The health response to COVID-19 has resulted in large increases in measured unemployment and underemployment as well as large falls in the total number of hours worked. While the size of these labour market effects has been widely discussed, the gender distribution of these impacts has not.
by Ebony Bennett
[Originally published in the Canberrra Times, 27 June 2020]
The Morrison government did a great job managing the pandemic, but where Scott Morrison has really excelled is making the recession worse.
A new discussion paper from The Australia Institute has outlined how Australia could emerge from the COVID-19 crisis as one of the richest countries in the world while gaining long-lasting benefits from economic stimulus projects and a renewed faith in the effectiveness of democratic governance.
“The response to COVID-19 will cost hundreds of billions of dollars and such spending has the potential to not just create jobs, but to create a new Australia, if we want it to,” said Dr. Richard Denniss, chief economist at The Australia Institute.
The poker machine industry has been shut down in Tasmania since the 24th of March. The industry is set to re-open on Friday the 26th of June.
Re-opening these venues will provide immediate employment to staff previously stood down. However, our research shows that, in broader terms, poker machines (“pokies”, “electronic gaming machines” or “EGMs”) are a drain on the state economy and on jobs.
Australians can lay to rest concern over incurring and repaying government debt, as new research shows urgent spending required in response to the COVID-19 pandemic will not create a debt burden, and therefore should not provoke future austerity measures to ‘repay the debt’.
The report, released today by the Australia Institute, reveals misunderstanding around how private and public finance works, and incorrectly extending private concerns to the public sector, have heightened misplaced fears around the sustainability of government debt.
Treasury forecasts unemployment rising to 10 per cent in the June quarter and that without the JobKeeper allowance unemployment would be 5 per cent higher at 15 per cent. The Government responded with a series of spending packages with a cumulative total of $193.6 billion. That inevitably means more deficit spending over and the next six months and probably well beyond that.
by Richard Denniss
[Originally Published on Guardian Australia, 10 June 2020]
Not only have women been hardest hit by the response to Covid-19, they have got the least out of government assistance and stimulus packages. Monday’s announcement that the temporary provision of free childcare is about to end was just the latest in a long line of policy choices – made by the male prime minister, male treasurer and male finance minister – that weigh heavily on women in the Australian labour market.
New research from The Australia Institute has found that a majority of voters in the seat of Eden-Monaro want the JobSeeker payment to be permanently increased from its pre-pandemic level of $283 per week. The revelation of the $60 billion JobKeeper hole raises pressure on the Government to increase JobeSeeker.
The Australia Institute conducted a survey of 978 residents across the New South Wales federal electorate of Eden-Monaro on the night of 12th May 2020.