News National ACTU reveals its plan to ease unemployment pain
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ACTU reveals its plan to ease unemployment pain

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The ACTU says its plan would save hundreds of thousands of jobs. Photo: AAP
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Unions have called for permanent free child care and $30 billion annually for major public projects as part of a plan to create more than one million jobs.

The Australian Council of Trade Unions’ national jobs plan also argues for a $1-billion-a-year investment in TAFE to support 150,000 free places and 10,000 jobs.

Under the proposal, the federal government would also pump $3 billion into a program to create 350,000 jobs in tourism, hospitality and the arts over 12 months.

That would include $500 million to sponsor artistic, community, agricultural, and entertainment events, productions and exhibitions.

The federal government would also shell out for payroll tax in the passenger transport and overnight accommodation industries.

The ACTU’s early childhood education strategy would make child care free permanently and fund universal access to 15 hours of three and four-year-old preschool.

Wage subsidies would be extended to child care, TAFE, arts and entertainment workers.

Up to 100,000 apprentices and trainees would have a guaranteed job at the end of their training and federal wage subsidies throughout.

For the next decade, the federal government would spend $30 billion a year on public capital projects including transport, community housing, renewable energy and fire management.

The peak union body predicts that would create 75,000 construction jobs and a further 100,000 indirect roles.

It also calls for a new manufacturing plan focusing on lithium batteries, renewable energy, metal and electric vehicles.

ACTU president Michele O’Neil said the Morrison government needed big and bold spending to bring Australia back to economic and social health after the coronavirus pandemic.

“This is not a plan about a future government or a change of government, this is a plan about what is essential, urgent and necessary today,” she told reporters on Monday.

Ms O’Neil said the proposal would not be a trade-off during the government’s reform of industrial laws.

She believes there is enormous public good will for the government to spend up big with interest rates low during a recession.

“There needs to be an injection of funds, a serious injection of funds at a massive level at this point,” she said.

“Our analysis is that the cost of inaction will be much greater.”

-AAP