CEOs offer insight on what they want to see in the Inaugural Labor budget

Anthony Albanese, Australian Prime Minister

The Labor govt will retain planned income tax cuts for the wealthy. In line with a barrage of demands from corporate media editorials, Aussie PM Anthony Albanese ruled out the reversal of Labor’s pledge to implement tax cuts for high-income households in 2024. That means an unparalleled windfall for the rich, on top of two past tax cut packages. CEOs in the finance, fintech and education sectors gave insight on what they’d like to see from the first budget.

Annemarie Rolls, CEO at General Sir John Monash Foundation

Australia has reached a pivotal moment in its history, facing complex economic and environmental challenges that will deeply impact all of our lives. This is why we need further investment in education and continued support for Australia’s best and brightest to tackle these existential challenges and lead Australia towards a better future.

Despite the reasonable decision to revoke the funding allocated to the Australian Future Leaders Program, we would like to see a continued focus on funding the development of Australia’s Future Leaders in this Labor budget for deserving organisations that are already supporting Australians doing incredible work across academia, business and diplomacy.

Facilitating our emerging leaders to be as well-equipped as possible to fulfil their potential to be the leaders we need so badly. Australia’s not-for-profit sector has struggled through the pandemic and is in need of budget support that can bolster their efforts and allow them to continue providing opportunities to Australians who would never normally be given a chance. 

Piet van den Boer, Head of Marketing at Frollo

With the rising cost of living, Aussies are more than ever looking for better ways to manage their money and get a better deal on their finances. Many services offer them with options, at the cost of sharing their bank account credentials and unlimited access to their finances.

But there’s a better way, one that’s been in development for close to three years: The Consumer Data Right (CDR) enables consumers to securely use their data to access better financial services. But consumers are understandably wary of sharing their financial data and aren’t aware of the security and privacy protections that CDR has in place.

Now that CDR has matured enough to become an alternative to traditional ways of sharing financial data, it’s time to start educating consumers about this govt-regulated scheme.

Anny Le Wilson, Chief Revenue Officer at Joust

We’ve seen the biggest impact on new loans vs refinancers in the market not only due to the increase in interest rates but also due to the huge spike we have seen in food and petrol prices, showing that first home buyers are concerned about the impact of high mortgage repayments on the cost-of-living, avoiding entering the property market at this time.

First-home buyers in the market are decreasing due to mortgage repayments being a high cost of living concern. There needs to be more support factored into the budget to help first-home buyers get into the property market with the expansion of the Home Guarantee Scheme. We expect that the Budget will look to ease the cost of living for households.

Jonathon Miller, Managing Director for Australia at Kraken

I hope to see the budget deliver measures that recognise the urgency for Australia to move forward with crypto specific initiatives in the region. Australia has the opportunity to become a market leader in fintech competition and crypto/blockchain tech, but only if we sustain the right regulatory environment and support mechanisms for businesses in the space that help continue to drive innovation, competition and success here, as well as attract top tier talent.

The Treasury has already expressed commitment to moving forward with recommendations from last year’s Senate Committee report on regulating digital assets, including the launch of a token mapping project as a first step. This is a good start, but it would be great to see broader thinking beyond regulatory projects with more proactive support for cryptocurrency/web 3 start ups, education and career pathways in this space as well.

Tony Clark, CEO at Backpack Bed for Homeless

Here’s a confronting truth: Hundreds of thousands of affordable or social housing places cannot be built tonight. And another: Tens of thousands of Australians sleep on the streets every night for all to see. Australia basks in the nobility of knowing they helped write the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. So what to do in this human crisis and emergency?

Since 2012, there has been a study proven emergency relief program – funded by mums and dads – used already by 800+ homeless agencies across Australia. This program could be expanded from the less than 4000 / year to instead assist 24,6000 rough sleepers a year at a cost of $3.7 million; creating a saving to Treasury of $81.6 million in Community savings in Health and Justice (a 2,206% SROI (Social Return on Investment)).

It’s called the National Emergency Relief Homeless Program (NERHP) – it provides emergency relief Backpack Beds to people without shelter and connects them with a homeless service. It’s proven to keep rough sleepers alive, improves dignity, sleep, health, warmth and safety.

The Australian designed multi-award winning Backpack Bed is sitting in four international design museums. It’s unconscionable that despite this technology being readily available – today,  when crisis accommodation is full – we see the horror of rough sleepers being turned away empty handed. No shelter leaves the very real possibility of hypothermia and death.

Treasury can save $81.6 million … and human lives. Thankfully, $40,000 for every uninsured flooded home is made available. But $150.45 for every person sleeping rough to have portable emergency shelter Backpack Bed tonight – is not possible.