What it could mean for you if Labor wins the next election
Unlike former Labor leader Bill Shorten, Anthony Albanese is largely running a small-target strategy with no big controversial tax reforms. Instead, he is emphasising Labor's traditional edge in areas like health and education.
Labor formally dumped Shorten's controversial tax reforms, such as planned cuts to negative gearing and the capital gains tax discount, and the abolition of refundable franking credits, last July. It also committed to the government's planned third round of tax cuts in 2024, which will largely benefit higher income earners.
While more policy detail will inevitably come out as the attention draws closer, Labor has started to articulate what it will do in key areas.
In his January speech to the National Press Club, Albanese outlined six key lessons from the pandemic that Labor would build on if elected:
• A strong, properly funded public health system, with Medicare as its backbone, is vital to every aspect of our lives.
• The rise of insecure work has undermined too many families' confidence in their future.
• Stripping funding from TAFE and the training sector has led to skills gaps and worker shortages.
• We need to be more self-reliant and manufacture more things in Australia to avoid falling hostage to global supply chains.
• A high-quality NBN is fundamental to working from home, building small businesses, educating children and providing vital medical consultations
• Affordable childcare is essential to family and working life.
Expect to hear much more on these themes as the election campaign progresses.
Labor has also indicated what it will be seeking to achieve in some key policy areas.
Both Labor and the Coalition want us to believe that they have the answers to rebuilding the economy.
As part of its election pitch, Labor has promised to set up a $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund to support projects that create secure, well-paid jobs, drive regional development and invest in our national sovereign capability.
It wants to target full employment and revive Australia's manufacturing industry, as well as building new industries in areas like renewable energy.
Labor has flagged tougher rules for multinationals but has indicated it does not want to increase taxes for individuals.
Albanese has said he wants to lift the burden on households and there are no planned changes for superannuation, apart from ensuring the staged 12% compulsory payment (due by 2025) is protected.
While changes to the tax on family trusts have been rumoured, at the time Money was going to press, Albanese had said they were not being considered.
Labor has announced a major investment in social housing. Its proposed Housing Australia Future Fund would build 30,000 new social and affordable housing properties within five years. It also proposes building homes for frontline workers and women fleeing domestic violence.
However, so far it has not announced any policies to address the broader problem of housing affordability.
Pete Wargent, co-founder of Australia's first national marketplace for buyers agents, BuyersBuyers, says Labor has previously recommended measures such as introducing a tax on vacant properties and the creation of an affordable land register, but he says the real issue is the high demand for properties in cities such as Sydney and Melbourne.
Labor has committed to reducing emissions by 43% by 2030 and to net zero by 2050. The Coalition also plans to get to net zero by 2050.
Labor's plan relies heavily on building renewable power industries to create new jobs, along with initiatives such as discounts on electric cars and community batteries and upgrading the energy grid to deliver cheaper renewable energy.
"Buy local" is a key theme in Labor's pre-election rhetoric, with policies to give local businesses a greater share of government procurement. It says it will work with small business, regional businesses and First Nations businesses to help them get a greater share of government spending.
It also has policies to address job insecurity, making it a part of the Fair Work Act and extending the Fair Work Commission's powers to cover the gig economy.
Labor has announced funding for school activities that will get students back on track and increased funding for free TAFE and training places in areas of skills shortages.
It has also said it will abolish the $10,560 cap on the childcare rebate, lift the maximum childcare subsidy rate to 90% and increase subsidy rates for every family earning less than $530,000.
Labor had not announced much in the way of specific health policies, but is relying heavily on its commitment to protect Medicare. It has also made a broad commitment to protecting hospitals and fixing the aged care system.
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