Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is expected to deliver a big spending 2021-22 budget tonight in an effort to continue paving the road to Australia’s recovery from the economic turmoil caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He has sold the plan as one focused on harnessing job creation to drive economic growth within a global outlook that remains uncertain, despite Australia's stronger than expected rebound from the crisis.
Frydenberg has also signaled the government won’t be turning its attention squarely onto budget repair until the unemployment rate can be further driven down, aiming to get the figure below five percent.
More spending on women, childcare, aged care, disability, and mental health - as well as tax offsets for low and middle-income earners - are all expected to be forthcoming.
The 2021-22 budget has also been put together with an eye to the next election, with a multi-billion-dollar infrastructure package targeting key battleground electorates. The government is also hoping a focus on women will help lift its standing among female voters.
From $1.7 BN to increase childcare subsidies to $9 billion to lift the JobSeeker rate, more than $12 BN in infrastructure funding and a response to the aged care royal commission, here are the measures expected coming in the 11th May federal budget:
- $7.2 BN to extend low and middle-income tax offset for another year
- $255 million in tax relief for small brewers and distillers – tripling the excise refund cap for small brewers and distillers from $100,000 to $350,000 a year
- $120 MN to implement deregulation measures
- Allow small businesses to apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal to pause or modify disputed Tax Office debt recovery actions
- New target on unemployment level before tightening
- Overhaul of $4 BN JobMaker hiring credit program
- $9 BN over four years to fund $50-a-fortnight JobSeeker increase
- Changes to grants program to encourage Australians to take up agricultural jobs – up to $2000 in relocation assistance after two weeks of work, and up to $6000 after four weeks
- Release response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety
- Extra funding of at least $10 BN
Women's Economic Security
- $1.7 BN ($570 MN a year) to increase childcare subsidies for families with more than one child aged under five in care and remove the annual subsidy cap for higher-income parents
- Expected measures to top up women’s superannuation in certain circumstances
- A $1.7BN package for increased childcare subsidies, which focus on low and middle-income families with more than one child.
- An increase in childcare subsidies and removal of the subsidy cap for high-income earners- particularly targeting low and middle-income families earning $130,000 or less per year.
- The budget is also expected to target school leavers, young Australians and those who are unemployed with a plan to train and reskill the workforce as it attempts to drive down unemployment.
- It is anticipated the government will extend the JobTrainer program providing free or low-fee courses targeting areas of skill shortages, including aged care, IT and childcare.
Besides this the government has also announced a Digital Economy Strategy that will be created at a cost of almost $1.2 billion. This involves digital skills training, the development of artificial intelligence technology, and tax benefits for computer game developers.
It will also deliver $201 million into the myGov online portal to access government services and $302 million into My Health digital records.