The 2024-25 Federal Budget, announced by Treasurer Jim Chalmers last week, has granted a second-consecutive increase to Commonwealth Rental Assistance (CRA), which is vitally important to those in Over 50s rental accommodation.

Dr Chalmers promoted it as the Government is “providing $1.9 billion over five years to increase maximum rates of Commonwealth Rent Assistance by a further 10 per cent.”

The reality is smaller

Rent assistance, which is an additional payment available for some people on government support, is calculated depending on living circumstances and how much you pay in rent.

CRA payments vary depending on circumstance, but the maximum rate of around $125 per week means the biggest increase under the budget will be $12.50 per week (or two cups of espresso coffee).

CoreLogic economist Eliza Owen said the Federal Budget missed the opportunity to optimise the CRA payments by ensuring they were higher, and better targeted. 

“As noted in our Budget analysis last year, CRA increases offered by the Government are very modest in dollar terms compared to actual rent increases in the private rental market,” she said.

Come on Jim, you can do better!