If the Abbott Government’s plan to create jobs is a $5 billion dollar company tax cut – then it has no plans for jobs, says the ACTU.
The government has made the $5.5 billion Jobs and Small Business Package the centrepiece of the federal budget – yet $5 billion of that package is a tax cut for small businesses that will save the average small business no more than $20,000 a year – not enough to hire new staff.
Ironically, despite selling this budget as a budget for jobs, the Government is still forecasting unemployment to stay above 6 per cent for the next three years.
The Abbott Government has also forecast economic growth to increase to 3.25 per cent by 2016-17 but there are no initiatives in the budget to increase productivity, with no new money for research and innovation – only cuts.
Instead of helping Australians find long-term jobs, the Abbott Government is continuing to punish unemployed people with a “reinvigorated” Work For The Dole program – a program that has been shown not to create long term, sustainable jobs.
With unemployment at or above 6 per cent for the past eleven months, the Abbott Government should have used this budget to invest in infrastructure, skills and training, and the public service to create jobs and boost the economy.
Instead the government has tied childcare assistance to unfair cuts to family benefits and paid parental leave, cut almost one billion dollars from health and missed the opportunity to boost budget revenue by reforming super tax concessions for the wealthy.
There is no new money for major road infrastructure projects and the new $5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility is reliant on state government and private industry investment.
This budget is a missed opportunity from a government more concerned about keeping its own jobs than creating new jobs for Australians.
ACTU President Ged Kearney said, “If the government’s plan to create jobs is a $5 billion company tax cut – then it has no plans for jobs.
“The government is selling this as a budget for jobs but has forecast unemployment to stay above 6 per cent for the next three years.
“Tony Abbott is taking more out of the pockets of working people and their families than he is putting in.
“Australian families will be worse off under this budget with cuts to paid parental leave and family tax benefits that are far greater than the government’s investment in childcare.
“This budget is a missed opportunity to stimulate the economy with spending on infrastructure that would have boosted our manufacturing industry and created new jobs and apprenticeships.”