Australia has turned a corner, but we must be careful about when we lift restrictions, what restrictions we lift, and in what order.
The Government has announced almost $200 billion of spending in less than a month. If you are having trouble keeping up – here is a short summary.
Driven by tighter restrictions at the border, new cases of COVID-19 have fallen rapidly in Australia. But local transmission has not shared the same fate, with the rate of new cases remaining relatively flat over the past week or so.
Consumer confidence is a timely measure of what Australian households think about their own finances and the state of the economy overall. In the week ending 29 March, the ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence index plunged to the lowest level in the nearly-50-year history of that series.
Every state and territory government in Australia has announced a spending response to the COVID-19 crisis. The measures, including loans, tax deferrals, and health spending, so far total almost $15 billion. This compliments the almost $194 billion in direct economic measures already announced by the Federal Government.
The lessons from overseas are clear: unless Australians comprehensively comply with spatial distancing, those measures won’t work and our hospitals will be over-run.
Workers affected by the COVID-19 economic crisis can now access up to $20,000 of their super to help see them through. It’s a good move.
We should be clear: a shutdown of anything that isn’t truly essential will be needed to avoid overwhelming the healthcare system.
It’s clear than many Australian households will need help if they loose their livelihoods through the COVID-19 crisis. They should be a high priority for the Morrison Government as it puts together its second economic support package.
The less people are physically near each other, the lower the rate of transmission of coronavirus. That’s why ‘social distancing’ – or more accurately, spatial distancing – is a key strategy to slow the spread of the virus.