Budget 2021: Your five-minute federal budget breakdown

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg handed down the 2021-22 federal budget on Tuesday evening. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg handed down the 2021-22 federal budget on Tuesday evening. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong

The second federal budget to be handed down during the COVID-19 pandemic has been announced, and aged care and health are unsurprisingly at the centre of it.

Here are some of the key features of the 2021 federal budget to get you up to speed.


Health plays a key role in the 2021 federal budget, with much of the focus still on continued funding for the COVID-19 public health response.

An additional $1.5 billion will go to telehealth services and COVID-19 testing as well as outbreak prevention in remote communities.

An extra $1.9 billion has also been allocated to the vaccine rollout. The government has committed to purchasing additional vaccine doses, expanding the total to 170 million doses.

Mental health

Mental health will be given a $2.3 billion boost to expand prevention and treatment services.

The government intends to open new Head to Health mental health centres as well as suicide prevention services, including improved aftercare and support for vulnerable groups.

An agreement between the states and territories enabling further measures for mental health and suicide prevention is expected to be signed in November.

Aged care

The aged care sector will receive $17.7 billion over the next five years.

A $6.5 billion package will be provided to support older Australians staying at home for longer, while $7.8 billion will go to improving the quality and safety of residential aged care services.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, special needs groups and remote communities will be given $630.2 million to improve their access to quality aged care services.

The economy

Australia's gross debt is expected to hit $829 billion by June 2021, and is heading for 50 per cent of GDP at $1.2 trillion by June 2025. It's predicted to stabilise over the medium term at 51 per cent.

Unemployment figures are expected to improve from 6.9 per cent in 2019-20 to 5.5 per cent in June 2021, with further projections it will reach a low of 4.5 per cent by 2024.


Women haven't been forgotten this time around, with a number of funding announcements targeted at the prevention and reduction of violence against women.

A women's safety package of $1.1 billion, including financial support and emergency accommodation, will be rolled out, with a further $376.2 million for legal support.

The government will also provide $20.5 million toward implementing the recommendations of the Human Rights Commission's Respect@Work report.


The government's low- and middle-income-earner tax cuts will continue again this year, with individuals receiving an offset of up to $1080, while dual income couples can receive up to $2160. The measures will deliver an extra $7.8 billion in tax cuts.

For small and medium businesses, the corporate tax rate will be cut to 25 per cent from July 1. Temporary full expensing will also be extended until June 2023.


A new agreement between the states and federal government will result in $2 billion being delivered toward early education, allowing universal free access to preschools around the country. Children will receive access at least 15 hours a week, beginning from mid-2022.

Australian schools will also receive an increase in funding from $13.8 billion in 2014 to $23.4 billion in 2021.

An additional 5000 government-supported short course places will be made available this year.

Public service

The public service has been allowed to expand despite the average-staffing-level policy remaining. By June 2022, it's expected the number of staff will reach 174,276 - more than 5000 above the 2020-21 estimate.

A number of departments and agencies are predicted to face substantial staffing growth. The Health and Home Affairs departments are both anticipating increases of nearly 500 staff, while ASIO and AFP will gain nearly 300 each.

This story Federal budget 2021: Your five-minute breakdown first appeared on The Canberra Times.


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