Every year the Australian Government plans how it will invest and prioritise money for the future. Here's a rundown of what features in the 2013-14 Budget.
In the past five years Australia has come through the Global Financial Crisis and ongoing global turmoil better than almost every other developed country.
As we deliver tonight’s Budget, our economy is strong. Jobs are growing, and inflation, debt and interest rates are low. But the combination of a high Australian dollar and falling commodity prices has led to weaker profits and reduced Budget revenues, presenting a challenge for our economy.
Labor has had to make difficult choices in response to these challenges. We believe these choices are about people, and the kind of Australia we want for our future.
Do we cut jobs? Do we cut the services and jobs we rely on to the bone? Or do we invest in supporting jobs now and creating the jobs of the future?
This Budget presents a clear path to return the Budget to surplus by 2016-17 while supporting jobs and growth, building a stronger economy, a smarter nation, and a fairer society. The hit to revenues will see a Budget deficit of $18 billion in 2013-14.
Labor has a proud record of getting the big economic calls right. We did it during the Global Financial Crisis by making the choice to put people and jobs first, by stimulating the economy, when many were calling for cuts to the bone. Jobs were saved, growth continued, and Australia came through in the best shape of all of the developed economies.
And we’re doing it now. Making the right choice to put people first by charting a steady path back to surplus while investing in the critical economic and social reforms we need for our future. Making the choice to be a stronger, smarter, fairer Australia.
Labor chooses to put jobs and productivity first.
This Budget builds a stronger economy by investing $24 billion in roads and rail. This means new jobs, and less time wasted in grid-locked traffic – something that could cost us $20billion a year in lost productivity by 2020. All up 7500km of road will be improved.
It provides $1 billion in a plan for Australian jobs, supporting Australian industry by backing Australian companies to win more work at home and abroad, and helping small and medium businesses to grow and create new jobs.
Labor chooses to invest in our kids.
We know that kids in our schools are falling behind. Among similar countries, Australia has gone from 2nd place to 7th place in reading, and from 5th place to 13th place in maths. Disadvantaged Aussie kids are falling behind their classmates by a full two years in maths, reading and science.
That’s why this Budget delivers the National Plan for School Improvement with an unprecedented investment in Australian schools of $9.8 billion over six years from 2014-15.
This once-in-a-generation reform will turn our schools around, providing more fairness in the system and improved student outcomes. The money will be used to train teachers, pay for specialists, and make classes smaller. The Budget also undertakes a record $1.1billion investment in early childhood education.
Labor chooses to make sure no one gets left behind.
This Budget builds a fairer society by investing $19.3 billion over seven years from 2012-13 to deliver DisabilityCare Australia. A bit like Medicare, which Labor delivered back in 1975, this is one of the biggest social reforms in our nation’s history. No longer will the most vulnerable members of our community be left behind.
It will make sure that Australians with significant and permanent disability get the care and support they deserve. The plan builds on the $16.4 billion National Health Reform Agreement to continue improving access to high quality care, medicines and support services and makes important investments in rural and regional Australia.
Savings for the longer term
Labor chooses ongoing fiscal sustainability
The Budget builds on the Government’s record of identifying enduring savings to make room for critical economic and social reform priorities and to ensure ongoing fiscal sustainability. This Budget makes $43 billion of savings across the forward estimates and fully funds priority investments for over a decade.