For the first time in 15 years, the Federal Budget tonight announced a surplus; however, the good news is unlikely to last long with the government warning of ‘incredibly weak’ economic growth on the horizon and a precarious global outlook.
Treasurer, Jim Chalmers had previously said the May budget will have three key priorities — cost-of-living relief, growing the economy and ensuring Australia is “more resilient to international shocks”.
With a focus on health care, clean energy and cost-of-living relief, some of the key Budget announcements included:
- A Small Business Energy Incentive for small businesses, with a maximum bonus deduction of $20,000 to encourage energy efficient upgrades
- Significant infrastructure investment in Queensland in preparation for the 2032 Olympics and Paralympics which is expected to boost employment growth
- An extra $40 per payment for persons on Jobseeker, Youth Allowance and Austudy with increased support for persons over 55 years of age
- Single parents can now continue to receive single parenting payment up until their youngest child is 14 years of age (previously this was 8 years of age)
- Investments in clean energy industry including a $2bn investment in a new Hydrogen Head Start program and encouraging skills through apprenticeships to the industry
- $11.3 billion investment to deliver a 15% wage increase for Aged Care workers
- $72 million investment to train and recruit early childhood educators in Australia
- $10 billion investment to build affordable and social housing
- Extra support to encourage women into apprenticeships as part of the new Australian Skills Guarantee initiative
- Fee free TAFE courses for priority skills needs to continue
- $3.5bn to expand Medicare bulk billed GP visits
- Homeless services and supporting programs to receive $4 billion
- $1.5 billion on energy bill relief with one-off bill deductions for 1 million small businesses and people on government welfare payments
- A boost to apprenticeship support services funding, with a total investment of $1.1billion over the next five years, representing an increase of $54.3m to implement a new model of support to rebalance and strengthen assistance for apprentices and trainees
It was revealed that the unemployment rate is predicted to be 3.5 per cent by years end and that it is likely to stay lower for longer than previously thought, but is expected to reach 4.5 per cent in June 2025. If realised, that equates to about 150,000 more people out of work.
Paul Miles, Managing Director for The BUSY Group stated: “With unemployment at an historic low, labour and skills shortages is a major concern for many Australian industries and business. Assisting our most disadvantaged community members benefits all of us, and the economy, and we were pleased the government focussed on the many Australians who are doing it tough with cost of living pressures.
“The BUSY Group work closely with government, industry bodies and employers to provide a range of recruitment, training and apprenticeship solutions that can support business with their human resourcing needs. We will continue to support stronger Australian communities through skills, training, and vocational pathways.”
For more information on The BUSY Group visit www.busyatwork.com.au or call 13 28 79.