Victorian Budget 2024-25: Focus on Families, Debt to Soar

7 May 2024

Victorian Budget 2024-25: Focus on Families, Debt to Soar

This afternoon, Treasurer Tim Pallas handed down his tenth Victorian State Budget and the first since Jacinta Allan took over as Premier in September 2023. Similar to last year, Mr Pallas delivered a conservative and difficult budget which includes delays to several major projects, including a delay of at least a four years to the Airport Rail Link project and a delay until at least 2030 for the Upfield Line level crossing removal project.

In real terms, the Treasurer states that infrastructure investment is expected to decline from a peak of $24 billion in 2023-24 to $15.6 billion over the forward estimates. Similarly, the Treasurer indicated the Government will reduce costs by slowing down the rollout of its Our Best Start, Best Life and Mental Health and Wellbeing Locals reforms; ending COVID-era programs; and reducing the Government’s advertising spend and its office space footprint.

The Treasurer gave a positive outlook for the future of the State’s economy, despite the challenge of inflation and the State’s record debt position. Victoria’s economy is expected to grow by 2.5 per cent this financial year and 2.75 per cent in 2025-26. Also, the Budget confirmed the State’s debt is expected to peak at $187.7 billion by 2027-28 and is expecting to deliver operating surpluses of $1.5 billion in 2025-26 and $1.6 billion in 2026-27. As a proportion of Gross State Product (GSP), net debt is projected to be 24.4 per cent in June 2025 before reaching 25.2 per cent in 2026-27 and then declining to 25.1 per cent in 2027-28.

The centrepiece of the Victorian Budget is the $287 million School Saving Bonus which will provide one-off payments of $400 per child for families with children at government schools and eligible concession card holders at non-government schools. This cost of living measure will be provided during Term Four and is expected to be used by families to budget for school uniforms, camps, and sports ahead of the 2025 school year.

The Budget also includes measures that will support action on Victoria’s Housing Statement, which aims to make housing more attainable for vulnerable Victorians and first homebuyers. Importantly, the Budget includes an additional $700 million for the Victorian Homebuyer Fund, the Government’s shared equity scheme. Also, in regional Victoria, the cap on home prices covered by the scheme will be increased from $600,000 to $700,000.

For Victoria’s school system, the Government will invest more than $1 billion in 16 new schools and new stages at two recently opened schools, which aims to deliver on its promise to build 100 new schools by 2026. Additionally, the Government has set aside $227 million to upgrade 25 existing schools. The Government will also invest $139 million to attract and retain teachers in its schools.

For Victoria’s healthcare system, the Government will invest more than $900 million to upgrade the Austin Hospital’s emergency department, delivering a new Emergency Department, and more beds at the Northern Hospital. Also, the Government will invest $500 million to expand the Monash Medical Centre to include more maternity care, operating suites, and intensive care beds. Finally, Ambulance Victoria will receive $146 million to support ambulance capacity.

Importantly, Treasurer Tim Pallas stated that this year’s Budget invests a further $211 million for family violence initiatives, which will prevent family violence and support victim survivors. Additionally, on its Big Build initiative, the Government has set aside $233 million for the Metro Tunnel upgrades, which is expected to fund training drivers, timetabling, and final testing.

For further information on key portfolio measures, please refer to GRACosway’s detailed briefings:

Key Parameters 2024-25

  • Net debt is $156.2 billion in 2024-25.
  • Net debt to peak at $187.8 billion by 2027-28.
  • Unemployment is forecast at 4.25 per cent in 2024-25, rising to 4.5 per cent in 2025-26
  • 560,000 jobs created since 2020.
  • Consumer price index is 2.75 per cent in 2024-25, decreasing to 2.5 per cent in 2025-26.
  • Wage growth will slow from 3.75 per cent in 2024-25 to 3.25 per cent in 2027-28.

Further Reading

For more information about the Budget, Victorian Government, or to enquire about our public affairs and government relations services, please contact our Melbourne office on +61 3 9917 8081, [email protected], or get in touch with our senior staff below.


Richard King
Managing Partner – Public Affairs
M: +61 407 766 633
E: [email protected]

Annabel Harding
Director – Public Affairs
M: +61 478 658 801
E: [email protected]


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