House debates

Monday, 24 August 2020

Questions without Notice

COVID-19: Economy

3:05 pm

Photo of Ross VastaRoss Vasta (Bonner, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Thank you, Mr Speaker. My question is to the Treasurer. Will the Treasurer outline to the House how the Morrison government's economic support packages are helping businesses and families in keeping people in jobs, especially in Victoria, while we get to the other side of this pandemic?

Photo of Josh FrydenbergJosh Frydenberg (Kooyong, Liberal Party, Treasurer) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the member for Bonner for his question. I note his experience in small business before coming to this place and the fact that there are 5,200 businesses in his electorate benefiting from JobKeeper. Across Queensland there are 180,000 businesses benefiting from JobKeeper and already $7 billion has gone to those businesses and their staff across Queensland.

The Morrison government has provided an unprecedented level of support in response to COVID-19—some $314 billion, or 15.8 per cent of GDP. That's in contrast to the states, who have provided around $48 billion worth of support, which is the equivalent of 2.4 per cent of gross state product. Our response has been initially to provide income support to families and to businesses to cushion the blow with the supply-side shock—in particular, the JobKeeper program, which has been described by the Governor of the Reserve Bank, Phil Lowe, as a remarkable program that has helped keep people in a job. Already $42 billion has gone to Australian businesses and their staff as a result of the JobKeeper payments—to people like Tony, who has a hairdressing training business in Mount Gravatt in the electorate of the member for Bonner. He described it as a lifeline for his business in helping him through the recovery.

There is also Boosting Cash Flow, which is supporting 780,000 businesses—and $22 billion has already gone out the door to businesses like Wallies Lollies in Box Hill South in the great state of Victoria. There has also been, through our income support, the coronavirus supplement, which has supported 2.3 million people and has seen $9.7 billion go out the door. As well, there have been two payments of $750 each to two million pensioners and many others on income support. We've already seen $9.2 billion go to Australian households through that program. In addition to income support, there is also the targeted HomeBuilder program, the Relief and Recovery Fund and, of course, the $1.3 billion in support for the aviation industry.

We are providing a range of economic supports to the Australian community to help get them to the other side. We were with the Australian community at the start of the crisis, we are with them through this crisis, and we will be with them all the way to the end of this crisis. (Time expired)