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.