Who are the winners and losers from the 2020 federal budget?

The Coalition has handed down the 2020 federal budget amid Australia’s first recession in almost three decades. So, where do you stand?

The government is spending record amounts, but not everyone is a winner from the 2020 federal budget.

The government is spending record amounts, but not everyone is a winner from the 2020 federal budget. Source: AAP

The federal government on Tuesday night unveiled its big-spending plan to navigate the economic havoc of the coronavirus crisis. 

Here is a quick guide to who won, and who lost, in the most important federal budget since World War II. 

Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg listens during a press conference inside the Budget lockup.
Source: AAP

The winners from the 2020 federal budget

Taxpayers: The government wants to backdate legislated personal income tax cuts to July 1, and will offer a one-off benefit from the low and middle income tax offset in 2020-21.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said low and middle income earners would receive relief of up to $2,745 for singles and up to $5490 for dual income families compared with 2017 – 18.

First home buyers: The First Home Loan Deposit Scheme is being extended for another 10,000 Australians who are buying an eligible new or newly built home.

They will only have to save a deposit of as little as five per cent under the scheme which is available to 30 June next year.

The manufacturing sector: A $1.3 billion initiative under the federal government’s manufacturing strategy will invest in projects across six priorities areas – food and drink, mining, medical products, recycling and clean energy, defence and space.

Age pensioners: After receiving $750 payments in April and July, age pensioners will get another $250 in December and March.

Young jobseekers: A new JobMaker hiring credit aims to encourage businesses to employ young Australians aged 16-35 on JobSeeker.

The credit will be paid at a rate of $200 a week for those aged under 30 and $100 a week for those between 30-35, with the new hires required to work at least 20 hours a week.

Women: A $240 million package will aim to boost women’s participation in the workforce and financial independence in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

More than $25 million of this funding will go towards new cadetships and apprenticeships in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Mental health: The number of Medicare-subsidised psychological sessions Australians can access per year will be doubled from 10 to 20, as an extra $148 million to be spent on mental health services this financial year. Money will also go toward 15 “enhanced mental health clinics”, as well as Beyond Blue, Lifeline, Kids Helpline and Headspace.

Universities: An additional $1 billion in research funding has been earmarked for the university sector in 2020-21, building on the previously announced almost $300 million to support more than 12,000 new undergraduate places.

The losers from the 2020 federal budget

Migrants with kids: Family visas will be capped at 77,300 places for the 2020-21 financial year, but that includes 72,300 in the partner visa category, meaning there are only 5,000 places for families with children. 

Partner visa applications and their sponsors will now also need to pass an English language test in order to migrate to Australia.

Non-skilled migrants: Of new people coming into Australia once international borders reopen, the government estimates approximately two-thirds will be on skilled visas as they seek to attract the “best and brightest” migrants to aid in the country’s economic recovery.

Off-shore migrants: The government has also said they will prioritise onshore visa applicants who live in designated regional areas, or partner visa applicants whose sponsor lives outside of the major cities.

Asylum seekers: The Humanitarian visa program capped at 13,750 places. Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has also committed to continuing Operation Sovereign Borders, which blocks asylum seekers who travel to Australia by boat from permanently settling in the country. An additional $41.4 million in funding has been allocated to Australia’s Regional Cooperation Arrangement in Indonesia, which helps to enforce the policy.

The economy: With a record-breaking deficit of $213.7 billion, debt set to peak at $966 billion in June 2024, the first recession in almost 30 years, the lowest population growth in more than 100 years, and unemployment forecast to hit 8 per cent in December, Australia is facing a once-in-a-lifetime economic crisis.


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Published 6 October 2020 at 8:30pm, updated 7 October 2020 at 6:24am
By Maani Truu, Jodie Stephens