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High-viz, narrow vision: federal budget overlooks the hardest hit in favour of the hardest hats

The Grattan Institute's Danielle Wood and colleagues write in The Conversation (7.10.20) about the Coalition's 2020 federal budget, arguing that, among the headline infrastructure spending, women in particular seem to have been relegated to an afterthought.

'The Morrison government seems to think economic stimulus is all about high-viz vests and hard hats. It’s a narrow and dated view of the world of work.

'Tuesday night’s budget included several broad measures to support business and jobs, such as its tax write-off for business investments and wage subsidy for employing young people.

'These look like sensible measures, albeit ones that bet heavily on business to lead the recovery. But when it comes to targeted policies for job creation, the 2020 budget is a sea of hard hats.'

'Backwards' federal budget: Morrison government never fails to disappoint on climate action

TJ Ryan Foundation Research Associate, John Quiggin, writes in The Conversation (7.10.20) that the pandemic has seen the Morrison government abandon its long-held dogma on debt and deficits. But on climate and energy, the author suggests, the Coalition is singing from the 'same old songbook'.

'When it comes to action on climate change, Tuesday’s federal budget delivered by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg was a real – though not unexpected – disappointment which favoured polluting technologies over a clean energy future.

'It included money to upgrade a coal-fired power station in New South Wales, and confirmed A$50 million previously announced to develop carbon capture and storage. The government will also spend A$52.9 million expanding Australia’s gas industry.

'But investment in renewable energy was largely shunned. Notably, the government allocated just A$5 million for electric vehicles. It confirmed funding for the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) for another decade, but the money is far less than what’s needed.'


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