Support in the budget for big expenses like childcare and parental leave not only help with household confidence but play directly into the major issue facing business now – finding staff. One in three businesses reported difficulty finding staff in June.
SMEs I speak to feel they are being held back by an inability to meet demand and with such a strong position on employment, it is hard to see that demand reducing quickly anytime soon, so helping more people back into the workforce is a good thing.
The commitment to vocational education with TAFE and university places being supported through additional funding are positive, although benefits that will take longer to realise.
Housing availability is also an issue in regional Australia with the obvious flow on impact to business coming back again to skills shortages. The regional first-home buyer guarantee scheme call out in the budget is a positive for these communities.
Jenefer Stewart is General Manager, Business Banking at ANZ