Premature to pull the plug on COVID payments

30 Sep 2021 |

With lockdowns and restrictions costing the economy more than $2 billion a week, reopening when we reach vaccination thresholds is essential.  However, the Federal Government should be careful not to withdraw support for individuals and businesses too quickly.

“When we reopen it won’t be business as usual,” ACCI chief executive Andrew McKellar said.

“We need to be cautious about removing support prematurely when businesses are experiencing significantly reduced trade.  Reopening a business after lockdowns is not as simple as flicking a switch.   It will take time for businesses to return to full capacity and get their employees back into the workplace.

“While a phased removal of the support is a step in the right direction, the impacts of the pandemic won’t be gone overnight.  Many employers and employees, such as those working in international tourism, will face ongoing challenges after lockdowns end.

“The Federal Government should exercise a degree of caution.  Removing business support too quickly could see even more employers going to the wall, while ending disaster relief payments could also result in a sharp jump in unemployment and a contraction in household consumption, slowing our post-pandemic recovery.

“Support should reflect that the ongoing impacts of lockdowns and restrictions will not be experienced evenly across the business community.

Jack Quail

Media Officer

P  |  0498 181 207

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