Ben Harvey goes inside the Treasurer’s head to decode the 2024 Federal Budget

Headshot of Ben Harvey
Ben HarveyThe Nightly
Ben Harvey translates what the Treasurer said - and what he actually meant.
Camera IconBen Harvey translates what the Treasurer said - and what he actually meant. Credit: The Nightly

This is a Budget for the here-and-now. It’s a responsible Budget that helps people under pressure today.

Like Anthony Albanese.

And invests in the promise and potential of the more prosperous future we can make together.

When I become Prime Minister.

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Around 780,000 jobs have been created under this Government, a record for any first term.

Most of them driving Uber.

We’re addressing the pressures caused by population growth, with net overseas migration now expected to be half what it was.

There goes those Uber jobs.

This is about rewarding the hard work of our nurses and teachers, truckies and tradies.

Hardworking tradies? Are they hiding behind the pixies and unicorns?

Every Australian worker gets a tax cut.

Which will just about pay for the whole family to get a Bunnings sausage in a bun ….

Every Australian household will get an energy price rebate.

You can keep the air-con on, Twiggy, lethal humidity won’t get you on my watch!

In the five years from this July, we aim to build 1.2 million homes.

Mental note: Must keep straight face when delivering this line.

Our housing goal is ambitious but achievable, if we all work together and if we all do our bit.

And we all learn how to build a barn like Harrison Ford in Witness.

We are providing up to $3 billion for cheaper medicines

And cheaper pseudoephedrine means cheaper meth, so those tradies have no excuse for not building houses fast.

Australians are feeling the pinch at the check-out. That’s why we’re taking steps to make the Food and Grocery Code mandatory

Good. Different.

Our $32 billion Homes for Australia plan will clear local infrastructure bottlenecks like Catherine King and provide more housing for students who we aren’t letting into the country anymore.

We’re providing $89 million for 20,000 additional fee-free TAFE and VET places to train more construction workers.

Who will graduate in 2027, just in time for the recession. Maybe they can build more Centrelink offices.

And $102 million to upgrade regional airports and remote airstrips, better connecting remote communities to essential services.

We got you Perth.

The world is committed to net zero by 2050*.


We will create a front door for investors to accelerate and coordinate transformational projects.

Was my speech writer drunk when they wrote this?

We’re giving Australian firms the chance to manufacture more of the next generation of solar panels.

Mental note: buy candles.

We’re injecting $50.3 billion over the decade to deliver the capabilities we need to keep Australians safe as part of the National Defence Strategy.

Paid for with royalties from exports of iron ore which China turns into aircraft carriers …

Investing $625 million to help farmers and rural communities reduce emissions.

By outlawing the live animal trade: dead cows don’t fart.

We’re continuing the freeze on social security deeming rates, benefiting 450,000 age pensioners.

Get set for a run on Matlock box sets.

That means inflation is expected to be lower, sooner.

Just like my Newspoll approval rating if I get this wrong.

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