The winners and losers of last night’s federal budget

Budget winners:

Single parents, will benefit in the budget, as they will have greater ability to re-access the property market due to the government’s new Family Home Guarantee. This will reduce deposit requirements for single parents with dependent children.

Small and medium businessThe government has extended full expensing of capital expenditure until 30 June 2023 and the temporary loss carry-back is also being extended to 2022-23.

Agriculture, which is receiving subsidies for export diversification, soil-quality improvement, drought preparation, and more.

The early childhood education sector, which will benefit from $2 billion in new funding over four years.

The pundits who come up with new letters to name the shape of an economic recovery. What does this one look like? It’s not really a “V”, definitely not a “W”, and probably not a “Y”. Is it the lower-case Greek letter “gamma”?

The aged-care sector, which will receive $17.7 billion over five years.

The gas industry, which will benefit from the Morrison government’s ongoing commitment. On top of the $58.6 million for gas infrastructure projects flagged in advance, there’s $24.9 million to help new gas generators get hydrogen-ready, $30 million for early work on a gas generator project in Port Kembla, and $173.6 million for NT gas industry roads update.

Low- and middle-income earners who are getting an additional $7.8 billion in tax cuts in 2021-22 under the extension of the low- and middle-income tax offset (LMITO).

Veterans, who will receive an additional $460.4 million in support services.

The construction sector, which will benefit from an additional $15.2 billion in infrastructure commitments, and the extension of provisions in the HomeBuilder scheme.

Sellers of residential properties, who benefit from prices being driven up through various housing-sector subsidies.

Anyone who uses the myGov website, on which $200.1 million will be spent on upgrades to make it work.

Fish, which will benefit from $100 million to protect sea life under the oceans leadership package.

Employees with stock options, who will no longer have capital gains tax triggered when they cease employment with the employer who granted the options.

The Reserve Bank, which no longer has to try and manage the economy all by themselves now that the government has discovered how useful fiscal policy is.

Some media will benefit from a funding boost of $58.6 million from the budget. This includes $31.4 million for foreign language news services. There’s also partial good news for Australian Associated Press, the news wire, which was on its deathbed. It secured $15 million over two years under the measure.

The arts sector, which gets a modest boost of $222.9 million over two years. This is intended to provide financial support for events and productions, $20 million for independent cinemas and $11.4 million for regional arts festivals, but there’s just $10 million to provide relief for artists and musicians.

Social housing is back on the government’s agenda after missing out in last year’s budget — there’s a $124.7 million package to assist the states build more public housing stocks and assist the national housing and homelessness sectors.

Losers:

Anthony Albanese, who can no longer claim to lead the only major party committed to social spending, after the government announced increased spending for childcare, aged care, green technology, women’s health, and a raft of other measures in last night’s budget.

The higher education sector, which suffers from the budget’s assumption that the international border will remain largely closed for an extended period, with forecast population growth of around “0.1% in 2020-21, 0.2% in 2021-22 and 0.8% in 2022-23”. That will continue to hit international student revenues that are crucial for the sector. And there is essentially no new financial support for universities.

The law of supply and demand, which has been temporarily suspended to permit budget forecasts that increase housing and childcare demand, without boosting supply, all with market prices not going up.

The ABC will see its funding decrease 6% between 2021-22 and 2024-25. That’s a result of the government’s decision to pause the ABC’s indexation funding in 2018. The government will say this isn’t a cut.

The unemployed will suffer a 43.2% assistance fall over the next year, and 25% up to 2024-25. The government says this is a result of temporary COVID-19 support measures being wound back. Meanwhile, there’s $27.6 million allocated over the next five years to crack down on “welfare integrity”.

The climate: Australia is on track to reach net zero by 2050, the treasurer says, though the budget doesn’t make the path there clear. Instead, there’s a lot of money for gas. The government has staked its climate policy on developing new technology. There’s $1.6 billion to fund “priority low emissions technologies”.

Migrants and international students, who are predicted to gradually return from late 2020. This year’s budget confirms their return has been delayed: a gradual return of migrants is assumed to begin from mid-2022, with international students to return in small phased programs from the latter half of this year, a year later than expected

Foreign aid is at an all time low, below nearly anywhere else in the western world. And it’s set to fall again, from $4.2 billion last year to $3.7 billion in 2021-22. Some additional measures last year to provide COVID-related support to the Pacific have not been continued.

This article was first published by Crikey.

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