as prescribed medication or healthcare, and hygiene items.

What’s In the 2024-2025 Budget?

  • $188.8M Bulk Billing Support Initiative to incentivise GPs to increase bulk billing.
  • $100M to expand existing energy rebates for low-income households in 2024-25, including:
    • Family Energy Rebate for those receiving Family Tax Benefits – from $180 to $250
    • Senior Energy Rebate for those with a Seniors Health Card – from $200 to $250
    • Low-Income Household Rebate and Medical Rebate for eligible concession holders – from $285 to $350
  • Continuation of existing cost-of-living rebates, including
    • Gas Rebate for eligible concession card holders – $110
    • $60 weekly toll cap for private motorists
    • Energy Accounts Payment Assistance (EAPA) for people experiencing financial hardship
    • Learn to Swim program targeted at Culturally and Linguistically Diverse and low socioeconomic communities
    • Water rebates for Seniors

NCOSS Position

  • NCOSS welcomes the bulk billing initiative, which should help households retain access to å healthcare.
  • The existing cost-of-living relief measures are vital to low-income households but remain insufficient to support low-income households that are under immense pressure right now. Those doing it toughest need far greater, targeted support with essential expenditure such as energy, food, healthcare, medication, and telecommunications.
  • NCOSS calls on the NSW Government to urgently address food insecurity, ensuring that NSW’s food relief system is fit-for-purpose and meets the community’s needs.

Read our other analyses

Housing and Homelessness — (Download as a PDF)

Disasters and Building Resilience — (Download as a PDF)

Child Wellbeing and Development — (Download as a PDF)

Sector Sustainability — (Download as a PDF) 

Domestic and Family Violence — (Download as a PDF)

Health — (Download as a PDF)