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Federal budget winners and losers

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The 2022 federal budget has been labelled a “failure” by aged-care workers and “disappointing” on climate change as the Morrison government’s $16.4 billion pre-election cash splash fails to impress many experts.

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Temporary cuts to fuel taxes and an increase in the low-and-middle-income tax offset (LMITO) are major parts of a budget cost-of-living package unveiled by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg last night.

But the 2022 budget was silent on higher wages for aged-care workers and stopped short of a major step up in efforts to reduce Australia’s carbon emissions – two policy areas that have emerged as major losers.

UnitingCare Australia national director Claerwen Little said it was an “absolute disgrace” that aged-care workers received a minimum hourly wage of $21.

“We need to make sure that when the Fair Work decision comes [it’s] adequate for those workers and that money is stumped up by whoever’s in government at the time,” she said.

Climate Council economist Nicki Hutley said the budget was a “massive missed opportunity” for action to tackle the climate crisis, with just 0.3 per cent of government spending allocated to reducing emissions.

“Rather than investing in a green economic future – they’re tossing pennies at genuine emissions reduction initiatives,” she said.

Here are this year’s budget winners and losers.

Budget winners

Millions of taxpayers

Motorists

Apprentices and their bosses

Small business owners

Budget losers

Aged-care workers

Emissions reduction and climate

Australia Institute climate and energy program director Richie Merzian said the fuel excise cut was “bad economic management” that would increase carbon emissions because driving will become cheaper.

“Over the last nine years the government has left Australians hooked on foreign oil and done nothing to wean it off,” he said.

“(The government has) nothing on fuel efficiency standards, nothing on electrifying our cars and very little on public and active transport.”

Labor leader Anthony Albanese will deliver a detailed reply on Thursday.

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