10 March 2020

The Australia Institute’s Ebony Bennett: “The surplus the Coalition boasted about delivering looks to be cactus, but that’s good, delivering a surplus amid an economic downturn is about as useful as having 1000 toilet paper rolls in a flu pandemic. Now, the risk is that the Coalition will listen to its own rhetoric instead of expert advice, undercook its stimulus package, and potentially send Australia into recession. … The Coalition is quite capable of targeting its spending, judging by the precision used to target marginal seats for a $100 million cash splash in recent the sports rorts scandal. It has however, shown less aptitude for targeting money where it’s needed (as opposed to where it’s electorally advantageous). … [T]here’s no point giving business money if people won’t buy anything. That’s why targeting the majority of stimulus at business is risky; business won’t invest if there’s no demand. … That’s why a stimulus package that supports households, such as by increasing Newstart, has a double benefit.” I’m now expecting to see permanent benefits for business, and one-off payments to needy people.