National Economic Reconstruction Plan - a plan for jobs!
The ACTU, with economist Dr Jim Stanford and the Center for Future Work have developed a National Economic Reconstruction Plan, with 5 concrete ideas to get started.
You can read a summary of the plan below and the full plan here.
#1: Early Childhood Education and Care Strategy
The Early Childhood Education and Care Strategy has several components including
- The provision of permanently free childcare,
- Capital investment to construct new high quality publicly funded not-for-profit facilities,
- The funding of universal access to 15 hours of preschool for 3 and 4 years olds,
- And an extension and improvement of the current wage subsidy to support the ongoing employment of staff in this sector.
#2: Training for Reconstruction
- A new nation-wide Free TAFE program supporting 150,000 places, which would also support 10,000 jobs in the TAFE system.
- TAFE put back at the centre of Commonwealth and state governments training funding with committing 70% of all government VET funding directed to TAFE.
- A Rebuilding TAFE fund - updating and modernising facilities with a particular focus in regional areas.
- Commonwealth wage subsides for up to 100,000 apprentices and trainees for the life of their apprenticeship/traineeship and a guaranteed job at the end.
- And to assist our higher education sector, the Commonwealth government must extend JobKeeper wage subsidies to universities (which are currently excluded from the program) through the 2020 academic year, thus helping to protect another 20,000 higher education jobs at risk from the current crisis in international education.
#3: Rediscover Australia
The Rediscover Australia plan will support 350,000 jobs in tourism, the arts, accommodation, travel and regional services over the next 12 months with key elements including:
- Commonwealth sponsorship of artistic, community, agricultural, and entertainment events, productions, and exhibitions in all states.
- Additional grant support for the Australia Council, to support grant recipients with emergency financial requirements arising from the COVID-19 shutdowns.
- Expansion of JobKeeper wage subsidy provisions to include arts and entertainment workers
- The Commonwealth for a 12 month period to take over payment of regular state payroll taxes for paid employees in 2 industries critical to domestic travel and tourism (passenger transportation and overnight accommodation).
#4: National Reconstruction Investment Plan
- $30 billion per year to significantly boost investment in public capital projects including funding for transportation, community and public housing, cultural and public service facilities, forest and fire management investments to better prepare for future fire seasons, and renewable energy assets and efficiency upgrades.
- The National Reconstruction Investment Plan would support the creation of 75,000 direct jobs in construction, and over 100,000 additional indirect jobs in supply and consumer industries.
- Strong benchmarks for minimum Australian-made content in all funded projects will be mandated
#5: Sustainable Manufacturing Strategy
- Government rules to ensure Australian made products in all new infrastructure and public service procurement,
- zero interest loans for new renewable energy developments with a direct link to manufacturing,
- support for large gas and electricity users to upgrade equipment as part of energy conservation plans,
- expanded Commonwealth investments in rapid decarbonisation of the energy sector,
- Technology grants to support commercialised research and development
- Five new Sustainable Manufacturing Clusters in key areas including: lithium battery and value-added manufacturing; renewable hydrogen production; green primary metal manufacturing; electric vehicle manufacturing and servicing; and renewable energy machinery
- A Superpower Investment Fund to undertake co-investments (including public equity shares) in new sustainable manufacturing activities