The joys of Centrelink … like mother’s milk …in Bangladesh, or wherever it is now that people are starving … maybe Australia … soon …
“Some forecasts of the unemployment rate have reached as high as 15.1 per cent – but getting this figure down to pre-coronavirus level won’t be in reach for another four years, a Deloitte economist has said. According to Deloitte Access Economics partner Chris Richardson, Australia will have to “champion a new round of much-needed economic reforms” if it is to address the major shortfall in national income even after the virus crisis is over. Deloitte estimates the federal government’s budget deficit will hit $143.1 billion in the 2019-20 financial year, well undercutting the government’s own forecast of a $5 billion surplus from its December mid-year review. But fixing the budget won’t lie in raising taxes: it will be on boosting the economy. “Our defence against the coronavirus has been world-leading. But just beating back the virus isn’t enough,” Richardson said. Prime Minister Scott Morrison recently said that flattening the unemployment curve would be Australia’s next priority. The jobless rate is expected to hit 10 per cent or even higher under forecasts by both the Grattan Institute and the governor of the Reserve Bank. But unemployment goes down much faster than it comes back up, Richardson pointed out. “The ‘mission accomplished’ signs can’t be put up until unemployment is back at 5%. On our forecasts, that doesn’t happen until late 2024. “We’re years away from returning unemployment to the 5 per cent rate it was at when this crisis hit.”
How to fix the budget: get jobs back
Australia’s federal budget won’t be ‘back in the black’ for years to come: even in the 2022-23 financial year, we can expect a federal budget deficit of $32.6 billion, Deloitte estimates. “The budget won’t have returned to surplus in those years, but that’s only because the economy will still be suffering a hangover from the traumas of the moment.” But the budget will only be “badly bent” and “not broken,” said Richardson.”
Now there is optimism for you, badly bent, not broken. Would you prefer a badly bent tool, or one which is broken? It is not clear.
Don’t expect the bonanza dole increase to last, for already the stated six months has been cut to five, then after that it is living on near-starvation levels, and that is when the real crunch will come, when people who had jobs, families and mortgages, end up in crisis.
“The $550 Coronavirus Supplement was initially touted to last six months, however the Department of Social Services revealed to a Senate Select Committee on Covid-19 that it will now last for just five. The legislative end date for the period of the supplement is 24 September, five months after payments were stipulated to flow from (27 April). This means some eligible Australians may receive $1,100 less than they had planned for. What’s more, some eligible JobSeekers won’t be receiving their extra payment until 11 May, Senator for the Greens, Rachel Siewert, highlighted. “So, in other words, they do miss out,” Siewert said. “If they're one of a group that has to report near 11 May, they actually will miss out on at least one payment.” The Senate Committee also addressed the ambiguity as to payment times, something which caused confusion as to when payments would flow. Treasury documents and Services Australia said the amount would be paid “from 27 April,” leading many to believe that the supplement would be paid that day. Those who had signed up for the extra supplement however were surprised to see just their regular JobSeeker amount in their bank accounts. Centrelink confirmed on Twitter that the supplement was to be paid once Aussies had reported for the period that included 27 April. “People expected to get the new supplement this week; they weren't told this information at all. Now they'll have to starve/wait for another two weeks?” JobSeeker Jeremy Heywood tweeted at the time. The Department of Social Services said in a social media post that payments would align with reporting periods, meaning some would receive their payments on 27 April, others on the 28 April, and others on 6 May. “I agree that there may have been some confusion,” Secretary for the Department of Social Services, Kathryn Campbell said to the Senate Committee. “I note that sometimes, when we're doing things very quickly, we don't get the wording quite right.” The Department of Social Services said it would look to “clarify” the ambiguity on some websites, which caused confusion as to when payments would flow.”
We will see in five months, the cold hard meanness of the system at work, or rather, not at work!