This week’s federal budget revealed the government’s plan to abandon its quest for a surplus by spending tens of billions of dollars on Australia’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Jobs are coming back. The economy is coming back. Australia is coming back,” Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said.
“This budget will ensure we come back even stronger, securing Australia’s recovery.”
Labor leader Anthony Albanese gave the Opposition’s traditional reply to the federal budget on Thursday night, two days after it was handed down on Tuesday.
“The Liberals offer up nothing but a showbag Budget,” he said.
“Flashy enough to sell on Tuesday night, beginning to fall apart the very next day when the reality of falling real wages, vaccination confusion, infrastructure cuts and productivity inertia become apparent.”
To help understand where the major parties stand on industry issues, ANZPJ has broken down the key details from the federal budget.
The federal government announced single parents with dependent children will be able to purchase a home with a deposit of just 2 per cent, with the government to provide a guarantee of 18 per cent of the purchase price.
The single parent housing package scheme will be available to 10,000 people over four years.
The government will also keep the New Home Guarantee for a second year, providing an additional 10,000 places in 2021-22 – first home buyers seeking to build a new home or purchase a newly built home will be able to do so with a deposit of as little as five per cent.
There has been an increase to the maximum amount of voluntary contributions made under the First Home Super Saver Scheme, which allows people to build a deposit within their superannuation fund.
An additional $124.7 million in funding will also bolster public housing stocks, and help meet social and community housing responsibilities.
Labor’s budget reply detailed a $10 billion Housing Australia Future Fund to build 20,000 new social housing properties over five years – 4,000 set aside for women and children escaping domestic and family violence, and for women on low incomes at risk of homelessness.
A further 10,000 affordable homes would be allocated to frontline workers such as nurses, police officers and cleaners.
Under Labor’s proposal, the new housing fund would be managed by the Future Fund Board of Guardians that currently manages six public asset funds – former Liberal treasurer Peter Costello is the chair of the board.
More than $15 billion over 10 years has been added to road, rail and other infrastructure projects designed to support 30,000 direct and indirect jobs.
The 10-year plan will bring spending across across all states and territories, with a $2 billion freight hub in Melbourne and a $2 billion to upgrade the Great Western Highway in New South Wales spearheading the government’s commitment to infrastructure.
Funding commitments on the Ballarat to Ouyen, Echuca to Robinvale, Green Triangle, Melbourne to Mildura, Stawell to South Australian border and Toowoomba to Seymour corridors also exist under key Roads of Strategic Importance initiatives.
Labor’s plan for job creation comes from the $10 billion Housing Australia Future Fund, with an estimated $200m going to the repair and maintenance of housing in remote Indigenous communities, $100m to crisis housing and $30m to housing for veterans experiencing homelessness in the first five years.
In total, $1.6bn will be allocated to women, $1.7bn to long-term housing and $100m to crisis housing.
Labor predict the spending will create an extra 21,500 jobs each year.
The government announced a new “patent box” which will see income earned on new patents taxed at just 17 per cent – almost half the usual rate for large companies.
Starting on July 1, 2022, the scheme will apply to the medical and biotech sectors and could be expanded to the clean energy industry.
The opposition announced plans to start a program called “Start Up Year” to drive innovation and increase links between universities and entrepreneurs.
Start up loans will be offered to students and new graduates with ventures attached to a tertiary institution or designated private accelerator.
Labor will also create a new energy apprenticeships program to train 10,000 young people for the energy jobs of the future – each will get up to $10,000 over the course of their apprenticeship.