Unions have responded positively to the Federal Government’s 2009-10 Budget, with ACTU president Sharan Burrow calling it a “budget for jobs, jobs and jobs, with a bit of tough love on the side”.
“It takes the hard decisions that are needed now to safeguard jobs and protect Australians from the global recession. At the same time this budget sets our economy up for the recovery,” she said.
“It is a budget that takes big strides towards fixing the problems left over from the Howard-Costello years, reversing the Coalition’s chronic lack of investment in economic and social infrastructure with massive spending on nation-building projects.”
She said Australian companies must now ensure jobs are kept in Australia in order to enable competitive capacity in local industries for a recovering global economy.
“The Budget provides a strong plan for creating jobs now and in the future by supporting climate-friendly industries and giving extra funding for the critical role of research and development and higher education in generating innovation,” Burrow said.
“The Budget also brings more equity and compassion into the heart of the nation and buries WorkChoices by setting up a new system of workplace relations.”
Burrow said unions were also “delighted” about the introduction of a national, government-funded 18-week paid maternity leave scheme for working mothers.