In March of this year, I said in the face of this global pandemic, the Australian Government would work to save as many lives and livelihoods as possible.
Like your readers, I am pleased our strong actions have saved tens of thousands of Australian lives and whilst the health crisis is by no means over, we are beginning to learn how to live with the virus.
All of this to say, touch wood, the health crisis is coming under control.
Accordingly, our attention must now turn to dealing with the economic impact caused by the actions taken to save lives.
Globally, COVID-19 has resulted in the most severe economic crisis since the Great Depression.
While the Australian experience by comparison is the envy of comparable nations around the world, our economy has fallen into recession.
In response, the Australian Government took immediate action to implement unprecedented support for the Australian economy.
The JobKeeper Payment provided direct support to 3.5 million working Australians and the JobSeeker Payment effectively doubled our nation's safety net.
The Government's targeted and proportionate response saved 700,000 jobs and while there is much more to do, I am pleased to report the Australian economy is fighting back.
The Government's 2020-21 Budget sets out Our Economic Recovery Plan, it includes:
- Tax cuts for more than 11 million taxpayers.
- The JobMaker Hiring Credit encouraging businesses to employ those on JobSeeker aged 16-35.
- 100,000 new apprenticeships and trainees via a 50% wage subsidy for apprentices and trainees.
- An expansion of the Instant Asset Write Off Scheme.
- $1.3 billion of targeted funding for the manufacturing sector to support its 860,000 employees.
- An additional $2 billion in concessional loans to help farmers overcome the impacts of drought together with $2 billion in funding to build vital national water infrastructure.
- $2 billion for road safety upgrades and $1 billion to support local councils.
All of this while providing record support for the health and education services Australians rely on.
To read more about our plan to help the Australian economy fight back go to: www.liberal.org.au/budget