Job Keeper Delivered What Was Needed To Save The Patient

Job Keeper Delivered What Was Needed To Save The Patient

The Treasury just marked its own keeper homework, according to critics. It produced a 60-page report called Insights, which covers the first six months of Job Keeper. It found that the A$89 billion program they designed and delivered to Australia held up well last year, when Australia most needed it.

Similar to the Labour government’s financial rescue programs in the global financial crisis, critics claim it was wasteful. This time, however, they are from the Labour side. They have extremely short memories. Australia had 93 COVID-19 deaths and 93 COVID-19 case in the first week March 2020.

At a time when doctors were urging people not to do such things and 25% of Italy was in lockdown, the prime minister stated that he was going on to the footy with looking forward to it. It was easy for Italian tourists to come in. We were sleeping walking into a disaster.

We Were The Way We Were Keeper

Last March 10, I wrote that we must close the international border completely and immediately and spend around $100 billion to support workers while we shut down and put in place health measures. The borders were close on March 20. Treasury predicted that our economy (GDP), would plummet by 24% if we were to keep down as much as Spain or Italy.

It wouldn’t just be a recession, or even a depression. It would be financial and economic Armageddon. The government had to quickly plug an inexplicable hole. It did. Job Keeper offered six months of financial assistance to businesses that expected to see their revenues drop. This was nearly every country-wide business at the time.

It was create to be simple to understand and to immediately transfer money to household and business balances. It was design to provide certainty for recipients in times of uncertainty. These facts are factual. These facts are not disputable.

Now, What Critics Think Keeper

Critics point out that Job Keeper excludes certain industries and workers, including short-term casuals and university students. They also claim $19.7 Billion was paid to businesses whose revenue increase during the three-month period they received the payment.

They argue that it would have been better not to spend money on businesses with rising revenues. It would also have been beneficial to include short-term casuals as well as universities. They claim Job Keeper should have had a clawback provision. They are correct. It would have been more effective if it was design that way. They are not taking into account the reality of the times.

What Were The Conditions Back Then?

Job Keeper’s development was made possible by a once in a century event. The government at power had been railing against deficits and debt. Economists were worried that the government might do too much or not enough. These are three important points to remember.

Treasury needed to respond quickly and in just days. While I enjoy an academic seminar, Treasury did not have the luxury to spend years refining and debating. It was require to perform battlefield surgery

Job Keeper’s effectiveness was a key reason many businesses were able increase their revenues. If the scheme had been smaller with more requirements and red tape, fewer workers would have received support and the economy would have suffered.

Job Keeper was less likely to be effective if it had more exclusions and carve-outs. Uncertainty is create by fine-tuning rules. This allows for gaming, or ignoring the rules. Public programs must be easy to understand if they are to be effective. The only real option in March 2020 was Job Keeper, or no Job Keeper at any point.

We Saved The Patient Keeper

The Australian economy was in critical condition at the beginning of March 2020. The patient was save by Steven Kennedy (Treasurer), and Josh Frydenberg, (Treasurer). That’s what really matters. Were they using ECG machines, blood bags or gauze? You bet.

It cost economic resources. It was probably, even though it might have cost more economic resources if the worst had occurred. Although insurance can appear wasteful after the fact it doesn’t mean that it isn’t wise. It was a good thing they chose to use too many stitches over too few. They offered the only thing that can help in times of extreme uncertainty, certainty.