Treasurer Josh Frydenberg sold the Federal Budget as being “all about jobs” but the Opposition says the big spending plan doesn’t do enough to get Australians back into work.
Labor leader Anthony Albanese said the economic strategy, which will plunge the nation into debt, didn’t solve the problem for those unable to land a job in the coronavirus-induced recession.
“It is leaving too many people behind,” the Opposition Leader told Sunrise on Wednesday morning.
“If you are over the age of 35, you will lose your wage subsidy in March.
“If you go back to benefits, you are back to $40 a day that the government needs to acknowledge is what you write into poverty and you’ll be competing for a job with someone under 35 who is being subsidised for work.
“If you are over 35, you miss out on this budget.”
When Mr Frydenberg handed down the budget on Tuesday night, he singled out women as being adversely impacted during the virus crisis.
But Mr Albanese said it was merely a comment thrown into the speech and not backed up by enough material support.
“If you are a woman, half the population, it has been acknowledged by the comment that women are being particularly adversely affected by the pandemic and under the Morrison recession, but there is nothing really there to support you, and it is almost like it was an afterthought,” he said.
“This is a grab bag of headlines but there is no competitive plan.
“What’s more, we are talking about treating all the debt, but what would be the lasting legacy? Where is the big reform as part of coming out of this crisis stronger? There is nothing really there.”
The Treasurer was also challenged by Nine’s Today host Allison Langdon about leaving women out of his big economic pitch.
She said the incentive to hire people under 35 coupled with minimal childcare support leaves mums and older women the “losers in this budget”.
Mr Frydenberg said his intention was to assist this cohort more broadly by improving economic conditions.
“What we have designed through this budget is a whole series of complementing measures not just to get women back to working but people right across the economy back to work,” he said.
“In terms of the senior Australians, we have specific measures to get them back into work.
“But the measures that we have introduced across this budget include infrastructure spending and include infrastructure spending and include a whole range of measures to support the economy and a whole range of jobs.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison defended the Government’s support for the childcare industry.
“$9 billion a year is what we spend on supporting child care and those on lower and middle incomes can get up to 85 per cent of their care rebated,” he told Sunrise.
“Free child care is not something we are proposing, what that does is basically give massive subsidies to those on much higher incomes.”