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ASU Member Budget Analysis Featured

11 May 2021 By ASU

Exclusive Budget Update for ASU Members


The Morrison Government has just announced the 2021 Federal Budget. So what does it all mean for you?

Your union has had our experts locked away in the Budget lock-up so that we can bring you our exclusive early insight and analysis about what the budget means for ASU members.

This year’s Budget was the opportunity for the Government to deliver for workers, for women, and for our recovery. It was the chance to deliver secure skilled jobs, decent wages, and long-term support for our frontline services and industries across the country.

The Government hopes this will be a popular budget – a budget for an election that is due in the next year.

But this is not a Budget for genuine recovery from the pandemic or a Budget that provides any long term changes to fix the problems we know exist for women, job security, and our communities.

For too many ASU members and workers - the Morrison Government has failed to make the real changes needed to rebuild our workplace, our communities, and our economy.

While we’ve had some big wins, they are only because of the hard work by ASU members campaigning.


ASU members campaign and WIN!

ASU members have had some very big wins in this Budget. But there is more work to do.


ASU members save Housing and Homelessness Services

After months of campaigning by ASU members, the Federal Government has committed to paying their share of housing and homelessness funding.

Without it, hundreds of jobs and critical services were on the line – making it harder for women and children fleeing family and domestic violence to get the support they need.

ASU members have signed petitions, made phone calls, sent emails, lobbied politicians and as a result, the Federal Government has committed to fund $57 million - protecting jobs and services.

But, Scott Morrison has not committed any additional funding of affordable or public housing and there is nothing in the budget to deal with long-term problems like poverty and homelessness.

Budget night 1

Superannuation - ASU members win!

Superannuation to go up and the $450 minimum earning threshold abolished after ASU campaign to Stand Up for Super!

1 million workers and over 500,000 women will be able to start saving for their retirement after the Government finally listened to ASU members and agreed to scrap the $450 minimum threshold required for workers to earn super!

Plus the Budget papers show that all workers will see their super guarantee increase to 12%!

Both of these announcements are HUGE wins for all ASU members - especially for women who have been fighting to close the gender retirement super gap and make sure no one retires in poverty. Well done ASU members!

But the fight for a secure and decent retirement is not over. Women still retire on average with 47% less super than men. One simple way to address this is to pay super on parental leave. But Scott Morrison’s budget failed to take action to close the superannuation gender gap

Budget night 8

Local Government

Throughout the COVID-19 lockdowns, local government workers kept our communities connected and afloat. EVERYWHERE across Australia, we need well-funded local government and community services.

But the Morrison Government has chosen to ignore this important work and failed to increase funding for Local Governments or Local Government Federal Assistance Grants in this year’s Budget

The Federal Government needs to listen to ASU members in Local Government and increase funding for local government and community services to ensure every community has the services and support they need and that it is delivered by local government workers with safe and secure jobs.

Aviation - Scott Morrison ignores aviation and travel.

The fact is the Morrison Government has not done enough to secure the longevity of our aviation sector and support our aviation workers.

The Morrison Government has chosen to completely ignore the current situation for workers in aviation and travel. ASU members have been campaigning to ensure our industry has longevity and for the skilled, and experienced airlines workers to remain connected to their employer. But this Budget has confirmed the Morrison Government has no plans for aviation and travel past October this year; and with borders not set to open until 2022 it is disgraceful to leave workers without support throughout this critical time.

Morrison must commit to support the workers who continue to be affected across aviation. We need to see the reinstatement of JobKeeper for all affected domestic aviation and international airlines workers NOW.

 Budget night 4

Social and Community Services

NDIS & Disability Services

The budget allows additional funding for NDIS places, as the NDIS continues to grow. But it does nothing for Skills and Training, nothing for Job security and includes job cuts at the NDIS and NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission.

The NDIS sector needs 120,000 new NDIS workers - but there is no money, no strategy and no plan for career development or training.

10 Days Paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave

This Budget was meant to deliver for women and ASU members have been calling on the Federal Government to introduce lifesaving legislation.

This Federal Government decided not to introduce 10 days paid family and domestic violence leave for all workers. But We Won’t Wait. We need 10 days paid Family and Domestic Violence leave NOW.

Women’s Services and Support for Women

Scott Morrison’s budget provides one-off funding injections with no detail about the new national partnership with states for women’s services funding.

There is money for apprenticeships in some industries but nothing for community and disability sector workers to get access to accredited training at public TAFEs to develop their skills and careers.

Mental Health

This budget does not set out a long-term plan or funding for mental health despite the fact the COVID pandemic has made it clear there needs to be a long term strategy.

There is a 12 month extension of community mental health programs, which ASU members have been calling for.  

But instead of acting on the recommendations of the Productivity Commission’s Report into Mental Health and committing to long term mental health funding, this Government have only committed to short term band-aid funding which does nothing to improve job security for workers or secure funding for community mental health and mental health services into the future.

The Morrison Government needs to commit to a workforce strategy and implement the recommendations of the Mental Health Productivity Commission Report now.

Aged Care

Aged care should have been the centerpiece of the Budget, but the Morrison Government allocated nothing to give aged care workers a pay rise, nothing allocated to establish staff ratios in aged care services and nothing allocated to provide better TAFE training for aged care workers.

The Budget has increased funding for additional home care packages, but the funding is short-term and lacks the long-term planning needed to increase home care into the future.

Employment Services

To start recovery we need more funding and support for job seekers. Instead in this Budget, the Government is shifting away from face to face support in this budget with even less funding.

Skills and Training

The Government has tonight made some announcements for funding young people in training and apprenticeships through their JobTrainer scheme.

This plan does not do enough to guarantee quality training or support long term, and funnels public money towards for-profit VET providers instead of investing in TAFE.

The Morrison Government has failed to do enough to make sure community and disability sector workers get access to accredited training to develop their skills and careers.

The Apprentice Wage Subsidy program does not provide ongoing support, meaning many of the apprentices it funds may struggle to keep their places once the subsidy ends.

Energy and Climate

This Budget the Government failed to commit to real and lasting action on energy and the climate.

Workers and industry need real action on a transition to a low carbon economy; and workers must be at the centre for investment in energy.

Public Services: Australian Taxation Office

This Federal Budget there is no further investment in the Australian Public Services, but a slight increase to the Average Staffing Level in the Australian Taxation Office.


The Morrison government announced additional funding to women’s health targeting improved screening programs, cheaper cancer treatment and funding for ongoing women’s health programs.

The increased investment into expanded PBS (breast cancer treatments) reproductive and sexual health is welcome, but the Government failed to commit to a long-term strategy or investment.


This Budget sees the Morrison Government again fail public schools, Universities and TAFE students.

Since 2013, TAFE has suffered over $3 billion in funding cuts. This budget will see the Morrison Government delivering millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money to poor quality and inferior private colleges instead of investing in public TAFE.

There is no specific funding for universities in the Budget.

The Budget also fails to provide capital works funding for public schools, yet sees the government provide funding to private and independent schools leaving public schools behind.

Secure jobs and fair pay rises

Scott Morrison has overlooked and undervalued essential workers. This Budget is filled with short term funding and band-aid solutions, not real solutions to complex problems.

The best way for our economy to recover is to deliver workers a pay increase – this budget does nothing to do that.

In fact the Budget predicts that wage growth will not overtake inflation until 2024-2025 – another 3 years without a pay rise.

That would mark over a decade of stagnant wages for many working Australians.

Scott Morrison has decided that essential workers don’t deserve a pay rise or a secure job.

This Budget does not deliver enough support for ASU members or your families.

While we’ve Saved Homelessness Services and won some big changes to superannuation, it’s only because ASU members campaigned together to win.

Too many people have been left out of a Budget that should deliver for everyone, not just a lucky few.

But the ASU will not stop fighting for our members.


We will continue to fight for support for all airlines and aviation workers.

We will continue to campaign for 10 days paid family and domestic violence leave.

We will continue to push for more funding for local government workers and community services.

And we will continue to fight for a fairer society with secure jobs, better wages and conditions for ASU members, and a decent safety net for all.

Because we are By Your Side.

 Download this Exclusive Budget Update for ASU Members here.

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Telephone: (03) 9342 1400