Treasurer Josh Frydenberg hands down his second federal budget. Source: AAP

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Budget 2020

LIVE: The most crucial federal budget in recent Australian history is revealed by Josh Frydenberg

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Treasurer Josh Frydenberg hands down his second federal budget. Source: AAP

Published , updated 6 October 2020, 10:05 pm
By Tom Stayner
6 October 2020, 10:05 pm

Goodnight!

We're going to wrap up this blog now, but we'll be live bright and early tomorrow with a whole new raft of steamy budget content.

In the meantime, here's a quick round-up of our budget stories from tonight:

Who are the winners and losers from the 2020 federal budget? 

Federal budget unveils record deficit as government spends big to survive coronavirus

Australia's net migration intake drops to negative levels for the first time since World War II

Number of Medicare-subsidised psychology sessions doubled in wake of coronavirus pandemic 

Until tomorrow! 

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6 October 2020, 9:45 pm

Concerns over English language requirement in Migration Program

Acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge says the budget recognises that a carefully managed Migration Program is an important part of Australia’s economic recovery from COVID-19, by creating jobs and attracting investment.

He says the Migration Program will remain capped at 160,000 places for 2020-21.

Places in the Family stream will be limited to 77,300, but as this includes 72,300 in the Partner category that means there are only 5,000 places for children.

He says most of these places are for people already in Australia.

Mr Tudge says the government is introducing an English language requirement for Partner visa applicants and permanent resident sponsors.

The Chief Executive of the Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils of Australia, Mohammad Al-Khafaji, says some partners could miss out because of that English language requirement.

"We are concerned that some of the requirements, some of the English language requirements, will mean that some partners will not be able to be reunited with their loved ones if they don't have good enough English," he said.

Of the new permanent residents coming into the country, approximately two thirds will be in the skilled stream and one third from the family stream.

The Global Talent Independent program allocation will be tripled to 15,000 places, and the Business Innovation and Investment Program will increase to 13,500 places.

6 October 2020, 9:35 pm

'Crushing let-down' for young Australians: ACOSS

Australian Council of Social Service chief Cassandra Goldie said that while the budget "provides some glimmer for hope on jobs for young people", it's a "crushing let-down" for many others without paid work.

"The Federal Budget has also missed key opportunities for job creation initiatives that would have delivered public good, particularly in female-dominated sectors, instead focusing on projects that will take longer to get off the ground," she said.

"It leaves more than two million people receiving higher income support uncertain about their future beyond the end of the year, when rates will go to their pre-COVID levels, which for JobSeeker is $40 a day. People on temporary visas also receive no income support in this budget.

"The extra funding for aged care is welcome, including 23,000 aged care packages, but this falls far short of what is required to meet demand. There is some extra funding for community services, including mental health services, but again, it is insufficient to meet what is required.

"Overall, the Budget does not deliver enough investment to pull us out of the historic slump we’re in without leaving people behind. The Government will need to do more to ensure that we are all in the recovery together."

6 October 2020, 9:10 pm

Reactions to the 2020 budget

Here's a quick round-up of some of the reactions to the budget on social media.

Save The Children CEO Paul Ronalds said that, while the additional funding for the Pacific was welcome, the government's foreign aid budget remained insufficient:

Greens leader Adam Bandt criticised the government for committing to open five mega gas zones, shortly after Mr Frydenberg committed to $1.9 billion in new funding to support low emissions.

And there was criticism over the lack of measures for social housing from the Victorian Council of Social service:

 

6 October 2020, 8:52 pm

Who are the winners and losers from the 2020 budget?

If you don't want to flail your way through an avalanche of blog posts... firstly, I don't blame you.

But secondly, you don't have to, because Maani Truu and Jodie Stephens have put together a succinct breakdown of all the winners and losers from the 2020 budget.

Read it here.

6 October 2020, 8:43 pm

Could the budget be derailed?

Sales also asked Mr Frydenberg if it's a "fair conclusion" that the budget "could be derailed".

"The Treasury Papers outline a couple of other scenarios that may be better cases," he replied. "So we could get access to the vaccine earlier than is laid out in the budget papers, and (that) will lead to a $34 billion boost to the economy. So there is a great deal of uncertainty.

"These are projections. These are forecasts, these are made during a once in a century global pandemic. But there is a clear path back to jobs and employment for hundreds of thousands of Australians.

"You see that as the unemployment numbers come down over time, and you see that as a result of our economic support provided in this package of measures."

6 October 2020, 8:40 pm

'An incredible fragile foundation': Frydenberg appears on 7.30

Mr Frydenberg is now facing 7.30's Leigh Sales, who opened the interview by asking whether the government's budget promises are built on an "incredibly fragile foundation".

"There is unprecedented uncertainty in the economic environment, not just here in Australia but globally right now," he replied. "As you know, the country was on a trajectory for a speedy recovery until we saw the second wave of cases in Victoria.

"Victoria, representing one quarter of the national economy, has hit it hard and that hit GDP in the September quarter by up to $14 billion alone.

"We have made a set of assumptions based on the evidence available to us. As you know, the states are working with the Prime Minister to lift borders by the end of the year. We have said that Western Australia's border will not open until April and as for a COVID vaccine, and we are doing everything possible, both with our researchers in Australia but linking into the global supply chains to ensure that Australians have access to it next year."

6 October 2020, 8:20 pm

That's a wrap!

The Treasurer has finished handing down his budget speech.

We've got loads of analysis to come. We'll also be covering his live post-speech ABC 7.30 interview with Leigh Sales - so don't go anywhere!

(Sorry, I know I say "don't go anywhere" a lot. To be fair, we're amid a pandemic, so where are you even going?) 

6 October 2020, 8:15 pm

80 million doses of potential COVID-19 vaccines secured

Mr Frydenberg said the government has secured more than 80 million doses of potential COVID-19 vaccines.

He also said "record funding" will be given to hospitals, schools, aged care, childcare and disability services.

An additional $3.9 billion will be granted to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

"Every Australian can be confident that the NDIS will always be fully funded under a Coalition Government," Mr Frydenberg said.

"We have committed over $16 billion as part of the Government's ongoing health response to the COVID-19 crisis, securing millions of masks, gowns, goggles, ventilators and we have worked with the states to significantly increase the capacity of intensive care units right across the country.

"We have extended Medicare subsidised, telehealth services, enabling more than 30 million consultations to occur since the crisis began."

6 October 2020, 8:10 pm

Good news for first-home buyers

The government has extended the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme to an additional 10,000 first-home buyers.

"This builds on the first-home buyers who are hoping to purchase a home this year with a deposit as low as 5 per cent under this scheme," Mr Frydenberg said.

"In this budget we're also enabling an additional $1 billion of low cost finance to support the construction of affordable housing. This takes the total concessional finance that has been made available to community housing providers to $3 billion, and it's in addition to the $4.6 billion a year that we provide in rental assistance."

He added: "Tonight we're also investing $150 million in the Indigenous home ownership program to construct new homes in regional areas, creating more jobs and helping hundreds of Indigenous families buy their own home."

 
6 October 2020, 8:08 pm

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6 October 2020, 8:05 pm

'We're determined to see female work force participation reach pre-COVID record high'

The Treasurer noted women make up the majority of Australians who lost their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic.

"As the health restrictions have eased, these jobs have started to come back. With 60 per cent of the 458,000 jobs that have been created since May filled by women. But challenges remain."

"We are determined to see female work force participation reach its pre-COVID record high," he said.

"This budget includes our second women's economic security statement with $240 million in measures and programs to support new cadetships and apprenticeships for women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, job creation and entrepreneurialism, and women's safety at work and at home.

"The 2020 Women's Economic Security Statement will create more opportunities and choices for women, not just for this recovery but for generations ahead."

6 October 2020, 8:33 pm

Australia’s net migration intake drops to negative levels for first time since World War II

Maani Truu:

Australia’s net migration intake is set to fall into negative levels for the first time since World War II and not recover to pre-pandemic levels for more than four years, budget papers have revealed.

It means Australia’s population growth will drop to just 0.2 per cent this financial year, the slowest growth in more than a century, as migrants leave the country and new temporary visa holders are barred from entering under coronavirus border restrictions.

Australia’s fertility rate, which means the number of children born to each woman, is also expected to drop to 1.58 during the 2020-22 financial year, down significantly from the 1.9 predicted in the 2019-20 budget.

Forecasts included in the budget show Australia’s population will grow to almost 26 million in 2022.

This is approximately one million less people than were forecast for the same period in last year’s budget.

Read the full story here.

6 October 2020, 7:54 pm

Government to spend more than $5.7 billion on mental health services

Maani Truu:

The number of Medicare-subsidised psychology sessions Australians can access per year will be doubled from 10 to 20 as the government embarks on record health spending in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The 2020-21 Budget, released on Tuesday, revealed $5.7 billion would be spent on mental health services this financial year, an increase of $148 million on last year’s budget.

Mr Frydenberg said mental health and suicide prevention was a “national priority” following last year’s catastrophic bushfires and the coronavirus pandemic, which has meant many Australians are physically isolated from friends and family.

“My heart goes out to all those Australians - young and old - for whom COVID-19 has caused such pain,” he said.

“My message tonight is that this house stands with you. You are not alone.”

Read the full story here.

6 October 2020, 7:53 pm

Treasurer announces $1 billion 'JobTrainer' fund to 'upskill and reskill' workers

Mr Frydenberg said the government would establish a $1 billion JobTrainer fund to create up to 340,000 free or low-cos training places for school leavers and people seeking jobs.

He also made a series of related pledges:

"We have also committed $2.8 billion to protect 180,000 apprenticeships and trainees and tonight we go further. We commit an additional $1.2 billion to create 100,000 new apprenticeships, with a 50 per cent wage subsidy for businesses who employ them.
 
"In this budget, to help Australians get a job, we are funding 50,000 new higher education short courses in agriculture, health, IT, science and teaching. 12,000 new Commonwealth-supported places for higher education in 2021. 2,000 Indigenous students through the foundation to complete Year 12 and pursue further education or find employment.
 
"And we are investing in regions across Australia to connect job seekers to local employment opportunities, including in Darwin, Townsville and Cairns in our north, through to Gippsland, Hobart and Adelaide in the south, from Perth in the west and the Hunter in the east."
6 October 2020, 7:50 pm

'It's a game-changer': Treasurer's new announcement for Australian businesses

The Treasurer has announced that 99 per cent of small, medium and large businesses will be able to write-off the full value of any eligible asset they purchase for their business.

He said this will be available for all businesses with a turnover of up to $5 billion until June 2022.

"It's a game-changer," the Treasurer said. "And it will unlock investment. It will dramatically expand the productive capacity of the nation and create tens of thousands of jobs.

"A trucking company will be able to upgrade its fleet. A farmer will be able to purchase a new harvester. And a food manufacturing business will be able to expand its production line.

"This boost will help the order books of the nation. Small businesses will buy, sell, deliver, install and maintain these assets. Every sector of our economy, every corner of our country will benefit." 

6 October 2020, 7:44 pm

Frydenberg announces new 'JobMaker' scheme

Mr Frydenberg has announced a new 'JobMaker' hiring credit to stimulate the economy amid the pandemic.

"There is no budget recovery without a jobs recovery," he said. "This budget  is all about jobs. Starting tonight, there will be a new JobMaker hiring credit to encourage businesses to hire young Australians.

"The JobMaker hiring credit will be payable for up to 12 months and immediately available to employers who hire those on JobSeeker aged 16 to 35. It will be paid at the rate of $200 a week for those aged under 30 and $100 a week for those aged 30 to 35."

He said new hires must work for at least 20 hours per week. "All businesses other than the major banks will be eligible. And Treasury estimates that this will support around 450,000 jobs for young people.

"Having a job means more than having an income. It means economic security. It means independence. It means opportunity. And we can't let this COVID recession take that away."

 

 

6 October 2020, 7:56 pm

Australia to record $213.7 billion deficit as federal budget assumes 2021 vaccine

Jodie Stephens:

Australia’s budget deficit is this financial year expected to reach $213.7 billion and net debt $703 billion, as the government spends big on infrastructure, health and defence amid the worst global economic crisis since the Great Depression.

The federal government on Tuesday unveiled its most generous tax and spending budget ever, with planned tax relief to millions of Australians as it attempts to stimulate an economy devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.

The highly-anticipated budget predicts that the staggering $213.7 billion deficit in 2020/21 will fall to $66.9 billion by 2023/24, while the country’s net debt will peak at $966 billion in June 2024.

The new deficit forecast is a far cry from the $6.1 billion surplus predicted last December, before COVID-19 set in and the economy reeled into its first recession since the early 1990s.

Read the full story here.

6 October 2020, 7:35 pm

Josh Frydenberg praises Australia's 'resilience'

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has opened his speech by praising the "resilience" of Australians in the face of multiple catastrophic events.

"In 2020, Australians have been tested like never before," he said.

"Flood, fires, drought and a global pandemic. So many Australians, through no fault of their own, are doing it tough.

"Lives have been lost, businesses have closed, jobs have gone. Our cherished way of life has been put on hold."

Mr Frydenberg praised the "resilience" of Australians, saying their "courage, commitment and compassion" are the "invisible strength of Australia".

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