We asked what Australians thought of this year’s Federal Budget. Most people thought there were some big gaps
After coronavirus caused months of delays, the 2020 Federal Budget has finally been released.
In a year of social, emotional and financial turmoil for many Australians, plenty of people were eagerly awaiting the possibility of some extra support.
We asked our Facebook Messenger subscribers how the Budget would affect them, whether they were happy with it and what they thought was missing.
This is what they said.
People expected more for climate and renewables
“How is it that the Australian Government continues to fail to act on its international and environmental duty regarding climate change? It should be allowing room in the budget for greater steps towards genuine sustainability!
“If the debt is set to billow out to almost $1 trillion by 2024, we (the government and people) will not be in a position to make provisions for climate change and it becomes more unlikely that the government will want to action anything at all.”
– Natalie E
“Disappointing to see the Government continue to deny funding for large-scale renewable energy technologies. As a young person, this ballooning out of debt, as well as the failure to act on climate change, bodes for a difficult future.”
– Logan C
“What about reducing our carbon footprint by focusing on jobs in renewable energy production? We will all be losers if our global temperatures keep rising as there will be droughts and fires. Tourism will also suffer, our wildlife and reefs will be destroyed.
“The economy is not the only part of life we need to care for as we plan for the future.”
– Laraine H
“I was hoping for an announcement on funding for renewable resources, for clean energy, for energy savings in the private homes through subsidising home insulation, better windows, solar power installations etc. I was disappointed that only gas was mentioned.”
– Milena B
“More money to big business and the gas lobby, a slap in the face to the climate and those affected by the bushfires this year. As a young person this deepens my cynicism; we are out of time and the Government doesn’t care.”
– Jack M
Disability welfare recipients say they feel ‘shafted’
“This budget, as usual, is going to only affect me negatively. As a disability pensioner, the two payments of $250 that are months away will do nothing to assist with the increased costs of food and other essentials.
“There is no increase in pension rates at all, yet all other payments stay increased (I am not suggesting that Jobseeker payments return to the disgustingly low rate that Newstart was, just making the point) and yet the price gouging by supermarkets and utility providers continues!”
– Cathi S
“Once again people with a disability get shafted. This is a government that cares little for the most vulnerable.”
– Robert B
“I’m on the DSP. Earlier this year I moved in with my partner who is on JobSeeker, and at the end of the supplement will be well below the poverty line and hardly able to scrape by. Because I now have a partnered payment, I am now also below the poverty line.
“The Government thinks it’s okay to give me $500 (a little over the cost of one specialist appointment) yet put me below the poverty line for daring to be disabled and have a relationship? I’m glad for the money, I need it, but I’m not grateful.”
– Ivy G
“I’m on a disability pension. All I’m getting is two instalments of $250. There is no extra money for us other than this, because most of us don’t have a lot of assets to draw an income from. It leaves vulnerable people behind but this is nothing new.”
– Matthew C
Many aged pensioners and retirees were disappointed too
“Us oldies are left out again except the two $250 payments that may cover our increased power bills, and that’s all. A small pension increase would have been good, but no, nothing to cheer about.”
– Ann C
“I’m a self-funded retiree. Nothing in the budget for me at all from an incompetent and disingenuous government, still clinging to its ideologies and announcements, but not fixing the problems. Brave predictions for the future round out the chaos. Can we please get adults back in charge?”
– Barry K
“A total slap in the face for pensioners, and they were the ones that built Australia. It is disgusting that they are also condemning older unemployed Australians to abject poverty. It is a money grab from low-income households to ensure companies and higher-income earners are better off.”
– Patrick K
“The 2 x $250 payments for an age pensioner is a disgrace and a scam. The pension usually rises in line with the CPI each year, but this year the CPI is down not up so no pension increase. All they have done is promise payments we should have got anyway.”
– Graeme H
“There is absolutely nothing for me in this budget. I’m a self-funded retiree paying quarterly tax invoices, Medicare levy, private insurance cover… and getting nothing at all. Very disappointing indeed! Depressing as well!”
– Ellie L
Some thought a focus on young people would be beneficial
“It’s super encouraging to see the additional money towards mental health and low income housing. Plus the incentives to hire young people. I’m floored. This looks like a really strong budget.”
– Tim H
“A budget that meets the moment. Good to see a government that is willing to compromise and take the flak for doing what needs to be done. As a young person going into a devastated job market I’m so glad to see a focus on creating jobs for people like me.”
– Tristan L
“I am a 70-year-old pensioner with a part-time job as a community worker. It’s important that young people get back to work, they are the next generation of workers. I hope that people in their 50s and 60s don’t get left without jobs. Everyone deserves to have a job.”
– Marion C
“I’m disappointed that there’s no further information about JobSeeker beyond December. But the JobMaker program will be great for me. I’m 22, living in Melbourne and lost my job in the first lockdown. There is so much competition out there, I feel like I’m overlooked because I’m not that experienced.”
– Kaitlyn C
Others said more support for youth was the wrong move
“I think focusing on getting young people into jobs is ridiculous. It’s so much easier for them to find work. Many of those I know that lost jobs are over 50 and now risk losing their homes as no one wants to employ them at the ‘end’ of their careers!”
– Amy S
“As a worker in my early 50s with over 30 years experience in my field, and a relatively high-income earner (and therefore high-tax payer) with a mortgage, I see very little support for those of us who have paid their dues and now find ourselves out of work due to COVID.
“Where is the help for an experienced, mature and technologically astute workforce who have paid hundreds of thousands in tax and interest over the years?”
– Jessica B
“Age group supports seem very unfair, the older you are the less you get.”
– Rod S
“Good ideas tend to be rolled out without adequate thought to the end product. Watch companies ditch their middle-aged employees to re-employ younger workers at a discounted rate. It’s just shifting the problem.”
– Jackie P
“I’m a self-funded retiree in my early 60s who’s taken a superannuation hit. How am I going to go back to work when all the jobs will be filled by the under-35s?”
– Geoff H
And some young people say the commitments just aren’t enough
“As someone under 35, this budget is touted as great. But how many of us under-35s benefit from the tax cuts? How many of us earn $90-120,000 or more? Bugger all.
“More retail and hospo jobs, almost universally not full-time and poor waged, is not going to pay for our housing or exorbitant university costs. I’m already struggling, and planning to rent indefinitely with an economy that has already left me behind.
“This budget gives mere lip-service to young people, while condemning us to climate change, inevitable job losses and debt thanks to a bad taxation system that overwhelmingly asks the poorest to pay more to give the wealthy their unfair share.”
– James M
“As someone in their early 30s ‘working’ in tourism I feel abandoned by the Government. An employer won’t benefit from hiring me because I’m currently still technically employed, plus prior to JobKeeper everyone at my company became part-time to help with our employer’s cash flow so we get the lower amount on JobKeeper.
“Tourism was the first to be hit by the pandemic and we’ll be the last to recover. Why is no one speaking out for us?”
– Sara-Ann G
“At first blush methinks the wage subsidy is a pea and thimble trick. They are going to subsidise wages for the young at $200 per week, taking them off JobSeeker that costs $282 per week. That works out at $82 in the Government’s back pocket while they pat themselves on the back for being so generous.”
– Joan C
“I’m afraid this budget does nothing for economic recovery as youth need more than some tax incentives for businesses.
“I’m nervous and scared for myself being 18 in Australia as youth will be pushed further down into poverty, and the ones lucky enough to fall back on family will be more of a financial burden. Mental health will continue to get worse.
“For the first time I’m afraid of the direction this country is going and we’ll be in the same situation as America.”
– Connor L
There wasn’t much love for tax cuts, even from some people who are getting one
“I’ll receive a significant tax cut, while family members on disability support will get next to nothing. It is very disappointing. The government should’ve focused on giving lower-income people tax cuts and boosting welfare payments so that they can spend more in the economy. I don’t think this approach is correct.”
– Sam M
“I’ll get a tax break, but what about the 6 to 8 per cent with no job who will eventually have to live on $550 a fortnight? Also, the lack of investment in renewable infrastructure and business is deplorable. We have a MASSIVE opportunity to be a world leader in renewable manufacturing, and this government is ignoring that.”
– James S
“I will get a tax cut of $1,080. This is the wrong approach for the Australian economy, it will make it worse. The majority of Australians will not spend their tax savings.
“The Government would have been better to spend this money on infrastructure and services, this would have meant more people in employment, more money being spent and more taxes coming in.”
– Caroline T
“While I will get a tax cut, the money would have been better spent on keeping JobSeeker permanently at the high rate and spending money now on the social housing that will be required in the next 20 to 30 years.”
– Trish J
“I don’t want tax cuts! What good is $20! I want free healthcare, education and better roads.”
– Alex B
And some noticed gaps for women, parents and families
“Disappointing that there is no relief in the area of childcare. That freeze for families for three months at the peak of COVID was a huge help to us and made such a difference.”
– Kerry S
“Unfortunately, as always women are not treated as equals, rather as second-class citizens when in fact our workload is higher in reality. How many jobs are encouraged for young women? We should be taking steps to advance women’s entitlements in line with men, instead of living in the 1900s. Do these politicians have daughters, sisters? Where is the respect?”
– Emma W
“It will make it harder for mothers to rejoin the workforce after having kids. They could potentially be missing out on jobs because an employer is incentivised to employ individuals who have been on income support payments.”
– Davin W
“Aged pensioners are not getting a lot, but I feel for the people without jobs that have children. I don’t know how they will manage.”
– Phyllis S
Some people were very impressed with the announcements
“Magnificent pump-priming and a significant homage to the new monetary theories. It’s what Oz needs — can’t have been easy for the Libs!”
– Paul H
“As a pensioner, having the extra is very gratefully accepted. Enables one to buy extras and stay on top of bills.”
– Lauren G
“As a former part-time small-business owner/full-time employee who lost both due to COVID, this is fantastic. It gives me the power to convert my part-time business where I was renting the equipment into a full-time business where I own my equipment. This is a fantastic opportunity for me at 26 years old.”
– Matthew M
“I’m very grateful for my pension and the two extra payments. This is a very strong budget. I just hope those receiving a pension will be grateful to the taxpayer for giving us a ‘wage’ to live on.”
– Pat G
“I believe the Government has done what they can in a very awful situation. They are trying very hard to keep as many people employed as possible under the economic situation we are in. It’s a good budget.”
– Cheryl C
But some felt the priorities were overall not good enough
“Why on God’s green Earth would any government put more money into the pockets of people who have money? The stupidest thing I’ve ever heard in my lifetime. Poor Australia, can’t even take care of their most vulnerable people.”
– Rebecca H
“I think this budget is lacklustre at best! There is ZERO vision and all we are getting are very temporary solutions to long-term problems that we suffered from even before this pandemic hit. We were heading towards a recession anyway and that says a lot.”
– Issa N
“I think more money needs to be rolled out. I think that the budget does not go far enough to support the economy. I also think they have missed an opportunity to change tack in how they deal with the JobSeeker/JobKeeper changes by extending them out past March. All in all, its a bit disappointing.”
– Liam H
“Personally, I don’t care about me. Approaching retirement and self-funded, we can survive. This is a serious point in our history and decades of neglect in health, education, aged care, infrastructure investment means these nitwits have once again left it to the ‘tax cuts’ that will benefit those who need it least.”
– Geoff D
Some responses have been edited for clarity.