The government has splashed cash on aged care, childcare rebates and infrastructure, but we could all lose out in the long term.

$3.3 billion package for NSW includes $2 billion for upgrades to the Great Western Highway between Katoomba and Lithgow; $500 million for Princes Highway upgrades and $548.5 million for road safety and community infrastructure projects.
Families with two or more kids in childcare will have their costs slashed thanks to $1.7 billion over five years.
The annual subsidy cap of $10,560 for families earning $189,390 or more will also be removed. These measures are designed to encourage both parents back into full-time work by removing the disincentive of high childcare costs. Theres also $1.6 billion for preschool over four years.
Altogether women get $3.4 billion. An additional $1.1 billion will be spent on womens safety measures, including $261.4 million over two years in a new deal with the states to boost frontline family, domestic and sexual violence services. Theres also $164.8 million in financial assistance for women affected by family violence and $57.6 million for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. And $351.6 million will be spent on new medicines to fight breast and lung cancer, osteoporosis and for womens health initiatives that cover maternal, sexual and reproductive health.
Mental health
A $2.3 billion, four-year package for suicide prevention and mental health, which includes $487 million for adult mental health services, $278 million for people aged 12 to 25 and $100 million for early intervention programs for under-12s.
People over 60 who sell their family home and downsize will be able to put $300,000 into their superannuation.
A new patent box will let people who make money from new patents developed in Australia be taxed at 17 per cent a little more than half the company tax rate.
Future generations
Australias strong health and economic response to COVID-19 has come at an eye-watering cost. The 2020-21 deficit has been revised down by $52.7 billion to $161 billion, while forecast deficits in the three years from 2021-22 have been cumulatively revised down another $29.4 billion – but still add up to $285.4 billion. The underlying cash balance is projected to improve to 1.3 per cent of GDP by 2031 but there isnt a surplus in sight.
Businesses depending on international visitors will begin to see international tourists return from the start of 2022 and the government has spent up to encourage domestic tourism. But Treasury warns inbound and outbound tourism will remain low until at least the middle of 2022 because of the pandemic.
Environment and climate change
Theres $100 million to protect ocean life, $209.7 million for an Australian Climate Service to prepare for extreme weather events and $1.2 billion over 10 years to encourage investment in regional hydrogen hubs, and in carbon capture and storage technology. Compared to Australias allies and partners, it isnt much.
The National Archives
Australias collective memory is a big loser in this budget. The institution needed $67.7 million to save only the most urgent and at-risk materials, such as some of the speeches of wartime prime minister John Curtin. It got not one cent beyond a minuscule operating increase of $700,000.
Start your day informed
Our Morning Edition newsletter is a curated guide to the most important and interesting stories, analysis and insights. Get it delivered to your inbox.