ACT Labor’s commitment to create and protect local jobs

policy-statement

ACT Labor understands the importance of ensuring our economy continues to grow and prosper – and the importance of creating jobs.  Canberra has the lowest unemployment rate in the country at 3.8%.  In September this year, 208,900 Canberrans were in work.  And under ACT Labor, employment increased 1.2% in the Territory in the past year.

ACT Labor has worked hard to create local jobs and it has paid off.

Our $1 billion infrastructure program is building facilities across the Territory – not only creating thousands of construction jobs but also bringing health and education jobs into the suburbs as new schools and health centres are built.

Our cut to payroll tax is seeing private businesses able to give more people jobs before paying tax – 120 small and medium sized businesses no longer have to pay any payroll tax.

We are now the lowest taxing jurisdiction in the country for small and medium businesses.

ACT Labor continues to protect and create local jobs – both in the public and private sectors.  We are committed to ensuring business has the best environment in which to operate and we are working with the business community to reduce red tape.  ACT Labor knows the devastating impact job cuts have on families.  An ACT Labor Government will work with the private sector to create more jobs in our city.

This is in stark contrast to the Canberra Liberals, who have committed to reversing cuts to payroll tax and who have a plan – just like all other Liberal Governments around the country – to cut public service jobs. This is the same Canberra Liberals who delivered infrastructure programs of only $100 million a year when last in Government.

Our plan to create and protect local jobs

ACT Labor is committed to a modern, dynamic and responsive public service.

A re-elected ACT Labor Government will continue to enhance services to the community and support jobs growth in priority areas such as health.  Our plan for Health will see another 500 nurses, doctor and allied health professionals employed.

We will not slash and burn the public service as we return our Budget to surplus.

We will also increase our whole-of-government graduate intake by 10% a year for the next four years – recruiting and supporting the next generation of public sector leaders.

We will increase our trainee and apprenticeship intake by at least 10% a year.

We remain committed to creating a great environment for private business to thrive and create jobs.  A re-elected ACT Labor Government will progressively provide $7.92 million to cut payroll tax and create around 575 more jobs in Canberra.

ACT Labor will continue to invest in public infrastructure projects.

And we will continue to support apprentices through funding for the CIT and other vocational education providers.

Policy costings

ACT Labor will provide $7.92 million over four years in recurrent funding to cut payroll tax by raising the payroll tax threshold from $1.75 million to $2 million.  Funding for other initiatives including new graduates, trainees and apprentices will come from existing agency resources through changed recruitment priorities.

 

ACT Labor’s plan to further cut payroll tax for the private sector.

 

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

Total $

Cutting payroll tax

-

-

$1.32m

$6.60m

$7.92m

Total

-

-

$1.32m

$6.60m

$7.92m

Policy Initiatives

Our public service – a modern, dynamic and responsive public service

ACT Labor will create and protect jobs in the ACT Public Service.

We value the public service as a profession, as a proud career choice and as an essential part of delivering for our community.

We are also committed to a modern, responsive and diverse public service that provides career opportunities for everyone and is truly focused on delivering for the public.

 

Growing the Public Service

ACT Labor has committed to return the Budget to surplus in 2015-16 and we are committed to achieving this without slashing and burning the Public Service.

Instead, we will modestly grow the overall number of public servants in line with an increase in the services we deliver to the community. This growth will be measured and responsible. And it will be affordable.

 

Graduates

The graduate program in the ACT Government is an important initiative that ensures the ACT Public Service is attracting the best young minds. We employ graduates in a range of specialist streams such as teaching and nursing – but we also have a whole-of-government graduate program and a Treasury, economics and finance program that aims to take Canberra’s best and brightest and mentor them for a career in the ACT Public Service.

Since 2007 the number of graduates in the whole-of-government and Treasury graduate programs has averaged about 25-30 graduates a year.

If re-elected, ACT Labor will increase the number of graduates in the ACT Public Service programs by at least 10% a year.

We believe this will give more Canberra students a pathway to a career in public service – and it will create more jobs for people leaving university in Canberra.

 

Trainees and apprentices

The ACT Labor Government supports apprenticeships through vocational education and training (VET) funding and through employing apprentices in the ACT Public Service.

Under Labor the number of Canberrans undertaking an apprenticeship or traineeship has more than doubled – from 4,000 to over 9,000.  And supported apprenticeships and traineeships in the ACT have increased by over 130% since 2002.   The ACT Government currently employs 43 trainees and apprentices in various roles – including diesel mechanics, plumbers, carpenters, locksmiths and panel beaters.

 

ACT Labor will increase the number of trainees and apprentices by at least 10% a year, creating more job opportunities for young Canberrans. Under a re-elected ACT Labor Government the VET sector will continue to thrive. While other jurisdictions have cut funding from TAFE colleges and slashed courses, ACT Labor will continue to prioritise VET to increase the level of skilled labour available to industry and deliver better employment outcomes to students.

 

Enabling and supporting the private sector

ACT Labor will help create jobs in the private sector through the implementation of our Business development strategy: growth and diversification and jobs.

ACT Labor will return our Budget to surplus while still investing in our economy and our community. With the Commonwealth contracting employment – not to mention the prospect of a federal Liberal government cutting at least 12,000 jobs – and the associated risk to the private sector, ACT Labor will undertake targeted and affordable investment to ensure our economy continues to grow.

 

Cutting payroll tax

In the 2012-13 Budget ACT Labor cut payroll tax for ACT businesses.  We raised the threshold at which businesses are liable for the tax from $1.5 million to $1.75 million.

If re-elected, ACT Labor will further increase this threshold, to $2 million. This is an incentive for businesses to hire more people.  It creates and supports jobs. This tax cut will allow the private sector to create around 575 extra jobs across Canberra.

It will ensure Canberra remains the lowest taxing jurisdiction in the country for small and medium businesses and encourage these businesses to employ more people.

We will also continue to work with business to reduce red tape, through the Red Tape Reduction Panel, which is already working on ways to make it easier to do business in Canberra

 

Infrastructure

Since being elected the ACT Labor Government has significantly increased investment in community infrastructure.  This is an investment in our community as well as in jobs.

A re-elected Labor Government will continue to invest in new infrastructure – including undertaking a significant program of building and upgrading health facilities.  This investment is delivering construction jobs and delivering health jobs across the Territory.  We will also continue to build new schools in Coombs and Moncrieff and undertake a $70 million upgrade program in older ACT public schools.