Budget surplus delivers cost of living support to all WA households

The McGowan Labor Government will provide $715 million towards cost of living relief measures as part of the 2023-24 State Budget.
  • $715 million cost of living relief package for households and small businesses
  • Minimum $400 electricity credit for all Western Australian households, with additional targeted electricity support totalling $826 for households most in need
  • Fourth consecutive year of below-inflation increases in the household basket
  • More than $2.8 billion invested to provide cost of living relief over the past five years

The McGowan Labor Government will provide $715 million towards cost of living relief measures as part of the 2023-24 State Budget.

All Western Australian households will receive a minimum $400 Household Electricity Credit, split over two equal payments in the July/August and November/December billing cycles.

Additional assistance will be provided for those most in need of support, with around 350,000 households that are eligible for the indexed Energy Assistance Payment to instead receive a $500 Household Electricity Credit split over two payments, in addition to $326 in support paid over the financial year, bringing total support to $826.

To receive the additional targeted assistance, a member of the household must be an eligible concession card holder, which includes pensioner concession cards, health care card, Commonwealth Seniors Health Card or a Department of Veterans' Affairs Gold Card. 

This year's credits build on the $400 credit provided in last year's Budget, and $600 delivered in 2020-21, bringing total relief through electricity credits to at least $1,400 for all 1.1 million WA households.

In addition, small businesses who use up to 50MWh of electricity per annum will receive a $650 credit on their energy bills, which is expected to benefit around 90,000 businesses which meet the eligibility criteria.

The electricity credits for small businesses and vulnerable households are partly supported by the jointly funded National Energy Bill Relief Fund, with an estimated $116 million contribution from the Commonwealth to WA.

In total, the McGowan Government has now spent more than $2.8 billion over the past five years to deliver cost of living support.

The 2023-24 Budget includes further cost of living measures to support Western Australians.

The Seniors' Cost of Living Rebate will be increased in line with inflation over the next four years, boosting the 2023-24 rebate to $104 for singles and $156 for couples, at a cost of $16 million.

Hardship Utility Grant Scheme payments, for those who are in financial hardship and require assistance to pay their utility bills, will be increased by 10 per cent to $640 per household (or $1,060 for households above the 26th parallel). 

As part of the new Fare Free Sunday Sessions initiative, public transport will be free on the first Sunday of every month, starting from the WA Day long weekend.

Western Australians also continue to benefit from the two-zone fare cap on all public transport fares, which was implemented from January 1, 2022.

The Budget continues to deliver the McGowan Government's commitment to keep fees and charges low, with the household basket of fees and charges to increase by just 2.4 per cent from 1 July 2023.  

This is the fourth consecutive year that rises in the basket of household fees and charges have been kept to below inflation.

Electricity and water charges will rise by 2.5 per cent, Transperth standard fares will increase by just 2 per cent and school student fares remain frozen at 70 cents.

The rises are well below the projected inflation rate of 3.5 per cent in 2023-24 and in stark contrast to the double-digit increases in electricity prices being experienced on the east coast, as high as 25.7 per cent in Sydney.

For more information, visit http://www.ourstatebudget.wa.gov.au

Comments attributed to Premier and Treasurer Mark McGowan:

"My Government understands pressures faced by many households and small businesses.

"That is why we are using our strong budget position to invest in cost of living relief to all Western Australians including additional targeted support for those most in need.

"This is recognition households across our State are weathering the storm of global inflation and interest rate rises.

"Many businesses have also faced higher overheads and costs recently, and the Budget cost of living support package also includes $650 credits for small businesses.

"Including the $400 electricity credit, everyday household fees and charges will be lower in 2023-24 than five years ago.

"We are able to deliver further cost of living support because of our responsible financial management and our decision to retain our electricity corporations in public hands.

"WA Labor's domestic gas policy combined with our decision to overturn the privatisation policy of the previous Liberal-National Government has protected Western Australians from the substantial surges in power prices east coast communities are now confronting.

"By taking these important steps, despite very vocal criticism, Western Australia has reliable and affordable gas and electricity - the complete opposite to the chaos on the east coast."

Premier and Treasurer's office - 6552 5000