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Budget 2016 Response: National Union of Students (NUS)

Last night we saw a strong vision for a long term economic plan for the nation and our future. Critics will paint this as a tame election budget, with little new policy, but this budget really proves that there’s never been a better time to be an Australian.

Election budgets in the past have always given chance to the government to announce huge spending commitments to buy another few seats in Parliament as well as a few points in the opinion polls. This budget however looks to the future in an attempt to cut the deficit, and follow Malcolm Turnbull’s plan of jobs and growth.            

Some of the budget’s key measures, as part of the National Innovation and Science Agenda, include the investment of $9.7 billion in innovation, science and research to support Australia’s transition to a modern 21st century economy. This will provide significant opportunity for students, in growth of possible career options here in Australia as well as higher-wage jobs.

For our post-graduates the government’s plan to make it easier for Australian researchers to commercialise their discoveries by establishing new commercialisation funds will make it easier for UTas scientists and researchers to access the funding they need to test their research and take it to market. This means that more researchers will be able to access the commercial funding they need locally in Australia.

A large part of the budget aim is to fix the appalling state of finances left by the previous Rudd-Gillard-Rudd Labor government when it left office. For all students, cutting our national debt and growing our economy is vital. For Australia’s economy to continue to grow and provide jobs for us as future graduates, businesses must have faith in Australia. The government has done well in its investment in supporting small and medium sized enterprise, which make up the majority of the workforce, in cutting taxes and red tape. Perhaps the most prominent way it hopes to encourage this growth is in its evolution of the ‘Work for the Dole’ program. ‘Prepare, Train, Hire’ (PaTH) will put young Australians to work through better training, internships and incentives to businesses to hire 130,000 young people over 4 years.

The Turnbull government’s budget offers a credible path to surplus, while continuing to deliver commitments like the ‘National Disability Insurance Scheme’, the ‘National Broadband Network’ and ‘Gonski’ school funding. If implemented, we’ll see a return to surplus, and the cutting of our public debt, providing students with the prospect of growth and jobs for our future.

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