The ACTU has again urged the Morrison Government to expand its pandemic response and adopt a comprehensive jobs plan in a pre-budget submission sent to the Treasurer this week.

Noting that the Morrison Government’s fiscal response has been smaller as a proportion of GDP than Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, USA, Hong Kong, Germany and the United Kingdom, the submission calls on the Government to adopt a national economic reconstruction plan

The ACTU has put forward 5 practical proposals in its Job plan:

  1. A national strategy for early childhood education and care including free, universal, accessible childcare. This will support women being able to work, grow the economy and give our kids at the very best start in life.
  2. A training for reconstruction plan which includes 150,000 free TAFE courses and a 50% Government wage subsidy that goes for the life of apprenticeship or traineeship and delivers a job at the end.
  3. A Rediscover Australia initiative to help out travel and hospitality sectors and regions recover and survive.
  4. A National Reconstruction Investment plan to significantly boost investment in public capital projects, which should start with short lead time projects like public and social housing. Boosting public capital spending back to 6.5% of GDP.
  5. A sustainable manufacturing strategy which will support and expand manufacturing, assist both its shift to low cost and sustainable renewable energy and the production of the high tech products of the future. Starting with Governments own procurement as a powerful lever.

Quotes attributable to ACTU President Michele O’Neil:

“Throughout this pandemic the Morrison Government has been consistently slow to act and has put forward a smaller fiscal response than many other developed economies.

“The crisis has been made worse by persistent uncertainty about the economy and the lack of a national economic reconstruction plan from the Morrison Government.

“We need a comprehensive jobs plan which will put working people first and ensure that we have better, stronger rights as we recover from this crisis than we did going into it.

“Our plan calls for the Government to use its power to create secure jobs for the millions of Australians without a job, or reliant on Government support to stay in work.

“We stand ready, as we have for months, to work with government to create jobs and support Australian industries.”