Australia’s economy is in trouble and will need more than economic first aid through measures like JobKeeper to get us back on track to recovery, writes Catholic Social Services Australia’s Joe Zabar. Source: Eureka Street.
Australia’s average annual GDP growth has been in the range of 2 to 3 per cent over the last decade. This could be described, at best, as modest. COVID-19 has delivered Australia an annual GDP rate for the financial year just ended of minus 6.3 per cent.
The magnitude is there for all to see. We had a lacklustre economy before COVID-19; now we have one that is in real trouble.
The upcoming Commonwealth Budget will be an opportunity for the Government to lay out its agenda for Australia’s economic recovery. Business lobbyists are working hard to convince the Government they have the answer to Australia’s stalled economy. Unsurprisingly, tax cuts are high on their priority list. Australia is in desperate need of tax reform, but that is not the same as delivering tax cuts that the business lobby is promoting.
Bringing forward tax cuts might make political sense, but if you want to grow the economy and create jobs, there are better and cheaper ways for the Morrison Government to act.
If confidence is the key to economic recovery, then the Morrison Government should publicly commit to Australia being a full-employment economy, reshaping Australia’s employment policy agenda to one where anyone who wants a job will get a job.
Joe Zabar is deputy CEO of Catholic Social Services Australia.
October Budget rides on collective confidence (Eureka Street)