Whatever it takes

COVID-19 policy responses in Australia

Global economies are in a deep dive. It's occurring with a severity and speed that is literally taking our breath away. Even those who would normally hesitate at the thought of government intervention are calling for action. Our policy experts discuss and summarise the health, civic and economic measures of governments in response to COVID-19.

<p>The NSW economy is expected to outperform the national average, but the outbreak in VIC is a reminder how quickly things can change. The story is varied across the state with many regional areas in a vulnerable position. Place based support may aid the recovery in these areas.</p><p><br></p><p><a href="">Find out more</a></p>

<p>The tourism sector has been among the most impacted by the measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. While it’s too early for long-term predictions, a consideration of possible scenarios, informed by leading indicators, can help create structure in planning for the future. This can help businesses shape their response and rebuild with resilience.</p><p><br></p><p><a href="">Find out more</a></p>

<p>It is a common mistake that we all sometimes make — to think that the past is how the future will be, and that the present is merely an aberration that will right itself. In thinking about economic recovery, it is easy to fall into this same trap, especially when so much of our economic analysis has us reverting back to trend, built on theory and assumptions of symmetry.&nbsp;</p><p>Not surprisingly, in talking recovery, people have imagined the reverse of lockdown — a snapback, with the speed determined by a myriad of alphabets; from V-shaped to U to W. But in reality it’s a question mark.</p><p><br></p><p><a href="">Find out more</a></p>

<p>The curve here in Australia has been flattened. While we must not be complacent, the success of measures taken to date has seen some of the state and territories start to relax some restrictions around activities and travel.&nbsp;</p><p><br></p><p>In this emerging recovery period, travel that is close to home will resume first.&nbsp;What is the early outlook for cities and regional destinations? As individual destinations and operators consider their near term sources of demand, who should they have in their sights?</p><p><br></p><p><a href="">Find out more</a></p><p><br></p>

<p>Australia's progress in tackling the COVID-19 crisis has been remarkable. Swift and far-reaching government policy, adaptable business strategies and physical distancing - all have helped ease a crisis that was doubling in severity every four days to one that is recording only handful of new cases each day.</p><p><br></p><p>This achievement puts Australia in an enviable position.</p><p><br></p><p><a href="">Find out more</a></p>

<p>On 8 April 2020, the Government introduced and passed two bills in respect of the Government’s jobkeeper regime. Consistent with this being an extraordinary measure in extraordinary times, the legislative approach is also novel. The bills authorise the Treasurer to make Rules for the carrying out of the jobkeeper scheme, and as a result, most of the key operative provisions are to be found in the Rules. The first payments expected under the Jobkeeper scheme will be paid by mid May 2020 and as a result, time is extremely compressed in order for employers to determine and register their eligibility.</p><br><p><a href="">Find out more</a></p>

<p>The National Cabinet has issued a Commercial Lease Mandatory Code of Conduct. The Code established a set of principles to be applied when renegotiating commercial leases affected by COVID-19. The purpose is to create a set of good faith leasing principles to apply to renegotiating commercial leases. The Code will be given effect to thorough state and territory legislation.&nbsp;</p><p><br></p><p>The Code requires that relevant commercial leases are renegotiated as soon as practicably possible. States and territories will quickly enact legislation enforcing the Code, and landlords will need to rapidly activate a process to assess commercial leases, model new arrangements, and negotiate and contract these.</p><p><br></p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Find out more about the Code</a></p><br><p><a href="" target="_blank">Issues and taking a holistic approach</a></p>

<p>Fundamental to any memorable travel experience are human interactions. This means that the tourism sector is at the front line and among the most vulnerable sectors in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. </p><p><br></p><p>Now is still the time for Australians to be united, stay home, stop the spread and save lives. But now is also the time to look into the future. There are reasons to be optimistic about opportunities for the tourism sector in the future – even in the nearer term.</p><p><br></p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Read more</a></p>

<p>Are you terrified of Australia’s ballooning debts and deficits? You can strike that off your list of fears.&nbsp;</p><p><br></p><p>There’s a lot worth worrying about amid a pandemic. But too many people are worrying a bit too much about the cost of protecting our livelihoods at the same time that we’re protecting our lives.</p><p><br></p><p>Our new analysis shows that the budgetary impact of the fight against the coronavirus will have a rather smaller impact on the Australia of the future than many expect</p><p><br></p><p><a href="">Read more</a></p>

<p>Two weeks ago, if someone said childcare in Australia would be free, you would not have believed them.&nbsp;</p><p><br></p><p>From 6 April 2020, the Government will pay 50% of the operating costs of Australia's 13,000 childcare and early learning centres – based on centres' attendance levels in February before it dropped large numbers.</p><p><br></p><p>This will make childcare free in Australia for those who continue to need it.&nbsp;</p><p><br></p><p>Is it a case of a new system for a new world?</p><p><br></p><p><a href="">Read more</a></p>

<p>Policy and economics is moving quickly in the face of COVID-19 impacts. First a $66 billion Federal government support package; yesterday a whopping $130 billion for six months to subsidise the wages of Australian workers hit by this public health crisis.&nbsp;</p><p><br></p><p>It’s a complex thing to try supporting workers to keep and seek a job at a time when there are none in their industries of work. So, no wonder that yesterday’s package is the largest post war incentive designed to keep Australians in jobs.</p><p><br></p><p>The scale? JobKeeper payments aim to reach almost half of all Australians with a job, at a cost equivalent to half as much again as all pre-crisis Federal government spending over the next six months.</p><p><br></p><p><a href="/content/dam/Deloitte/au/Documents/Economics/au-dae-policy-response-covid19-jobkeeper-2020.pdf">Read more</a></p>

<p>Our current economic trajectory is sharp and brutal. Just like COVID-19. What we are witnessing is occurring with a severity and a speed which is literally taking our breath away. There are loud calls for government intervention, but the question is, what type of action?</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>There is both the urgent – the health crisis which needs to be fought and the economic cushioning to deal with the economic consequences - and a view to recovery – of both our economy and the health consequences which flow from a better economy. But it all starts with the strongest health response possible. Pandemics, with their geometric progression, demands nothing less.</p><p><br></p><p>The substantial increase in the scale and scope of government action needed to</p><p>tackle the COVID-19 pandemic is essentially a record form of short-term, unparalleled, economic insurance.</p><p><br></p><p>This insurance is both to protect public health and support people’s immediate cost of living and livelihood.&nbsp;To manage this effectively requires not only extraordinary policy solutions and government spending, but also a government-led reorganisation of the entire economy.</p><p><br></p><p>But there is a&nbsp;<strong>menu of imperfect choices</strong>, all with differing consequences. One thing is clear,&nbsp;<strong>a decision taken today on addressing the public health crisis will be exponentially more valuable as the exact same decision taken in a week</strong>&nbsp;– or even a day.</p><p><br></p><p><strong>This is a ‘whatever it takes’ moment&nbsp;</strong>for large scale, new and unconventional fiscal and monetary policies.</p><p><br></p><p><a href="">Read more</a></p>
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