The 2022-23 Federal Budget has no plan for young people and our future
It does not help young people build back better after two years of significant disruptions.
Young people have been left off the agenda yet again, with the budget prioritising short-term measures on cost-of-living over important long-term issues including climate change, debt, housing affordability, employment and education.
Find out more about how the 2022-23 Federal Budget affects you below.
The Federal Government has spent $8.6 billion dollars to address the cost-of-living.
- a $250 one-off payment to young people on JobSeeker and Youth Allowance, which will provide a week or two of support, despite two years of significant challenges for young people.
- Low and middle-income earners will have a $1500 tax cut for this upcoming 2022-23 tax return. This temporary offset is scheduled to finish next year.
- A temporary 22 cent reduction in the fuel-excise tax over the next six months starting immediately.
The Government will provide $153.5 million over 5 years from 2022-23 to address workforce shortages and support job seekers to find employment. This includes:
- $52.8 million over 5 years from 2022-23 to support up to 5,000 disadvantaged young Australians to develop employability skills, providing a pathway to employment services and training opportunities through the new ReBoot initiative.
- $49.5 million over 2 years from 2022-23 to provide an additional 15,000 low and fee-free training places in aged care courses under the JobTrainer Fund, as well as spending $9.2 million to extend the Youth Transition Support program for 12 months, to support young people of refugee background into education, employment and community sport opportunities.
- Extending the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements scheme by adding 35,000 places and providing incentives to employers to hire apprentices by covering up to 50% of the wage costs.
- The Government will also provide $2.8 million to increase apprenticeship InTraining Support by an additional 2,500 places for young people aged 15-20 years.
While this boost in funding is a promising start, it does little to address the long-term impacts COVID-19 has had on the work and education pathways of young people. Young people were the first to lose their jobs and the last to regain them during the COVID-19 pandemic. More needs to be done to tackle youth unemployment which is more than double the national rate at 9.3 per cent, and support for the 300,000+ young people who are underemployed as of March 2022.
This budget does provide a significant boost to mental health services across Australia, with a particular focus on initiatives to support young people.
The Government will provide $547 million over 5 years to provide mental health Stage 2 reforms of the National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan. This includes:
- $52.3 million over 4 years for Lifeline to continue to provide mental health supports,
- $9.7 million over 3 years for nationally consistent mechanisms to better manage mental health and wellbeing concerns in schools, including a measure of student wellbeing, national guidelines for the accreditation of mental health and wellbeing programs and trauma informed professional development support for teachers.
There will also be funding of:
- $206.5 million over 3 years from 2022-23 to ensure continued access to services for young Australians with severe mental illness
- $24.4 million over 4 years for a new pilot program aimed at establishing best practice models for supporting people with eating disorders
- $46.7 million over 2 years for suicide prevention, including specific initiatives targeting rural and regional areas
- $14.8 million over 5 years to continue a range of headspace programs including flying headspace, the Digital Work and Study Service, and schools suicide prevention activities
- $3.3 million over 2 years for the delivery of best-practice early intervention and prevention mentoring programs for some Year 8 students at public secondary school
- $1.8 million over 2 years to continue a mental health literacy app to assist Australian parents and carers to identify the signs of social or emotional challenges in children, and
- $1.6 million over 4 years to continue funding for youth mental health services on the Mornington Peninsula.
This funding is welcome to Australia’s mental health sector, but more is needed to provide young people with diverse, targeted support that addresses their unique needs. Young people are still experiencing significant delays in accessing services, with some young people waiting several weeks and travelling to neighbouring towns in order to access support.
This funding will barely do enough to address the long waitlists for youth mental health services, workforce shortages in rural and regional communities, and more funding is needed to strengthen and expand our youth mental health system, so that more young people can access services when they need them.
This year’s budget does little to address the driving causes of climate change, instead investing further in carbon capture and storage, and providing $50.3 million towards accelerating the development of gas projects.
This budget does little to ease the concerns of young Australians who want to see more decisive climate action.
Disaster response and recovery is intrinsically linked with climate change. As natural disasters happen more frequently and at higher intensity as a result of a changing climate, there is more money in disaster response, and not enough investment in prevention.
The National Recovery and Resilience Agency will spend:
- $163.8m in disaster response and support payments in 2022-23
- $143.3m in disaster preparedness and risk response in 2022-23, which includes the upcoming Preparing Australian Communities grants, which have yet to be announced.
We welcome the expanded Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grants program, noting that a consortium of organisations, including YACVic, received a $9.93 million, two-year Australian Government Black Summer Bushfire Recovery grant for ‘Future Proof: Young People, Disaster Recovery and (Re)building Communities’, to drive recovery outcomes for fire-affected young people and communities across eastern Victoria.
The Government has invested significantly in tackling family and domestic violence in this budget, with $1.3 billion over 6 years being provided towards initiatives to reduce all forms of family, domestic and sexual violence (FDSV) against women and children, and to establish, enhance and expand initiatives that address the full life cycle of violence across prevention, early intervention, response and recovery.
There is $222.6 million over 6 years to strengthen initiatives to prevent gendered violence, including:
- $104.4 million will go to Our Watch to continue and expand their work by improving their reach in diverse communities including the LGBTIQA+ community, the disability community and those with culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
- $46 million invested to extend the Stop it at the Start campaign, which seeks to shift community attitudes about violence among young people
- $40.1 million for initiatives aimed at the prevention of family and domestic violence, including the continuation of existing community led prevention activities, updating respectful relationships, education, and other resources to align with the new curriculum
- Funding for the Australian Human Rights Commission to undertake a survey of secondary school age students on attitudes towards consent.
- $32.2 million to fund the Commonwealth’s Consent campaign, providing young people aged 12 years and older and their parents with materials, information and resources on consent.
In addition, $328.2 million over 5 years will be provided to extend and establish programs aimed at the early intervention and prevention of family and domestic violence. This includes:
- $47.9 million for an early intervention campaign aimed at boys and young men
- $30 million to build and maintain links between the National Framework for protecting Australia’s Children and the National Plan to End Violence Against Women and Their Children.
Housing Affordability and Homelessness
For young people looking to buy their first home, the Government will increase the number of guarantees under the Home Guarantee Scheme to 50,000 per year for 3 years from 2022-23 and then 35,000 a year ongoing to support homebuyers to purchase a home with a lower deposit. The guarantees will be allocated to provide:
- 35,000 guarantees per year ongoing for the First Home Guarantee
- 5,000 places per year to 30 June 2025 for the Family Home Guarantee
- 10,000 places per year to 30 June 2025 for a new Regional Home Guarantee that will support eligible citizens and permanent residents who have not owned a home for 5 years to purchase a new home in a regional location with a minimum 5 per cent deposit.
This will come at a cost of $8.6 million over 4 years from 2022-23 and $138.7 million over 7 years from 2026-27, with $20.5 million per year ongoing from 2033-34.
For young people who are renting, there is no additional relief or measures outside of the cost-of-living measures announced.
There is also no dedicated funding around youth homelessness, despite young people making up 26 per cent of people sleeping rough.
It was extremely disappointing to see that the Government did not commit any funding to the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition (AYAC). As the national peak body for young people, AYAC is well-placed to support the Government on developing stronger youth-focused policies that are co-designed with young people, and actually address their needs.
The Government should be working with AYAC and Australia’s young people to establish a National Youth Plan that sets out a long-term plan to improve the lives of young Australians and address their needs.
You can also read a young person Ash's take on the 2022-23 Federal Budget in this piece on Pro Bono News.
This summary was written by Julia Baron (she/her), YACVic Policy and Advocacy Manager and Thomas Feng (he/him), YACVic Media and Communications Manager. If you have any questions or concerns, please email email@example.com.