Australia’s sad answer to Lara’s question
News.com.au's political editor Samantha Maiden gives her verdict on the federal budget.
The 2021 budget has arrived and the big surprise is a grim prediction on when the nation's borders will reopen. Cancel your travel plans and unfasten your seat belts because it looks like we're going nowhere.
Despite optimistic budget forecasts that Australia will be fully vaccinated by the end of the year, for some reason the Treasurer doesn't believe the borders will reopen until mid 2022.
It was of course the PM who commissioned a bikini clad Lara Bingle to ask the world, "Where the bloody hell are you?". The budget suggests the answer for Australians over the next year is "staying at home".
Part of the problem is caps on arrivals based on the state's capacity to cope with an influx in hotel quarantine. So you might expect there's money in budget for new, purpose built quarantine facilities? Wrong!
As expected there was some tax relief for low and middle income earners worth up to $1080 for singles and $2160 for couples.
If you want to find out how much you will get you can try this free calculator. There's also some big new spending on improving aged care.
There's a cash splash for childcare if you have more than one child in daycare. But there's a catch it doesn't start until July 2022.
But it's a case of tradies, not ladies, in the short term at least.
The biggest tax break in the budget is an extension of an existing JobMaker scheme that's worth $18 billion. That's ten times the cost of the childcare policy.
It will allow businesses to write off the full value of any asset they purchase.
If you're keen to cut to the chase with the biggest losers in the budget you can find all the details here
There's also a crackdown on welfare recipients to force people on the dole to apply for 20 jobs a month - a hot thrill for everyone involved.
In short, it's a budget designed with an election in mind. If it turns out to be a winner with voters that could come sooner rather than later.
Samantha Maiden is news.com.au's political editor
Follow Samantha on Twitter: @SamanthaMaiden
Originally published as Australia's sad answer to Lara's question