Given the Victorian COVID-19 response debacle, the economic outlook is no doubt even bleaker than the bleak outlook reported by CCIQ today in its June Pulse Survey report (see chart below), so it’s welcome news that the federal government is considering a relaxation of the test for extended JobKeeper assistance, as reported by Sky News. As I discussed with Pete Faulkner a couple of weeks ago, eligibility for extended JobKeeper seemed too tight and would see many badly affected businesses miss out (see Qld’s regional economies & COVID-19 – video chat with Pete Faulkner). Many businesses, particularly those in Victoria, but also the worst affected businesses in other states, are going to desperately need JobKeeper beyond 30 September.
Steven Wardill, the State Affairs editor for the Courier-Mail wrote a perfect lead for his coverage of the CCIQ Pulse Survey in today’s Courier-Mail:
Most Queensland businesses fear they’ll go bust within the next 12 months as the coronavirus-induced recession bites and government handouts get gradually removed.
That sounds right to me, all things considered.
Finally, the new stage 4 restrictions such as curfews and business closures in Victoria look completely disproportionate and will obviously have a large economic cost, both in Victoria and the rest of Australia. The Victorian Government will have a difficult time explaining the necessity of these measures to the public over the coming weeks.
This is a virus that cannot be contained by government policies, lockdowns, face masks, etc. The majority of us will be infected and 99.9% will survive.
15% of reported cases die in the UK, 3% of reported cases die in the USA. Only a very small proportion of the population have been infected yet. Millions more will die if the current rate continues and the infection spreads. Suppression is a silly policy as it will just bust out again and again. It must be eradicated within country, with quarantine at the international borders. The virus can increase exponentially so control must be early and very strong. It is a blood disease which affects all major organs and which has ongoing debilitating impacts on those that survive. We cannot live with this virus. We keep viral disease such as ‘foot and mouth’ out of Australia to protect our livestock industry, we can do the same to protect our fellow Australians from this virus. Freedom, as always, comes at a cost.