The Government announced a large number of expenditure measures which are aimed at kickstarting the economy. Many of these items have a smaller budgetary cost and are targeted at certain businesses and industries. Below is an overview of these measures.
JobMaker Hiring Credit
The Government has announced a new JobMaker Hiring Credit that will provide businesses incentives to take on additional employees who are young job seekers aged 16 to 35 years old. A credit of $5,200-10,400 will be provided to employers for hiring eligible job seekers. The JobMaker Hiring Credit is estimated to be applied to 450,000 positions and cost $4 billion over the forward estimates.
Local manufacturing and business
The Government is introducing a $1.5 billion Modern Manufacturing Strategy, being a long-term plan to support Australia’s economic recovery and to increase Australia’s innovative manufacturing capability.
The Government is investing an additional $2 billion through the Research and Development Tax Incentive.
Further support to regional Australia
An additional $550 million of support will be provided to Australian regions to assist in the economic recovery from the impacts of the recent floods, bushfires, drought, and COVID-19.
Employee reforms and spending
Skills reform package
The Government is committing $259 million to support the reskilling of Australians. The package includes the JobTrainer program to support the growing workforce, new apprenticeships, additional support for job seekers, assistance for graduates and short courses to reskill and upskill Australians.
Economic security for women
An additional $240 million will be provided over the forward estimates aimed at increasing women’s workforce participation, improving earning potential and enhancing economic independence. This includes creating employment opportunities, providing support to parents and support for women in the workplace. Areas covered include programs to support women’s leadership and development, and increase opportunities for women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), business and male-dominated industries.
Housing and construction
First home buyers
An additional 10,000 places (over the current 20,000) will be added to the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme. These places will be provided in 2020-21 to support the purchase of a new home or a newly built home. The Scheme allows first home buyers to secure a loan to build a new home or purchase a newly built dwelling with a deposit of at least 5 per cent (with the Government guaranteeing up to 15 per cent of a loan).
Guarantee of the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation
The Government will increase its guarantee of the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) by $1 billion, which will help in enabling the NHFIC to increase its bond issuance into the wholesale capital market. This is aimed at attracting institutional investment into affordable housing in Australia.
Additional project spending
The Government is committing an additional $14 billion to infrastructure over the next four years. The projects include the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail and Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport.
An additional $3 billion will be injected into shovel-ready projects. This includes $2 billion to deliver small scale road safety projects as well as an additional $1 billion of funding for the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program. Interestingly, funding will be provided to State and Local Governments on a “use it or lose it” basis, with unused funding for road safety projects to be reallocated to States and Territories that have successfully deployed their previous allocations.
The Government has committed to an investment of $2 billion for new projects under the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund which is intended to support the next generation of water infrastructure through the Grid. The Government is also investing $270 million in the Murray-Darling Communities Investment Package which is aimed at improving the health of the Basin while supporting regional development.
Investment in digital
An additional $4.5 billion investment in NBN Co will bring ultra-fast broadband to millions of families and businesses. Funding of $29.2 million will also accelerate the rollout of the 5G network.
An additional $4.9 billion will be spent on a range of health measures to provide medical care and support as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Other measures include investing in the COVID-19 Vaccine Access and Health Security Program in Pacific and Southeast Asian countries.