Australia election 2022: Anthony Albanese’s policies – Daily Mail

australia-election-2022:-anthony-albanese’s-policies-–-daily-mail

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Anthony Albanese says he'll make childcare cheaper, boost Australia's manufacturing capabilities and provide almost 500,000 free TAFE places should his Labor party win the federal election.

The Labor leader will also set up 50 new first aid clinics and change the definition of a casual worker to improve job security.

Learning from Bill Shorten's shock defeat to Scott Morrison in 2019, Mr Albanese is not proposing any tax increases or cuts to tax-reduction incentives, such as negative gearing. 

In fact, he claims his energy policies will not only reduce emissions but also leave Australians $275 a year better off by 2025. 

But with Mr Albanese in isolation with Covid-19, it remains to be seen whether he can convince enough Australians to listen to his policies and support him.  

Here, Daily Mail Australia takes a look at the main ideas Labor is proposing ahead of the May 21 poll. 

Anthony Albanese is pictured with his new girlfriend Jodie Haydon. They have been dating since 2020

Cheaper childcare 

One of Labor's most significant policies is to increase childcare subsidies for all families earning less than $530,000.

Mr Albanese would remove a cap that prevents families earning more than $189,390 from receiving more than $10,560 a year in subsidies.

A family on $189,390 that uses childcare five days a week would instead get $21,608 in subsidies, more than double the current allowance.

One of Labor's most significant policies is to increase childcare subsidies for all families earning less than $530,000

Lower income families would also benefit from increased subsidies. For example, a family taking home $80,000 a year would get an extra $2,389 a year for full-time care.

The move is designed to encourage more second income earners - mostly women - into the workforce.   

Tackling climate change 

Labor will spend $20billion to upgrade the electricity grid to improve transmission, roll out 85 solar banks and 400 community batteries and invest in 10,000 'new energy apprentices' alongside a $10million New Energy Skills Program. 

Mr Albanese says the plan will allow cheaper renewable sources to supply 82 per cent of electricity by 2030.

The plan is projected to create 604,000 jobs and slash average household energy prices by $275 a year by 2025 and $378 by 2035.

The policies will reduce emissions by 43 per cent by 2030, a slightly less ambitious target than Bill Shorten's 45 per cent aim which Mr Albanese called a 'mistake'.

Labor has announced a target to reduce emissions by 43 per cent by 2030. Pictured: Mr Albanese with a hydrogen car on Wednesday

The Coalition's target is to reduce emissions by 26-28 per cent below 2005 levels, although latest projections show the nation is on track for a 30-35 per cent reduction.  

A future Labor government would also spend $3billion on renewables manufacturing and deploying low-emissions technologies  - as well as remove taxes on electric cars to make them cheaper.  

Aged care reform

Labor wants to improved the aged care sector after a Royal Commission reported shocking incidences of neglect.

It will require aged care homes to have a nurse on site 24 hours a day, seven days a week from July 2023, a year before the Commission recommended.

It will also mandate at least 215 minutes of care per day and develop mandatory nutrition standards to improve food.

The ALP will make a submission to the Fair Work Commission to support a pay rise for aged care workers.   

Manufacturing boost

Labor will set up a $15billion National Reconstruction Fund to fund major manufacturing projects across the nation. 

The fund will provide loans, guarantees and equity to support projects in resources, transport, agriculture, medicine, energy and defence. 

Labor will set up a $15billion National Reconstruction Fund to fund major manufacturing projects across the nation. Pictured: Sydney tradies

Labor says the policy will 'secure well-paid jobs, drive regional development, and invest in our national sovereign capability, broadening and diversifying Australia’s economy.' 

Trains, trams and ferries will be made in Australia instead of overseas and a fast rail line between Sydney and Newcastle will be built.  

First-aid clinics

Mr Albanese has pledged 50 first-aid clinics across the country if he wins the election.

The clinics will treat non life threatening injuries such as broken bones, minor burns, cuts and animal stings and will be open every day between 8am to 10pm.

Labor's first-aid clinics will be based at GP surgeries and community health centres nationwide with locations yet to be announced.

Anthony Albanese has pledged 50 first-aid clinics across the country if he wins the election. Pictured: A Sydney nurse

Similar clinics operate in New Zealand where they help families avoid long wait times and ease pressure on hospitals.  

The clinics will be bulk billed, meaning people won't have any out-of-pocket costs accessing medical care.

A trial of the clinics lasting four years will cost $135 million.

Free TAFE

Labor will provide 465,000 free TAFE places and 20,000 extra university places under a $1.2billion plan.

The free TAFE places will be for courses in industries with a skills shortages such as trades and construction, resources, digital and cyber security, new energy and advanced manufacturing.

Labor has no plans to reduce university fees after the Coalition hiked prices for humanities courses. 

Labor will provide 465,000 free TAFE places and 20,000 extra university places under a $1.2billion plan. Pictured: Sydney tradies

Corruption watchdog

Labor will set up a federal integrity commission which the Morrison Government promised in 2019 then failed to deliver.

The ALP does not support the Government's proposed model because it cannot hold its own independent inquiries, public inquiries or investigate past scandals.

More permanent jobs

Labor wants to re-define casual work to give Australians more chance at securing permanent jobs. 

In March 2021 the Government defined casual work for the first time as a situation where a worker has 'no firm advance commitment to continuing and indefinite work according to an agreed pattern of work'.

But Labor wants to change this so employment status is determined by workers' shift patterns.

There are around 2.6million casual workers in Australia. They are most commonly in the hospitality, retail (pictured), health, education and construction industries

If an employee has regular shifts for a defined time period then they would be permanent not casual, such as a coal miner who has a 12 month fixed roster.

Labor believes this would push up wages by increasing bargaining power because permanent workers have stronger rights and cannot be left off a roster for requesting a pay-rise like casuals can. 

There are about 2.6million casual workers in Australia. They are most commonly in the hospitality, retail, health, education and construction industries.

These workers receive no annual or personal leave, no notice of termination or redundancy pay - but get an extra 25 per cent on top of their pay to make up for this.

Minimum wage for gig workers 

Mr Albanese also wants to improve the rights of so-called gig workers such as Uber drivers and Deliveroo drivers.

Labor would extend the powers of the Fair Work Commission to include 'employee-like' forms of work.

This would allow the tribunal to cover app-based gig jobs even when workers are technically self-employed.

Labor wants to improve working conditions for casuals and gig workers such as Uber drivers, food delivery workers, hospitality, and retail staff 

The Commission would then be able to set minimum pay and conditions for gig workers so they can no longer be paid below minimum wage. 

Labor believes there is a big difference between an empowered independent contractor who runs their own business and a low paid worker on a bicycle.

They should not both be treated the same as self-employed workers, the Opposition believes.

Same job, same pay 

Labor will also bring in new laws to make sure workers who do the same job are paid the same if they are employed directly or through labour hire firms. 

Companies use labour hire firms when they need to get extra workers in. This is most common in the mining sector but also happens in customer service, healthcare, aged care, disability care and manufacturing.

But Labor believes companies are deliberately using the firms to keep wage bills down because the hired workers are casuals who earn less.

If Labor wins the election then it will introduce laws to make sure workers placed by labour hire firms are paid the same as permanent employees. Pictured: Air crew at Sydney Airport

For example a big mining company which has negotiated an agreement with its workers and the union could circumvent the agreement by bringing casuals through a labour hire company.

Labor would pass laws to make sure labour hire firms have to match the wages of the employees already doing the job.

This means workers placed by a labour hire firm will be paid the same as the permanent staff alongside them.

The idea is to increase the number of people in permanent work and push up permanent wages. 

Banning pay secrecy clauses 

Pay secrecy clauses in employment contracts are designed to stop workers talking about their pay-packets. 

They are most common in industries with discretionary payments and bonuses such as finance and law. 

Labor believes that banning the clauses would give workers greater bargaining power because they could more easily find out what their colleagues earn. 

Banning pay secrecy clauses will reduce the gender pay gap because female workers would be allowed to ask their male counterparts what they earn, Labor says. Pictured: Sydney tradies

Of course, workers can still decline to reveal their salary to colleagues if they want to keep it secret. 

In particular, the move is excepted to help reduce the gender pay gap because female workers would be allowed to ask their male counterparts what they earn.  

According to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, Australian men earn 13.4 per cent more than women.  

The move mirrors the UK which outlawed secrecy clauses in 2010 under its Equality Act.  

Labor will also force companies with more than 250 employees to report their gender pay gap publicly so they are shamed into reducing it.   

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