14 new rules in Australia from Jan 1, 2024

As the new year unfolds, several legislative changes, rules, tax adjustments, and new charges are set to take effect from January 1, 2024. Here’s an overview of some notable changes:

  1. Centrelink Payment Increases:
    • Over 930,000 Australians will witness a $20 per week increase (a 6% rise) in their Centrelink payments.
    • Youth allowance payments will see a fortnightly increase ranging from $19.10 to $41.40, while Austudy payments will rise between $32.40 and $41.40 per fortnight.
    • Disability support pension for individuals aged 21 and under, without children, will increase by $27.40 to $40.70 per fortnight.
    • Other payments, including Abstudy, isolated children assistance, mobility allowance, double orphan pension, carer allowance, and pharmaceutical allowance, will also see an increase.
  2. Medicare Safety Net Thresholds:
    • Medicare safety net thresholds will rise, impacting the amount individuals must spend on out-of-hospital medical expenses before qualifying for a higher rebate.
    • The thresholds will increase to $560.40 for the original Medicare safety net and $811.80 (concessional) and $2,544.30 (non-concessional) for the extended Medicare safety net.
  3. Disposable Vapes Ban:
    • A ban on the importation of all disposable vapes containing nicotine, representing stringent regulations.
    • Only pharmaceutical vapes prescribed by a doctor and dispensed through a pharmacy to aid quitting will be allowed.
  4. Pass Rate Changes:
    • The “50% pass rule” at universities is replaced by a “support for students” policy.
    • Struggling students can seek help without the previous requirement to pass 50% of their course units to receive federal assistance.
  5. Working Seniors:
    • Working seniors and veterans can earn more income before pension payments are affected, with a $4,000 increase in the Work Bonus limit.
  6. Cheaper Medicine:
    • Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme (PBS) prescriptions become cheaper, with the maximum cost for general patients decreasing by 29% from $42.50 to $30.
  7. Toll Relief in NSW:
    • Those spending over $60 a week on tolls in New South Wales will receive the remaining amount back, with rebates capped at $340 per week.
  8. Active and Creative Kids Voucher in NSW:
    • Families receiving family tax benefit A or B in NSW are eligible for two $50 vouchers for activities.
  9. End of EV Rebates in NSW and SA:
    • Electric vehicles will no longer receive a $3,000 rebate in NSW, and the stamp duty exemption for zero and low-emission vehicles ends. In South Australia, the $3,000 rebate will also conclude.
  10. Gas Ban in Victoria:
  11. Increased Land Tax in Victoria:
    • A temporary land tax surcharge is introduced in Victoria for the next 10 years, with varying surcharges based on land valuation.
  12. Phones Banned in SA High Schools:
    • Mobile phones will be prohibited in public high schools across South Australia, following similar measures in other states.
  13. Free Preschool in Queensland and ACT:
    • Queensland’s kindy (year before school) and preschool for three-year-olds in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) will be free.
  14. Vouchers in Queensland and NT:
    • The FairPlay vouchers in Queensland and the NT’s Learn to Swim vouchers will be available for eligible recipients.

These changes encompass a broad spectrum, ranging from social welfare adjustments to environmental and educational policy shifts.

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