SENATE COMMITTEE TO CALL TREASURER BEFORE COVID INQUIRY

SENATOR KATY GALLAGHER.
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1 month ago
SENATE COMMITTEE TO CALL TREASURER BEFORE COVID INQUIRY
SENATOR KATY GALLAGHER
The Senate Select Committee on COVID-19 will call Treasurer Josh Frydenberg to appear before it to explain the massive $60 billion JobKeeper blunder. 
 
The COVID-19 Committee is the primary accountability mechanism to scrutinise the Government’s response to the pandemic and evidence provided by the Government to the Committee over several hearings has clearly been incorrect. 
 
The so-called “$130 billion” JobKeeper program was the centrepiece of the Morrison Government’s economic response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
 
The Treasurer, as the architect of the economic response, must be prepared to front up and explain this massive mistake. 
 
For the past eight weeks the Government has told the Australian people, the Federal Parliament and State and Territory Governments that the $130 billion JobKeeper would support over 6 million workers to keep their jobs. On Friday we learnt that that wasn’t true.
 
For the past eight weeks the Government said that over $200 billion in direct budget support was needed to support the economy through the COVID-19 shutdowns and to protect jobs. On Friday we learnt that that wasn’t true either. 
 
For the past eight weeks the Government has said that they needed to spend the equivalent of 16.4% of GDP in financial support to respond to the economic shock. On Friday we learnt that it will be much smaller than that. 
 
There are serious questions that need to be answered by the Treasurer about the Governments economic response, particularly as it is now clear that 3 million fewer Australians are being assisted by JobKeeper.
 
The Treasurer must accept responsibility and he should do the right thing and accept the Committee’s invitation to appear and explain what went wrong. 
 
The Committee will invite the Treasurer to appear at the earliest opportunity available prior to parliament returning in June. 
 
Senate Committee