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.
At 2.8 per cent of gross state product (GSP), the Tasmanian Government’s response is the largest so far.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk last week announced a $4 billion package, taking her state’s response to $4.5 billion, about 1.2 per cent of GSP.
South Australia has announced measures amounting to 1.0 per cent. Western Australia, Victoria, NSW, the Northern Territory, and the ACT’s responses range from 0.6-to-0.3 per cent of GSP, as this chart shows.
About 28 per cent of the spending by the states and territories is on hospitals and health care, including Intensive Care Unit (ICU) capacity, COVID-19 testing, ventilators, medical equipment, and respiratory clinics.
46 per cent of the money will go to supporting business, most of it via payroll tax relief. All six states will waive the levy for select sectors.
Another 14 per cent is destined for households. This includes rebates and freezes on household fees and charges, as well as money for retraining and redeploying workers who would otherwise have lost their jobs.
Other initiatives include direct support for employment, bringing forward of capital and maintenance expenditure, and support for community groups and charities.
Largest budget measures in each state and territory: