24 March 2020

Contradictory messages from overseas overnight

In UK, PM Johnson has announced radical isolation, no going outside your house unless absolutely necessary.

In US, President Trump is asking whether ‘the cure is worse than the disease’.

  • Last night (23 March) the second stimulus package passed, the Australian government also set aside an extra $40 billion for use on Covid-19 response
  • Called the Advance to the Finance Minister, its normally just $1.2b
  • Gives Finance Minister the ability to spend money in a period where Parliament may not sit, or for expenditure that is urgent or unforeseen.
  • Limited to next financial year.
  • Could be used on purchasing medical equipment, or paying states etc etc
  • Labor negotiated some extra conditions:
  • A weekly media release will be issued publicly after every use of the Advance to the Finance Minister; and
  • For any proposed use of the Advance to the Finance Minister greater than $1 billion, the Government will seek written approval from the Opposition.
  • Much attention is now on the unemployed, and pressures to do more in this area will obviously grow