2022 Federal Budget Reply
On Thursday 31st March 2022, Federal Opposition Leader the Hon. Anthony Albanese MP delivered the 2022 Federal Budget in Reply.
Albanese criticised the 2022 Federal Budget as a short-termed solution that did not adequately address the issues of cost of living and job security, stating that real-wages would go down under the Coalition’s budget.
If elected, Labor’s primary focus will be on reducing the cost of living through:
- Making childcare cheaper
- Championing the role of renewable energy in the economy.
- Funding initiatives to boost manufacturing in Australia
- Improving job security
- Addressing housing affordability.
- Driving gender equality
In addition, Albanese’s budget in reply speech discussed the need for serious climate action and reiterated the need to properly fund both healthcare and education.
Albanese used the Budget in reply to announce the Labor Party’s $2.5 billion 5-point plan to rectify and improve the aged care sector.
- Every aged care facility would have a qualified nurse on site 24/7
- As recommended by the royal commision, every person in an aged care facility would receive at least 215 minutes of care per day
- A guaranteed pay rise for aged care workers
- Better food for residents which would respect cultural, religious and dietary requirements
- Increasing transparency and accountability into Aged Care funding by mandating reporting requirements for private providers
An elected Labor Government will task the Productivity Commission with conducting a comprehensive review of the child care system, with the aim of implementing a universal 90 per cent subsidy for all families.
The average savings modelled by the Labor Party are:
|Family income||New subsidy rate under Labor||New annual subsidy under Labor|
*Annual Subsidy is for 1 child in care for 3 days/ week
Energy and Climate Change
To address climate change, Labor launched its Powering Australia Plan in December 2021. The plan contains a suite of policy measures aimed at creating 604,000 jobs and reducing Australia’s emissions by 43% by 2030 and net zero by 2050.
If elected, the Labor Party has committed:
- $200 million to build 400 community batteries across the country.
- To investing $20 billion to rebuild and modernise the grid
- To Allocating up to $3 billion from Labor’s National Reconstruction Fund to invest in green metals (steel, alumina and aluminium); clean energy component manufacturing; hydrogen electrolysers and fuel switching; agricultural methane reduction and waste reduction.
- Reducing the Australian Public Service’s own emissions to net zero by 2030.
- $251 million for an Electric Car Discount. Labor will also exclude electric cars from import tariffs and fringe benefits tax.
- $100 million to support 10,000 New Energy Apprenticeships.
- Restoring the role of the Climate Change Authority.
Hawker Britton’s brief on Labor’s Powering Australia Plan can be found here.
A future made in Australia
Labor plans to rebuild Australia’s manufacturing sector, creating thousands of jobs. To achieve this, Labor will:
- Establish a Future Made in Australia office, located within the Department of Finance. The office will drive a whole-of-government approach by ensuring that Commonwealth Procurement Rules better support local industry purchases.
- Prioritise local jobs for defence contracts.
- Invest in local manufacturing of renewable energy infrastructure.
- Ensure that more trains, trams, and ferries are built in Australia.
- Guarantee that 1 in 10 workers on federally funded projects will be an apprentice, trainee or cadet.
- Establish independent agency, Jobs and Skills Australia, to research industry trends and provide advice on what skills are needed now and in the future.
To find out more about Labor’s Buy Australian Plan and A Future Made in Australia, visit Hawker Britton’s brief here.
If elected, Labor will address the impacts of COVID on education by providing $440 million to schools for better ventilation, building upgrades, and mental health support. This includes:
- A $240 million Schools Upgrade Fund to improve air quality, build more outdoor classrooms, buy air purifiers and replace boarded-up windows and doors. The fund will also provide grants to schools for upgrades to heating and air conditioning systems.
- A one-off $200 million Student Wellbeing Boost in 2022 to help schools pay for extra mental health professionals, camps, excursions, as well as sporting and social activities. The average school will receive $20,000.
An elected Labor Party plans to have more Australians trained at TAFE and university. Labor will provide:
- 465,000 Fee Free TAFE places, including 45,000 new TAFE places. This will be targeted at rebuilding industries hardest hit by the pandemic, such as hospitality and tourism, and meeting skills needs in the care economy.
- A $50 million TAFE Technology Fund to improve IT facilities, workshops, laboratories and tele-health simulators.
- 20,000 new university places. These will be targeted for jobs in engineering, nursing, tech, and teaching. Places will be prioritised for universities offering more opportunities for under-represented groups to get a tertiary education.
To improve job security, an Albanese led Labor Government will:
- Make job security an object of the Fair Work Act 2009 so that it becomes a core focus for the Fair Work Commission’s decisions;
- Extend the powers of the Fair Work Commission to include “employee-like” forms of work, allowing it to better protect people in new forms of work, like app-based gig work, from exploitation and dangerous working conditions;
- Legislate a fair, objective test to determine when a worker can be classified as a casual so people have a clearer pathway to permanent work;
- Limit the number of consecutive fixed-term contracts an employer can offer for the same role, with an overall cap of 24 months;
- Ensure a Labor government is a model employer by creating more secure employment in the Australian Public Service where temporary forms of work are being used inappropriately; and
- Use government procurement powers to ensure taxpayers’ money is used to support secure employment.
To deliver better pay Albanese stated that Labor will:
- Work with state and territory governments, unions and industry to develop portable entitlement schemes for annual leave, sick leave and long service leave for Australians in insecure work; and
- Ensure that workers employed through labour hire companies receive no less than workers employed directly.
Albanese committed to establishing an independent National Anti-Corruption Commission, stating that the Commission would be well-resourced with the authority to investigate government ministers and bureaucrats.
To promote equality Labor has committed to:
- Implementing all 55 recommendations of The Respect@Work Report which was released in March 2020
- Establishing 10 days of paid domestic violence leave, and building an additional 4000 units of social housing for women and children experiencing family violence and older women on lower incomes.
An Albanese Government will work on rectifying the Gender Pay Gap by:
- Legislating so companies with more than 250 employees will have to report their gender pay gap publicly.
- Prohibit pay secrecy clauses and give employees the right to disclose their pay, if they want to.
- Taking action to address the gender pay gap in the Australian Public Service.
- Strengthening the ability and capacity of the Fair Work Commission to order pay increases for workers in low paid, female-dominated industries.
Alongside a commitment to implementing the Uluru Statement from the Heart in full, an Albanese Labor Government has committed to renewing their national commitment to Reconciliation.
A Labor Government will:
- Implement the Uluru Statement in full – Voice, Treaty and Truth. The Commission’s oversight of Treaty would include developing a framework for federal treaty-making, taking into account existing state and territory processes.
- Work towards Closing the Gap.
- Abolish the punitive Community Development Program.
- Turn the tide on incarceration and deaths in custody through landmark justice reinvestment funding.
- Invest in First Nations management of land and waters.
- Strengthen First Nations economic and job opportunities.
- Get rid of the privatised Cashless Debit Card.
Albanese committed to increasing Defence spending, stating that it would be targeted and focused on:
- Delivering a more self-reliant and ambitious foreign policy through deepening Australia’s engagement with its closest neighbours, forging new arrangements, such as AUKUS and continuing the Quadrilateral consultations with India, Japan and the United States.
- Taking stock of Australia’s forces through a Defence Force Posture Review.
- Committing to strengthening the global multilateral system, especially on climate change and trade through working with Australia’s pacific neighbours to fix the defence challenges that arise with climate change.
- Supporting defence personnel through supporting the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide and Cutting waiting times for claims
For further information, please contact your Hawker Britton consultant Simon Banks on +61 419 638 587.