The Australian government released the federal budget on Tuesday night, featuring billions of dollars in spending to boost the economy. The budget can be very confusing, and sometimes it is hard to determine how it will impact you. So here are some things that the government has announced and what it means for you!
– Employment rate is forecast to reach 8% in December and remain above 6% until 2023
– Economy will shrink 3.75% this year but is expected to grow 4.25% in 2021
– Any economic growth is dependent on all Australians being vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of 2021
– Government has decided against stopping all new spending, rather seeking to boost jobs until the unemployment rate is well below 6%
– Instant asset write-offs expanded to businesses with a turnover of up to $5 billion until June 30, 2022, covering 99% of businesses
– Small and medium businesses can carry back losses incurred to June 30, 2022, to offset profits booked since 2018-19
– The government hopes these measures will add 50,000 new jobs
– Tax cuts brought forward 2 years for 11 million Australians
– Lifts the threshold for the 19% tax rate to $45,000 and the 32.5% threshold to $120,000
– When combined, these measures will deliver individuals up to $2745
– New JobMaker hiring credit to encourage businesses to take on young workers
– Businesses that hire people who have been on JobSeeker, Youth Allowance of the Parenting Payment for at least one of the previous three months will get $200 a week for 12 months if their staff member if 16-29 years old
– New hires must work at least 20 hours a week to be eligible
– Measures and economic growth expected to create 950,000 jobs over 4 years
– $1.7 billion for COVID-19 vaccines
– Double the number of Medicare-funded psychological services
– 23,000 more aged care home care packages
– 12,00 new undergraduate university places in 2021
– 50,000 new higher education short courses in agriculture, health, IT, science and teaching
– Government attempting to give students many opportunities to learn skills to find jobs
– Prioritising water infrastructure projects
– Extra money for road safety upgrades and money for councils to upgrade local roads, footpaths and street lighting
Overall, a budget will never please everyone, but I think the government has done a palatable job. The tax cuts will be incredibly important, especially for low- and middle-income earners, and the focus upon youth is great to see. The government has acknowledged the thousands of youth have lost their job during the pandemic and they have put in place many different avenues for youth to find employment again. Spending on mental health and water infrastructure projects are also positive aspects of the budget; however, only 2000 of the new 23,000 aged care packages are at level four, which is the highest level of care.
Another significant issue is that lack of support for women in the budget. There is no real support after the wage subsidy ends in March, and the new JobMaker initiative could see middle-aged women competing for a job with someone under 35 who is being subsidised for work.
The budget is now done, but there is much more work to do. Australians are lacking hope for the future. The government has two months to encourage Australians to be hopeful of their future. Otherwise, the Morrison government is going to find the start of 2021 incredibly tricky.