Federal budget a catalyst for job creation: Treasurer Josh Frydenberg

The 2020 Federal Budget is focused on creating jobs in three key areas to support Australia’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 recession, Federal Treasurer, the Hon. Josh Frydenberg, told a CEDA post-budget livestream event.

Mr Frydenberg joined CEDA Chief Executive Melinda Cilento to discuss last week’s budget and the Government’s plans to stimulate economic growth. 

“All of these measures add up to our economic recovery program to create jobs, and they focus on the government being the catalyst, as opposed to the solution, to the economic recovery,” he said. 

Mr Frydenberg said the budget was “about putting more money into people’s pockets”, with more than 11.5 million workers expected to benefit from the stage two income tax cuts that were brought forward in this year’s budget.  

The Government also expects to generate activity and jobs through two $250 payments for seniors, carers, veterans and other income support recipients. 

“The second bucket of initiatives in the budget are those that enable businesses to hire, to invest and to grow,” Mr Frydenberg said. 

The Treasurer noted that the instant asset write-off for firms with turnover of less than $5 billion and the loss carry-back measures were designed to boost investment. 

“There is also the bringing forward of infrastructure projects, as well as extra spending on infrastructure, investment in research and development, and there’s also investment in 50,000 short-course places,” he said. 

The third set of budget measures is designed to encourage businesses to take on new workers, particularly apprentices. It includes the JobMaker hiring credit, which is designed to help unemployed workers aged under 35. 

“The reason why we focused on young people is because the experience of previous recessions is that while it took a long time for unemployment to come back below the rate from where it started, it took an even longer time for young people,” Mr Frydenberg said. 

The Treasurer said the Government had pre-existing measures already in place to support other workers, such as the Restart program, which supports people aged 50 and over who have been on unemployment benefits for more than six months. 

These budget measures will come into force as the Federal Government winds down its JobKeeper wage subsidy next year.  

JobKeeper has financially supported millions of Australians since the COVID-19 pandemic forced many businesses to close their doors. 

About 10 per cent of the workforce either lost their jobs or saw their working hours reduced to zero at the start of the pandemic, the Treasurer said.