There has been a fair bit of bleating from sectors claiming to have been ignored in the Budget; in fact you could get the impression that almost everyone has been left out; so where’s all that money going? In fact it’s mostly going to ‘people’ whatever their gender or age. The arts and entertainment didn’t have featured roles in the Treasurer’s speech because Arts Minister Paul Fletcher had made major funding announcements prior to the Budget which in my count totalled over $330 million.
These included a $250 million JobMaker plan to ‘restart Australia’s creative economy’ which will provide seed investment to reactivate productions and tours which were all brought to a halt through government edicts. There will be direct support to Commonwealth-funded arts and culture organisations facing threats to financial viability.
There are ‘Show Starter Loans’ to be delivered through commercial banks, backed by a 100 per cent Commonwealth guarantee. There is a ‘Temporary Interruption Fund’ designed to help local film and television producers secure finance and then to start production. The list goes on but it is important that these programs are business based, not just handouts.
This is a whole of government approach; individuals in these industries benefit from JobKeeper and JobSeeker, from personal income tax relief and so on. None of this is likely to woo them away from the Labor party or their devotion to Saint Gough. It’s being done to benefit the public.
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