Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has unveiled his second ‘pandemic budget’, with a claim the nation’s economy is “roaring back to life”.
But does the 2021 Federal Budget deliver the right type and scale of investment across critical areas of social policy?
And will it do enough to alleviate poverty, combat disadvantage and support people to live a life of genuine dignity and wellbeing? (The true tests of a budget.)
We’ve collated the public responses of key leaders, organisations and analysts from across the social and community sector, and beyond.
Let’s kick things off with this wrap from Australian Council of Social Service CEO Cassandra Goldie. You can watch ACOSS’s full post-budget press conference here.
Some of the topic areas listed below overlap, as you would expect. Nothing happens in a vacuum. So if you cant find something it might be under a different heading.
Have we missed a key response entirely? Please let us know.
— Antoinette Braybrook (@BraybrookA) May 11, 2021
Trawling through #Budget2021 but so far not seeing $$s to reduce the mass incarceration of our people, give our children and young people access to early education, keep First Nations women safe from violence or provide the services and supports our people with disabilities need.
— Change the Record (@Change_Record) May 11, 2021
Frydenberg: “We will fund another 80,000 home care packages.”
— Sarah Holland-Batt (@the_shb) May 11, 2021
Lowering the age of the Superannuation downsizer scheme to 60 will also help older Australians boost their savings by downsizing their home while freeing up housing stock for bigger households.
— COTA Australia (@COTAAustralia) May 11, 2021
THE aged care sector today welcomed the Australian Government’s formal response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, which includes a record funding increase of $17.7 billion over the next four years. https://t.co/Uu3In0nQEX
— Australian Aged Care Collaboration (@AgedAustralian) May 11, 2021
Young people sacrificed so much of their lives for the community during COVID-19. Young people were the first to lose their jobs, their education and more.
Unfortunately, #Budget2021 leaves young people out of COVID-19 Recovery.
— YACVic (@YACVic) May 12, 2021
The government has listened to our call for greater investment in early education. The $2b investment in preschool is great but OSHC is missing from the picture, as is any plan to address the workforce crisis currently facing education and care #budget21 #auspol #ECEC #ozearlyed pic.twitter.com/9dbuH1xaVu
— CCC (Vic) (@CCC_Vic) May 11, 2021
Young people have been left out of the #Budget2021. Check out this joint media release from six youth-led orgs on what young people really wanted out of tonight’s budget @thinkforwardaus @RunForItYouth @tomorrowmvmt @AYCC @ronaglynn https://t.co/8HThaPE6f5
— FYA (@fya_org) May 11, 2021
Federal budget will keep much of the regulatory framework intact which will hinder Australia’s ‘recovery’.
In this digital age and transformation gaps in ‘analogue’ laws will continue hindering not just the sector but also #consumerwellbeing
— Consumer Policy Research Centre. (@CPRC_research) May 11, 2021
A standalone FOI Commissioner will be appointed to work alongside the Privacy Commissioner, with @ausgov to finally meet its legislative requirements in separating the positions https://t.co/yKdCoeDUmp @OAICgov @JoshFrydenberg pic.twitter.com/NKEWdgdb7E
— InnovationAus (@Innov_Aus) May 11, 2021
We welcome the #Budget2021 Digital Economy Strategy announcement, however are disappointed that it does not include digital inclusion as a cornerstone. Read our full response from the @AuDigiInclusion https://t.co/2PgknVPSLS pic.twitter.com/w9aBba2nXe
— Infoxchange (@Infoxchange) May 12, 2021
Good to see this in black and white. But we also need to make sure that it is an #NDIS where people with #disability actually get their needs met. And achieve their goals and get good outcomes. That’s the way the NDIS is supposed to work. #Auspol #HandsOffOurNDIS pic.twitter.com/dB3fC1QO4b
— Kirsten Deane (@NDISDeane) May 11, 2021
Not a single mention of TAFE in the treasurer’s budget speech tonight. How do you boost vocational education & skills and grow jobs if you refuse to properly fund TAFE or #RebuildWithTAFE? This budget fails TAFE, fails young people and fails the economy.
— TAFECampaign (@TAFECampaign) May 11, 2021
It’s a generous budget for many but not for the higher education sector. No extension of last year’s research package, and a funding reduction of 9.3% for universities and 24.2% for vocational education between now and 2024-25 #Budget2021
— Kishor (@kishor_nr) May 11, 2021
Women are often faced with homelessness, or needing to relocate hundreds of km away, or staying in a violent household because there are not enough long-term housing options. Put simply, insufficient supply of suitable housing is putting the lives of women and children at risk.
— Mission Australia (@MissionAust) May 11, 2021
A welcome surprise to see an #investment in addressing the #epidemic that is #violence against #Women & Girls with Disability #WGwD. We are looking forward to seeing the detail. #AusPol #Budget4Justice #DisabledWomenMatter #GRB pic.twitter.com/e39o2Q11QH
— WWDA (@WWDA_AU) May 11, 2021
We need serious climate action now. To “anticipate and prepare for more extreme weather events due to a changing climate” does not prevent or look at the core causes of climate change. #ClimateEmergency #FederalBudget @healthy_climate
— Australian Association of Social Workers (@AASW_) May 11, 2021
National Director of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, Alex Fuller, said, “Young people will be paying the bill of this Federal Budget for decades, whilst simultaneously living through worsening climate change impacts.” #Budget2021
— Pro Bono News (@ProBonoNews) May 11, 2021
Calling a budget a budget for women doesn’t make it a budget for women. The fact it’s marginally better than the last one doesn’t make it a budget for women. Women around Oz didn’t march for marginal progress. Women marched for justice for all women. This isn’t that. #Budget2021
— Georgie Dent (@georgiedent) May 11, 2021
Given the year that has been for Australian women, Good Shepherd would have liked to see a stronger focus from the Treasurer on those who remain financially vulnerable following the economic impacts of COVID-19 #Budget2021
— Good Shepherd (@GoodShepANZ) May 11, 2021
Our #Budget2021 scorecard. Signs of improvement in gender equality spending in the Federal Budget – but still less than 1% of total government expenditure. A long way to go before #genderresponsive or #genderequal. We’ll share more analysis from @NFAWomen in coming days. pic.twitter.com/4crhHzcL7t
— Gender Equity Victoria (@genderequityvic) May 11, 2021
Budget Fail. No income support, women will still struggle. Too many steps between women’s needs & fairness. @ACOSS @ToniWrenOz @PatsKarvelas @SusanMaury @ABCthedrum @abc730 @abcadelaide pic.twitter.com/ea0OdfESCK
— Terese_NCSMC (@Terese_NCSMC) May 11, 2021
— Alison Pennington (@ak_pennington) May 11, 2021
The long overdue return of a women’s budget statement abolished in 2014 is fantastic.
But we need more – robust gender analysis of the whole budget – if we have any chance of to achieving gender equity before 2290 – that’s when equity will be achieved on our current trajectory.
— Angela Jackson (@EconomistAnge) May 11, 2021
The initial response to Productivity Commission is an important step & the $2.3 billion commitment to #mentalhealth care & suicide prevention is welcomed, particularly expanding Head to Health centres & focusing on prevention (noted in our submission) #Budget2021Health
— VHA (@vichealthassoc) May 11, 2021
Some big investments in mental health. Pleased to see the @headspace_aus model informing new directions across the life span for adults and children. Expansion / enhancement of services combined with funded workforce developments very welcome in youth mental health. #Budget21
— Jason Trethowan (@JasonTrethowan) May 11, 2021
While the Budget has neglected to address many of the ‘upstream’ drivers of health and wellbeing, the Federal Government is making progress in supporting our nation’s recovery from the pandemic. #Budget2021
Media Release ⬇️ https://t.co/BiZgAJPWuC
— cohealth (@cohealth_au) May 11, 2021
With rents skyrocketing in the regionals, vacancy rates < 1% and unemployment still high that is a HUGE missed opportunity to deliver homes and jobs to families. #EverybodysHome pic.twitter.com/ZBxjGfOpiT
— Kate Colvin (@ColvinKate) May 11, 2021
This Budget has missed the crucial opportunity to tackle homelessness and housing stress. “Stable housing is absolutely vital for people who have suffered serious setbacks such as family violence, unemployment, or ill health,”- Kate Colvin, #EverybodysHome #BuildSocialHousing pic.twitter.com/vN21TMy64y
— Everybody’s Home (@_EverybodysHome) May 11, 2021
Despite @JoshFrydenberg spending on a #budget deficit twice the size of the most reckless of the Whitlam years, still no investment in #socialhousing, so I guess they don’t like #renters and really believe #socialhousing doesn’t save lives that it entrenches #poverty, go figure.
— Bevan Warner (@bevan_warner) May 11, 2021
There was a disappointing lack of leadership on housing in tonight’s budget. The budget does not do enough to address the structural problems with housing and homelessness in Australia.
You can read our full response here. #Budget2021 https://t.co/gll93NtEvY
— Mission Australia (@MissionAust) May 11, 2021
Big win in fed budget for women experiencing family violence needing to access specialist legal assistance. $129 million over 4 yrs to be directed to women’s legal services across aust. Means we can provide more wraparound support to more women #VAW #SafetyFirstinFamilyLaw pic.twitter.com/rdrC9Zjvvi
— Women’s Legal Vic (@WomensLegalVic) May 11, 2021