Budget 2022-23 October Update: Individuals & families

Cost of living pressures will continue. While some initiatives such as the increase to child care subsidies will help

Child Care Subsidy increase


As previously announced, the maximum Child Care Subsidy (CCS) rate will increase from 85% to 90% for families earning less than $80,000. Subsidy rates will then taper down one percentage point for each additional $5,000 in income until it reaches zero per cent for families earning $530,000.

The current higher CCS rates for families with multiple children aged 5 or under in child care will be maintained, with higher CCS rates to cease 26 weeks after the older child’s last session of care, or when the child turns 6 years old.

In addition, from 2022-23, a base entitlement to 36 hours per fortnight of subsidised early childhood education and care will be implemented for families with First Nations children, regardless of activity hours or income level.

The CCS increase also comes with a renewed focus on industry compliance requiring large providers to publicly report CCS related revenue and profits. In addition, the way the Child Care Subsidy is managed will change, requiring the electronic payment of early childhood education and care gap fees to weed out fraudulent claims for care not received.

Paid parental leave reforms

From01 July 2023 - 01 July 2024

As previously announced, from 1 July 2023 the Government will introduce reforms to make the Paid Parental Leave Scheme flexible for families so that either parent is able to claim the payment and both birth parents and non-birth parents are allowed to receive the payment if they meet the eligibility criteria. Parents will also be able to claim weeks of the payment concurrently so they can take leave at the same time.

Eligibility will also be expanded with the introduction of a $350,000 family income test, which families can be assessed under if they do not meet the individual income test.

From 1 July 2024, the Government will begin expanding the scheme from the current 18 weeks by two additional weeks a year until it reaches a full 26 weeks from 1 July 2026.

Both parents will be able to share the leave entitlement, with a proportion maintained on a “use it or lose it” basis, to encourage and facilitate both parents to access the scheme and to share the caring responsibilities more equally. Sole parents will be able to access the full 26 weeks.

Encouraging pensioners back into the workforce


Age and veterans pensioners will be able to work and earn more before their pension is reduced. The Government is providing a one-off $4,000 credit to their Work Bonus income bank.

The temporary income bank top-up will increase the amount pensioners can earn in 2022–23 from $7,800 to $11,800, before their pension is reduced, supporting pensioners who want to work or work more hours to do so without losing their pension.

The Work Bonus increases the amount an eligible pensioner can earn from work before it affects their pension rate. Under the current rules, the first $300 of fortnightly income from work is not assessed and is not counted under the pension income test. The Work Bonus operates in addition to the pension income test free area.

When the work bonus is not used in a fortnight it accumulates in an income bank where the standard maximum is $7,800. This allows pensioners who work on an ad hoc basis to not be disadvantaged compared to those with regular fortnightly income.

Lifting the income limit on Seniors Health Card

As previously announced, the income test limits will be increased for access to the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC). The CSHC provides subsidised pharmaceuticals and other medical benefits for self-funded retirees that have reached aged pension age.

The income test captures adjusted taxable income plus deeming on account-based pensions unless grandfathered under the pre-1 July 2015 rules. The CSHC is not asset tested.

Current ($ per annum)New ($ per annum)
Couples combined$98,054$144,000

Legislation enabling the increase is before Parliament.

The Government will also freeze social security deeming rates at their current levels for a further two years until 30 June 2024.