Thanks to Sarah Elks for her story in The Australian today regarding my upcoming appearance at the Queensland Parliamentary Inquiry into the state government’s economic response to the pandemic:
Coronavirus: Queensland’s small-business grants ‘are a waste of money’
First, I should note the COVID-19 Adaption Grants that Sarah quotes me on in the article may not be a complete waste of money, as I know many businesses are struggling. My big concern is that the design of the program meant much of the money would go to the quickest and best-resourced, rather than to those most in need. Here are some choice quotes from Sarah’s article, but please subscribe to the Australian if you don’t already do so:
The Queensland government’s $200m coronavirus-recovery small business grants are “poorly designed, pretty embarrassing and largely a waste of money”, according to an economist regarded as an expert by the Palaszczuk administration…
…Former Commonwealth Treasury economist Gene Tunny, director of Adept Economics, said he was concerned the speedy grants approval process meant the neediest businesses could miss out.
Sarah quotes from my article last week Qld Gov’t COVID-19 Adaption Grants program poorly designed. At the Parliamentary Inquiry on Monday, I will comment on this program and also on the $3 billion of savings measures announced by Treasurer Cameron Dick yesterday, although with very limited detail. The savings measures are intended to partially plug a $7 billion budget hole, as also reported by Sarah in The Australian today (Spending cuts and debt to plug a $7bn hole in Queensland).
For further information on the upcoming inquiry, check out:
Upcoming Qld Parliamentary COVID-19 Inquiry appearance
Queensland Parliament House, Brisbane. Photo by Jennifer Tunny.