8 big promises from Labor’s Budget reply

Jessica Yun
·4-min read
An elected Labor government would spend $6.2 billion over four years overhauling child care including scrapping the annual childcare subsidy cap. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)
An elected Labor government would spend $6.2 billion over four years overhauling child care including scrapping the annual childcare subsidy cap. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

Women were placed at the heart of the Labor party’s Budget reply on Thursday night, with Opposition leader Anthony Albanese proposing an overhaul of the childcare system.

The plan for near-universal childcare would save families up to $2,900 and boost the economy.

But a renewable energy policy, a vision for rail manufacturing and plans to fix social housing also featured in the Opposition’s plan.

If you missed it, here are eight of Labor’s key policies outlined in Albanese’s Budget speech:

Cheaper childcare

“Tonight, I announce that a Labor Government will, from 1 July 2022, remove the annual cap on the childcare subsidy, eliminating once and for all, the disincentive to work more hours,” he said on Thursday night.

For families earning between $189,390 and $353,680, the annual subsidy cap of $10,560 would be scrapped.

“And we will increase the maximum Child Care subsidy to 90 per cent – cutting costs for 97 per cent of all families in the system.”

Households that earn up to $80,000 a year would pay just 10 per cent of their childcare costs. Ninety-seven per cent of households would save between $600 and $2,900 a year, Labor said.

Households earning $530,000 a year or more would see no subsidy. The plan would cost $6.2 billion across four years, Labor estimates.

Earlier research from thinktank Grattan Institute estimates that an extra $5 billion a year spent on childcare would yield an $11 billion increase in GDP from extra workforce participation and a $150,000 lifetime earnings boost for the typical Aussie mother.

Alison Pennington, senior economist at Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work, believes free public childcare could be key to economic recovery, and create 50,000 new jobs, secure another 160,000, and create 6,500 construction jobs.

3 blueprints for skills, defence and manufacturing jobs

Labor has developed a three-pronged plan to create jobs, build skills, and keep national infrastructure, such as rails, in Australia:

  • A National Rail Manufacturing Plan, which would see Australian trains built by Aussies, instead of being bought overseas;

  • A Defence Industry Development Strategy, which would prioritise Australian manufacturers and workers first for major defence contracts and projects; and

  • An Australian Skills Guarantee, that would aim to have one in 10 workers be an apprentice, trainee or cadet at every major work site receiving Commonwealth funding. Labor would also aim to extend this approach to aged, disability, childcare and defence sectors.

An energy plan for Australia

The Liberal government has come up with 22 energy policies in the span of eight years, Albanese noted.

Under Labor, Australia would focus on renewable energy and have a target of net zero carbon pollution by 2050.

It would also create a ‘Rewiring the Nation Corporation’ to rebuild the national energy grid to have it run on renewable energy, which Albanese would say would create “thousands” of jobs and “deliver $40 billion in benefits”.

Social housing

According to Albanese, 100,000 social housing buildings across Australia need repairing.

“If these were MPs’ offices they’d be fixed overnight,” he said. “The roof leaks, they’re full of mould or damp, the plumbing isn’t up to scratch.”

Fixing this would create jobs for tradies, as well as the creation of new social housing dwellings. This would deliver economic benefits by providing “immediate stimulus to the economy,” he said.

“It would create thousands of jobs in construction and the trades… and just like for my mum, it would give thousands of people a better life.” Albanese grew up in public housing.

A new centre for disease control

A Labor government would create an Australian Centre for Disease control which would address the aged care system as well as improve pandemic preparedness.

The aged care royal commission released its final report recently, declaring that providers were still not receiving adequate funding.

Anti-corruption commission would be created

A Labor government would establish a “national anti-corruption commission” to “restore faith in our democracy”, Albanese said.

“The true test of this Budget isn’t this week’s headlines. It’s not the rhetoric or the promises. It’s whether money reaches the people who need it.”

Make your money work with Yahoo Finance’s daily newsletter. Sign up here and stay on top of the latest money, news and tech news.

Follow Yahoo Finance Australia on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.