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Women focus in Labor budget reply

Labor leader Anthony Albanese has put the spotlight on childcare, aged care and social housing when delivering his budget reply speech.

Delivering his response, Albanese said Treasurer Josh Frydenberg's budget has left Australians behind.

"Our economy was already struggling coming into the crisis. Slow growth, flat wages, declining productivity, business investment going backwards, a doubling of debt," he said.

"Now they are cutting wage subsidies, slashing unemployment benefits back and have no plan for childcare, aged care or social housing."

Labor has also proposed the removal of the annual cap on the childcare subsidy to remove the "disincentive to work more hours".

"This is real reform. It will boost women's workforce participation, boost productivity and get Australia working again," Albanese said.

"Building a childcare system that works for families will turbocharge productivity in workplaces, delivering a much-needed boost in economic growth of up to $4 billion a year."

Additionally, the Labor budget proposed a "mass mobilisation of resources" for job creation, training and skills, lower energy prices, infrastructure, government purchasing and manufacturing and construction.

"This is about joining-up the needs of our economy now - with training opportunities for the future.  We have a shortage of nurses, welders, brick layers, engineers, and hairdressers," he said.

"Yet under this government, there are 140,000 fewer people doing an apprenticeship or traineeship than there were seven years ago.  We want to equip every Australian with the skills for a good secure job."

If elected, Albanese said the Labor party will create a National Rail Manufacturing Plan to bring jobs back from offshore.

He added that the Labor plan will focus on renewable energy with the aim of making Australian a renewable superpower.

"We can be a renewable energy superpower, with clean energy powering a new era of metal manufacturing and hydrogen production," he said.

"Labor has a clear target to tackle climate change - net zero carbon pollution by 2050."

He said the Labor party would focus on rebuilding the electricity grid to create thousands of jobs, particularly in regional Australia, and delivery $40 billion in benefits.

Albanese said reforming childcare, rebuilding the National Energy Grid and revitalising Australian manufacturing are at the core of Labor's plans for job creation over the next decade.

He said in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis the way to create much needed jobs immediately, is through investing in social housing.

"There's 100,000 social housing dwellings around the country that are in urgent need of repair," he said.

"These are people's homes - and they're a job creation plan ready and waiting in every city and town.  Tradies could be ordering from suppliers today, they could be on site, tomorrow.

"And the pipeline of work doesn't stop at existing houses that need fixing.  There are new houses that need to be built too.  200,000 Australians are on waiting lists for social housing."

Read more: LaborBudget replyAnthony AlbaneseBudget 2020
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