The Commonwealth Government has tabled its budget for the 2022-23 financial year. As the nation emerges from two years of lockdowns and border closures, with less than two months until a federal election, this budget is focused on getting the government re-elected – rather than addressing the challenges of public health, stagnant wages, and sustainability facing Australia.
This failure is all the more regrettable given the enormous discretionary fiscal resources which the government has at its disposal: the budget projects $133 billion in extra tax revenues over the next five years, compared to its MYEFO projections just three months ago, thanks to strong economic growth and rising nominal GDP. But instead of ploughing those revenues into reforming human services (like health, aged care, early child education, or disability services), undertaking a genuine policy to revitalise domestic manufacturing, or accelerating the energy transition, the government has prioritised one-time cash handouts to entice voters in the upcoming election.
In this comprehensive budget overview, the Centre for Future Work’s team of economists unpacks the budget, considers its effects, and suggests alternatives.
Our report reviews all aspects of the budget’s impacts on work and workers, including: wages, employment forecasts, vocational education and higher education, women workers and caring labour, labour standards enforcement, and manufacturing and energy jobs.
Please also check out these rapid-response budget commentaries from two of our economists:
“Six graphs that reveal the sugar-hit election strategy,” by Policy Director Greg Jericho in the Guardian Australia.
“Budget billions wasted as real wages go backwards,” by Senior Economist Alison Pennington in The New Daily.