State Budget 2024/25 - Treasurer Tim Pallas

We know Victorian families are doing it tough. Inflation remains high nationally and globally. 

The Reserve Bank has kept interest rates at elevated levels. High prices for consumer goods and services, as well as higher mortgage repayments and rents are creating ongoing cost of living pressures for families, particularly those on lower incomes. 

Just as a state shielded businesses and families through the pandemic, this budget is supporting families through the cost-of-living crisis.

We know the cost of living can be a challenge for families.

That's why we're delivering a $400 School Saving Bonus, helping cover school costs such as uniforms and extracurricular activities like camps and excursions. It'll give families one less thing to worry about.

And from tripling our ‘Glasses for Kids’ program to building more schools in classrooms. This budget is targeted at helping families.

We've also made decisions to help set our state up for the future. The government's approach is disciplined, making sensible decisions to support Victorians and address the challenges ahead. The world has changed rapidly since 2020, following a once in a century pandemic. International competition for materials and workers has increased and unemployment is around its lowest in nearly 50 years.

More Victorians in work is always a good thing. But it also means we're facing some unique challenges.

Both public and private projects are facing shortages of materials and the workforce we need. In fact, Infrastructure Australia has said that demand for workers exceeds the current national public infrastructure workforce by 129%. We need to be realistic about these challenges. And now is the right time to recalibrate by moderating the pace of some of our big projects and rollout of reforms.

We'll give Victoria's workforce time to build up and skill up, allowing material supply chains to catch up and freeing up tradies for residential construction. Supporting our agenda to build more homes for more Victorians.

Our best start, best life and mental health reforms also require a huge workforce expansion. At the same time, we'll continue growing the workforce we need for the future.

We'll deliver our free TAFE courses, strengthen vocational education in our schools, we’ll attract, train and recruit more early childhood educators, teachers and mental health workers. 

We’ll build the pipeline of skilled workers our growing state needs. We're able to make these investments because we have a clear fiscal strategy at the height of the global pandemic. We charted a course to a stronger economy on the other side.

We set out a four-step plan to improve Victoria's financial position. 

The plan was about protecting jobs, businesses and the health of our community. 

The plan was about a return to surpluses. 

The Government has consistently reported on progress against this plan ever since, and it's working because we've been disciplined with our plan. 

In this budget, we're delivering the fourth and final step laid out four years ago.

Stabilising net debt levels. And as a result of this success, we're now prepared to take a fifth step to go even further to reducing net debt as a share of our state's growing economy. 

Driving growth across our state has secured our economic recovery, and an economic growth statement to be released later this year will help us further grow our economy and support more Victorians into secure, well-paid jobs.

This budget not only helps with the cost of living, it also continues our vital investments in education, health, housing, road and rail.

This budget is right for the times and lays a clear path for future generations to come. 

Because with this budget, we're helping families.