Prime Minister flags possible stimulus extension
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has hinted that a number of the government’s stimulus measures, including JobKeeper, could be extended for certain sectors in need.
Mr Morrison said that while JobKeeper and JobSeeker were currently legislated to a hard end date in late September, his government would ensure that it would remain flexible in view of the economic environment, hinting at a possible extension of the measures.
“It is important to ensure that we come out of this crisis strongly and we continue to create jobs in our economy, and so we’ve always been flexible about how we manage this,” Mr Morrison said on Friday.
“What is important to know is that, as time goes on, more of the economy gets stronger, and more of your economy is less in need of those specific supports than it was at first.
“But some sectors of your economy will need them for longer.”
Mr Morrison’s comments come after Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe warned that ending the government’s stimulus measures while the economy was still on life support would be unwise.
“It may be in six months’ time we bounce back well and the economy is doing reasonably well, and these schemes, which were temporary in nature, can be withdrawn without problems,” Dr Lowe said.
“But if the economy is not recovered reasonably well by then, as part of that review, we should be looking at, perhaps, the extension of that scheme or the modification in some way.”
Mr Morrison also said the government would also continue its “fiscal heavy lifting” and ensure that the economy and jobs would be supported through the pandemic.
“There are many forms of support that the government is providing, and we will target the best measures to do the job that we need it to do and that is to support people, staying in jobs and getting back into jobs,” the PM said.
“That’s what’s the most important thing and that’s what we’re focused on and our programs will support that.
“We’ve got a lot of flexibility.”