Newsletters 2024

Federal Budget 2024-25 analysis

The Federal Government has handed down its 2024-25 Budget. While the Government has delivered a surplus, and provided some interesting incentives to entice businesses that build climate solutions through the Future Made in Australia program, it has missed the opportunity to address some of our deeper, fundamental societal challenges including the domestic violence crisis and the inadequacy of our social support payments which currently see 1 in 8 Australians living in poverty.

Ultimately while there are sugar hits in this budget, significant opportunities for long-term reform have been missed.

In the lead up to the budget, I spoke with community groups, peak bodies and local councils to identify their priorities and inform North Sydney’s budget submission.

I met with The Treasurer, the Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Minister for Health and Aged Care, Minister for Employment, Workplace Relations and the Arts, and the Minister for Social Services, to prosecute North Sydney’s budget priorities.

After analysing the budget papers, my team and I have summarised what we believe the budget means for all of us in North Sydney. Please know that these are literally just the headlines so stay tuned as we dig further into the budget papers over the coming days and don't forget to join us at Willoughby Bowling Club on Tuesday 21 May for a full budget debrief with Jo Taranto and Melanie Fernandez.

- KT

1. COST OF LIVING + HOUSING

✅ KEY HITS
  • Commonwealth Rent Assistance maximum rates increase by 10% 
  • $1.9bn in concessional loans for providers of social and affordable housing 
  • $3 billion wiped from student HECS debt 
  • Social security deeming rates frozen at current levels for another 12 months. 
  • $300 energy rebate for households and $325 rebate to eligible small businesses. 
  • Student placement payments for some areas of study
❌ KEY MISSES
  • No increase to key social support payments including Job Seeker or the Aged Pension
  • No structural reform of the housing system including reforming tax concessions.   
  • Some of the $6.2bn allocated to housing is repurposed funds 
  • Nothing for average income households in the form of rental or property ownership assistance 
  • Student placement payments do not go far enough either in dollar terms or professions covered

2. CLIMATE + ENERGY + TRANSPORT

✅ KEY HITS
  • $22.7 billion package over the next ten years for the Future Made in Australia plan including for solar manufacturing, battery manufacturing, commercialisation of technologies, critical minerals production, and hydrogen production
  • $154.5m over six years to implement the New Vehicle Efficiency Standards
  • $100m to create an Active Transport Fund to build more bicycle and walking paths
  • $115m for a zero-emissions bus depot in Macquarie Park
❌ KEY MISSES
  • Nothing for renters to electrify or to help households get off gas
  • Over $44 billion in fuel subsidies (Fuel tax credit) over the forward estimates
  • Petroleum resources rent tax only delivers $2.59 billion which is less than we will get from beer excise ($2.66) or spirits excise ($3.59 billion)
    $60 million over four years to support installation of EV charging at auto businesses only (to support them in selling EV models).
  • Only $50 million over two years for the Green Climate Fund
  • $32.6 million for carbon sequestration for heavy industry to move carbon dioxide to geological storage sites (aka carbon capture and storage)

3. ENVIRONMENT (Not a lot to see here....)

✅ KEY HITS
  • $107 million transition support package for sheep industry to phase out live sheep exports
❌ KEY MISSES
  • No substantial additional funding for Environmental Protection Australia
    Very little for biodiversity and conservation

4.ECONOMY + TAXATION

✅ KEY HITS
  • Surplus of $9.3 billion
  • Stage 3 tax cuts – 13.6 million taxpayers receive a tax cut
  • Inflation forecast back within RBA target range earlier than expected
  • Investment in tertiary education reform - 80% of the population to hold a tertiary qualification by 2050
❌ KEY MISSES
  • Continued reliance on income tax
  • Slow economic growth – just 1 ¾% growth this financial year, and 2% next
  • Increasing levies (Agriculture levy, biosecurity levy)

5. SMALL BUSINESS

✅ KEY HITS
  • $20,000 instant asset write off scheme extended by 12 months to 30 June 2025
  • $325 energy rebate to eligible small businesses on 2024-25 bills
  • $10.8 million over 2 years for a Debt Helpline and other services
  • $20.5 million over 4 years for the Office of the Fair Work Ombudsman to support small business employers comply with changes to workplace laws

❌ KEY MISSES
  • Instant asset write off for small business threshold not raised, and no long-term provisions.
  • No further relief to small businesses beyond the extension of existing measure

6. GENDER EQUALITY

✅ KEY HITS
  • $1.1 billion over four years from 2025 to fund superannuation on Paid Parental Leave (12% superannuation – or about $106 a week)
  • $925.2 million over five years to make the Leaving Violence Program permanent
  • $55.6 million over four years Building Women’s Careers program to improve women’s access to traditionally male-dominated industries

❌ KEY MISSES
  • Not enough to address the national domestic violence crisis
  • Didn’t abolish the activity test, which puts pressure on parents raising children to pursue employment search activities
  • No indication of the quantum of funding for increased childcare workers wages

7. HUMAN RIGHTS

✅ KEY HITS
  • $151.4 million over four years to accelerate progress under the National Agreement on Closing the Gap and delivering better outcomes for First Nations peoples
  • $115.6 million over four years to address high migration backlogs in the federal courts


❌ KEY MISSES
  • No pathway to permanency for the 7,500 people failed by the Fast Track system
  • Focus on increasing skilled migration but no increase in the humanitarian intake
  • Budget provisions for the new Administrative Review Tribunal (ART), are inadequate at just $854.3 million over four years. This is less than what was previously provided to the AAT


8. HEALTH + MENTAL HEALTH + AGEING

✅ KEY HITS
  • Maximum cost of PBS prescriptions frozen for two years (no one will pay more than $31.60 for a script. Pensioners and concession card holders will pay no more than $7.70)
  • $3.0 million over two years from 2024–25 to fund removal of fees imposed on the pathology sector for certain accreditations
  • $588.5 million over eight years to establish a national low intensity digital mental health service
  • $49.1 million over four years for gynecology consultations with patients who have complex conditions such as endometriosis and pelvic pain

❌ KEY MISSES
  • Scale of funding for mental health services does not meet the need. In 2020, the Productivity Commission recommended governments invest an extra $2.4 billion per year nationally, to deliver priority mental health system reforms

 

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Federal Budget 2024-25 analysis

The Albanese Government's Federal Budget 2024-25 is packed with headline-grabbing sugar hits that fail to substantially address some of our deeper, fundamental societal challenges such as housing, climate change, intergenerational inequity and domestic violence.

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Week 91: Money won't solve Australia's domestic violence crisis

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