• Federal Budget 2020-2021

JobMaker Plan – Cross Portfolio

The Treasurer has unleashed a number of JobMaker plans aimed at supporting the economy recovery through cutting red tape, driving progress through digitisation and enabling more women to enter, and stay in the workplace. The three distinct measures of the JobMaker Plan, being the Deregulation Package, Digital Business Plan and the Second Women’s Economic Security Package are all measures designed to make it easier for businesses to operate, invest and create jobs.

Deregulation Package

The Treasurer has announced that he will provide $92.1 million over four years from 2020-21 to support economic recovery through a fresh whole-of-government focus to improve regulatory practices. Of particular note include:

  • $40.4 million over ten years from 2020-21 to provide additional resourcing for the Emissions Reduction Assurance Committee, build IT infrastructure and support a new Australian Carbon Credit Units exchange trading platform and streamline the Clean Energy Regulator’s IT systems
  • $18.5 million over four years from 2020-21 to streamline approval processes into a single application across jurisdictions, allowing for faster establishment of new early childhood education and care businesses
  • $17.9 million over three years from 2020-21 to modernise the Therapeutic Goods Administration business systems to streamline processes for the medicines and medical devices industry
  • $1.8 million over two years to trial a series of regulatory reporting reductions for Australian businesses.

Digital Business Plan

As part of its JobMaker Plan, the Government has announced funding of $796 million over four years to support Australia becoming a leading digital economy. The measures are broadly targeted at supporting modern digital infrastructure, reducing regulatory barriers, and enhancing the digital capacities of government. Important funding measures announced include:

  • $22.1 million towards the establishment of the Australian 5G innovation initiative to support private sector investment in 5G
  • $19.2 million towards the Australian Small Business Advisory services – Digital Solutions program to provide support to an additional 10,000 small businesses
  • $419.9 million over four years from 2020-21 to transfer existing business registers to modernised platform to allow the creation of a single, accessible and trusted source of business data
  • $256 million will be provided over two years to develop and expand digital identity to improve access to government services and payments online.  

Second Women’s Economic Security Package

The Treasurer has announced that he will provide $231.0 million over four years from 2020-21 to support economic recovery through employing more women in the workforce via the following measures:

  • $90.3 million over three years from 2020-21 for concessional work test arrangements for Paid Parental Leave in response to COVID-19, effectively allowing parents to qualify for the payment if they have worked in 10 of the last 20 months, instead of 10 of the last 13 months, proceeding the birth or adoption of a child
  • $47.9 million over four years from 2020-21 to increase grants for the Women’s Leadership and Development Program
  • $35.9 million over five years from 2020-21 to increase the number of co-funded grants to women-founded start-ups under the Boosting Female Founders Initiative to provide access to expert mentoring
  • $25.1 million over five years from 2020-21 to establish a Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Industry Cadetship program to support 500 women working in STEM industries to complete an Advanced Diploma.

BDO Comment

The pandemic has certainly shone a light on inadequacies relating to overregulation and a lack of digitisation across the majority of industries and the Government alike. It is certainly refreshing to see the Government aiming to drive progress through the digital economy where we have seen productivity thrive through the working from home environment. It will be essential that the Government looks to enhance this capacity as it seeks to keep up with the rest of the world. It is also welcome to see that the Government is making women in business central to the future growth of the economy.  

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