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Australia Winners and Losers of the 2020 Victoria State Budget

06:20  24 november  2020
06:20  24 november  2020 Source:   9news.com.au

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Victoria's 2020-21 Budget has been handed down, with a stack of industries and groups to benefit from major cash boosts despite a colossal $23.3 billion projected deficit.

From funding boosts for schools, hospitals and healthcare, to support for businesses ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic and bushfires, the Victorian Government said its key focus remains repairing and rebuilding the state's economy.

Here are the winners and losers of this year's State Budget:

a man standing in front of a building: Victoria's State Budget has been delivered as the road to recovery begins following a devastating 2020. © Getty Victoria's State Budget has been delivered as the road to recovery begins following a devastating 2020.

WINNERS

SCHOOLS, TEACHERS and STUDENTS

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More than $3 billion has been invested in school upgrades, including $1.1 billion as part of a Building Works Package and a further $1.9 billion to upgrade 162 schools and build one new school.

"This year, our kids have been learning long division at the dinner table and doing science experiments at the kitchen sink," Premier Daniel Andrews said today.

"As our state recovers, we want to give students the fantastic new learning spaces they deserve."

More than $388.8 million will go towards improving facilities at 39 specialist schools, making it Victoria's single largest investment ever in upgrading specialist schools.

Another $85 million will expand seven existing schools and $250 million will go towards employing tutors in every government school and every non-government school that needs them.

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A major $.1.6 billion will also be invested in transforming how students are supported with a disability.

PARENTS and CHILDREN IN EARLY LEARNING

Kindergarten will be free in Victoria next year under a $169.6 million funding boost, part of a $774 million investment in early childhood education.

The free tuition is set to save around 100,000 families about $2000 for every child enrolled in a funded kindergarten program.

A major $81.6 million will also be invested into a "massive expansion" of before and after school care, which will see an increase in the availability of programs.

a small child sitting on a table: Kindergarten will be free in Victoria in 2021. © iStock Kindergarten will be free in Victoria in 2021.

"This is all about household budgets and supporting families, with more money in their pocket," Mr Andrews previously said.

"So that families can have certainty, security and a sense of safety."

Grants of up to $75,000 will also be made available to start new school care programs at up to 400 government schools.

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CASUAL and INSECURE WORKERS

Casual and insecure workers will get access to paid sick and carer's leave as part of a two-year pilot scheme.

The new Secure Work Pilot Scheme will provide up to five days of sick and carer's pay at the national minimum wage for casual and insecure workers in priority industries.


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The scheme is set to launch at the end of next year or early 2022. A total of $5 million has been allocated for consultation on the design of the scheme.

Daniel Andrews wearing a suit and tie: The Victorian government has unveiled plans to trial paid sick leave for the state’s casual workers. The Victorian government has unveiled plans to trial paid sick leave for the state’s casual workers.

Mr Andrews yesterday said the coronavirus pandemic had shined a light on some of the "darkest cracks" in the state's economy and society, including insecure work.

"So many workers have to choose between going to work sick or feeding their kids, paying their rent, paying the bills, surviving, getting to next week," he said.

VULNERABLE VICTORIANS IN SOCIAL and AFFORDABLE HOUSING

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The government will invest $6 billion as part of Victoria's Big Housing Build to build more than 12,000 new social and affordable homes.

The investment is set to make housing more accessible and affordable for Victorians.

HEALTHCARE WORKERS and PATIENTS

A major $2 billion will be splashed on building new hospitals and upgrading existing ones to enhance the state's healthcare system.

A $2.8 billion funding boost will also ensure the state's health system maintains capacity as hospitals move to COVID Normal.

While $869 million will be invested in mental health initiatives, including more acute mental health beds.

HOLIDAYMAKERS and TOURISM SECTOR

The Victorian Government will offer up to 120,000 travel vouchers worth $200 each to drive tourism back to regional areas.

a large body of water with Yesnaby in the background: Travel vouchers will be offered to help revive regional Victoria's tourism sector. © Tom Birts Travel vouchers will be offered to help revive regional Victoria's tourism sector.

The travel initiative, worth $28 million, will require voucher applicants to spend at least $400 on accommodation, attractions or tours in regional Victoria to qualify.

BUSINESSES and UNEMPLOYED WORKERS

A $619 million Jobs for Victoria initiative will assist hundreds of thousands of Victorians looking for work, including $250 million to support businesses to hire at least 10,000 Victorians through a six-month wage subsidy.

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Meanwhile, $836 million will go towards new jobs tax credits to re-hire staff, restore hours and create new jobs.

There is also set to be a $1.7 billion cash flow boost for businesses through the deferral of 2020-21 payroll tax liabilities for payrolls up to $10 million.

The hardest-hit sectors including hospitality, tourism, accommodation, creative industries and retail will be supported through $2.6 billion in grants part of the Business Support Fund.

Small and medium-sized businesses have also scored a major win, with $1.1 billion in grants.

LOSERS

MOTORISTS

Road safety camera fines have experienced a $145 million hike from the 2019-20 budget, up to a mega $475 million.

a police car parked in a parking lot: Motorists have been hit with large fines in Victoria. © Fairfax Media Motorists have been hit with large fines in Victoria.

This figure is set to rise to $524 million in the next budget in another blow to motorists.

RETAILERS

Retailers have been excluded from the travel voucher scheme set to drive back visitors to regional Victoria, as the vouchers can only be issued when someone spends at least $400 on accommodation, attractions or tours.

However, retailers will benefit from the influx of holidaymakers which flock to the regions and those eligibile can receive grants under the Business Support Fund.

FUTURE GENERATIONS

The Victorian Government's net debt is projected to rise to $154.8 billion by the year 2023-24, with net debt in 2020-21 a colossal $86.7 billion.

The debt is set to be a burden for future generations.

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