Well, the V that became a U is now a holy moly, we have to do something about this.
After speaking to the IMF and Treasury, the government will announce the predictions of just how hard the coronavirus is expected to hit the Australian economy. And Josh Frydenberg has got out ahead, telling Sky News that the government’s stimulus package will be “in the billions”.
Exactly what is in it won’t be revealed until next week. It had been expected sometime in the next few weeks, but the RBA’s emergency rate cut has sped quite a few things up.
“Cash” and “flow” are the treasurer’s buzzwords. We are not spending enough money, which was already having a flow-on effect – after the drought and bushfires it wasn’t great (as Shane Wright at the Age told me yesterday, up to billion dollars injected into the economy icame from insurance payouts from the Queensland and northern NSW fires from September onwards, which is not exactly a sustainable boost) so coronavirus is not great.
The treasurer is trying to avoid a recession. So there needs to be some money in the floating.
“It will be worth billions in terms of the impact it will have,” Frydenberg told Laura Jayes this morning.
A business investment allowance, changing to deeming rates and tax breaks are all on the table.
Jim Chalmers says Labor will look at the package but its standing position at this stage is to be supportive.
We’ll have all of that and more as the day rolls on. Treasury estimates are up this morning. Mike Bowers is heading down the hallways already. You have Sarah Martin, Katharine Murphy and Paul Karp, as well as the rest of the Guardian brains trust. I will hunt down a coffee so as to stop looking hungrily at the coffee stain on my desk.
Let’s get into it.