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June 29, 2020

The Grattan Institute has added its voice to the broad and growing concern about the Morrison Government’s current plan to “snapback” economic support in September in a major new report which highlights the risk to recovery of a rapid withdrawal of assistance.

Vulnerable Australians and businesses are increasingly anxious that they will be left out and left behind because of Scott Morrison’s lack of a plan for jobs and the recovery and his secrecy over the JobKeeper program.

The Morrison Government has already received its own report into the future of JobKeeper but has chosen to keep it secret until after the Eden-Monaro by-election.

Businesses are already laying off workers because of the uncertainty this delay is creating.

Scott Morrison is holding businesses and workers hostage to the by-election date and putting politics before people once again during this first recession in three decades.

The Grattan Institute makes specific recommendations about the JobKeeper program, calling for future payments to be provided in advance rather than arrears to businesses, for eligibility to be expanded, and for the support to be tapered in a way that is dependent on the state of the recovery.

The report, The Recovery Book: What Australian Governments Should Do Now, highlights that an extended period of fiscal support will be required to support the recovery and drive down unemployment:
• “Without further stimulus, unemployment will remain too high and the economy will grow more slowly than it could for many years.”
• “Turning off the tap could… put a hand-brake on the recovery as households anticipate the income shock by saving, and businesses try to minimise avoidable costs by holding back on employing workers.”

Having introduced support for the economy too narrowly and too slowly, Australians can't afford for the Morrison Government to withdraw that support too quickly or too bluntly.

Australians need and deserve a comprehensive plan to get them through the recovery and alleviate some of the understandable anxiety in the community.

Scott Morrison should begin by immediately releasing his secret report into JobKeeper instead of keeping Australians in the dark.