26 March 2020

Paddy Manning: “Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s instincts are more autocratic than democratic, more corporate than official. The new National COVID-19 Coordination Commission (NCCC), chaired by former Fortescue Metals chief Nev Power, will coordinate advice to the government on ‘actions to anticipate and mitigate the economic and social effects of the global coronavirus pandemic’. What Power would know about managing a pandemic is unclear, but what is obvious is that the handpicked mining executive will be unconstrained by the codes and traditions of the public service, and will owe his loyalty to the PM alone.” Alex White: “There is a genuine and urgent risk that the crisis will be used by Morrison and the corporate elite to restructure our economy. As we’ve seen already, major and seriously regressive changes have already started to be implemented — the attack on superannuation is just one example, as are the ‘no strings attached’ bailouts of airlines. Cuts to various taxes on business are also at risk of being made permanent — a change that would structurally change our state and federal govt. revenue system and achieve the long-term right-wing goal of ‘starving the beast’.”