CANBERRA, March 31 (Xinhua) -- The Australian government has announced a one-off Energy Assistance Payment for 3.9 million struggling Australians.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced the payment of 75 Australian dollars (53.2 U.S. dollars) for singles and 125 Australian dollars (88.6 U.S. dollars) for couples to help them pay their electricity bills.
"This is acknowledgment that there are cost of living pressures and this support is going to go to around four million Australians: aged pensioners and those on the disability support pension, people who are on carer payment, single parenting payments and veteran payments," Frydenberg said in a statement on Sunday.
"This is money going to go into people's pockets to help meet the cost of their next power bill.
"At the same time we are taking action on a number of fronts to reduce energy prices."
Frydenberg and Prime Minister Scott Morrison will deliver the Federal Budget for 2019-20 on Tuesday before a general election in May.
They will announce Australia's first budget surplus in a decade, using it to launch an election campaign based on fiscal responsibility.
Responding to the announcement, Bill Shorten, leader of the opposition Australian Labor Party, described it as an "election con," saying the 75 Australian-dollar payment is the equivalent of 1.45 Australian dollars (1.02 U.S. dollars) per week over a year.