Both sides have finalised their major announcements in the Federal Election campaign, and the two leaders will spend the closing days touring marginal seats and pressing home their respective messages. For the Prime Minister Scott Morrison, the focus will continue to be on economic management and responsible management of the Federal Budget. The Opposition Leader, Anthony Albanese, will continue to prioritise the cost of living and housing prices.
Current polling indicates a lead for the Labor party, but after the surprise win for the LNP in 2019 many punters are hesitant to pick a victor.
Here is a summary of the two sides’ major policies and election commitments that will affect business in general, and retail in particular.
- The Coalition is tackling the cost of living with a six-month halving of the petrol excise and has promised one-off payments of $250 to pensioners. Low and middle-income earners will see an increase of $420 on their tax returns.
- The Coalition is aiming to create 1.3 million jobs over the next five years, including 430,000 jobs for regional Australia.
- The Coalition will seek to revive a number of shelved Omnibus Bill reforms that were proposed in the first draft of the Fair Work Amendment (Supporting Australia’s Jobs and Employment Recovery) Bill 2020 (Cth). The Coalition has committed to legislate to make wage theft a criminal offence.
- Skills and Training Boost to provide small businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $50 million the ability to deduct 120% of expenditure incurred on external training courses provided to employees.
- Technology Investment Boost to encourage business owners adopting digital technology with a 120% tax deduction for businesses with an aggregated annual turnover of less than $50 million.
- Building on the Women’s Economic Security Package announced in the 2021-22 Federal Budget, by investing $482 million to improve women’s economic security via the Paid Parental Leave Scheme and incentivising non-traditional trade apprenticeships.
- The Coalition Government is committing an extra $3.7 billion for skills training that could support an additional 800,000 training places nationally.
- Establish ReBoot, which will build life and employment skills for disadvantaged young Australians.This new pre-employment program for young people aged 15-24 will help build the capacity of disadvantaged youth so they can connect with and benefit from existing youth employment programs, ensuring they are part of the economic recovery.
- The Coalition has committed that skilled stream places account for around 70 per cent of the Migration program in 2022-23, increasing the number of skilled workers to around 110,000.
- $2 billion Regional Accelerator Program to drive economic growth and productivity in regional Australia over next five years.
- $80 million added to Export Market Development Grant scheme to assist Australian businesses in re-establishing export markets.
- Labor is supporting a 5.1 per cent increase to the minimum wage to combat inflation.
- Labor will be advocating for industrial relations reform including enshrining “job security” in the Fair Work Act, amending the definition of casual employment, and legislating the criminalisation of wage theft.
- Labor will lead a national push to close the gender pay gap by implementing all 55 recommendations of the Respect@Work Report and strengthening ability of FWC to order pay increases for workers in low paid, female dominated industries.
- $1.2 billion Future Made in Australia Skills Plan will provide Australians access to Fee Free TAFE and address skills shortages in industries including retail and hospitality.
- Labor will abolish the Registered Organisations Commission (ROC) and the Australian Building and Construction Commission.
- Labor will commit $15 billion to the National Reconstruction Fund to invest broadening industrial base and boosting economic development.
- Labor commits to expanding full-fibre NBN access to 1.5 million premises, with world-class gigabit speeds by 2025.
- Powering Australia Plan to reduce costs of electricity for families and businesses and invest in cheaper renewable energy.
- Better Deal for Small Business plan pledges to work with small business on their specific needs in times of crisis, and ensures small business owners are paid on time.
- Labor will invest $5.4 billion to make child care cheaper from July 2023 to encourage women’s economic participation.
- Labor is expected to raise $1.89 billion in tacking multinational tax avoidance.