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.
The impact of the new measures by the Australian Government will take time to show up in official COVID-19 cases. It’s a step in the right direction, but we are unlikely to see the flow-through to lower case numbers for another week.
Over a third of Australian workers don’t have paid sick leave. They’re in a vulnerable position.
Australia currently has 100 diagnosed cases of coronavirus, as of 10 March. Countries that have hit the 100 case threshold fall into two camps: those that saw rapid spread of the disease, and those with a managed case load. Australia should act as soon as possible to ensure we join the latter camp.