We may not be immune to the coronavirus, but I want to assure Australians that we are taking all possible steps to protect the health of our citizens
We may not be immune to the coronavirus, but I want to assure Australians that we are taking all possible steps to protect the health of our citizens and the economy.
Australia moved quickly and got ahead of the rest of the world.
Our swift and decisive action to initiate travel restrictions on the basis of expert medical advice has helped to first contain and now slow the spread of the virus in Australia.
These timely measures bought us time to prepare for the anticipated next phase of community transmission that we have now entered.
The Government is also preparing a fiscal response.
Our objective is to keep people in jobs, keep businesses in business and ensure we bounce back stronger on the other side.
We are finalising the details. Today, I outlined our principles. Our response must be:
* Proportionate to the degree of economic shock and impact on the economy.
* Timely and scalable so they can be adjusted appropriately as the health and economic effects evolve.
* Targeted to support those most affected and delivered where it will be most effective. We must not waste taxpayers' resources.
* Aligned with other arms of policy and with the responses of other governments.
* Where possible, using existing delivery mechanisms. We saw the mistakes of trying to rush a range of new programs in the response to the global financial crisis.
* Temporary and accompanied by a fiscal exit strategy. Measures cannot be baked into the bottom-line for years to come, keeping the Budget under water.
* Helping our economy to grow, by lifting productivity.
By following these principles we will protect the structural integrity of the Budget and maximise the impact of our measures to protect the livelihoods of Australians and our economy.
When the economy bounces back, our Budget will also bounce back.
Australians need to pull together now and I’m confident that we will.
Our planning is advanced.
Our institutions are strong.
Our Budget is restored to balance.
Most importantly, we face this challenge with our greatest asset undiminished – that is, the common-sense, resilience and ingenuity of the Australian people.
Australia will pass this test and emerge stronger on the other side.
Prime Minister of Australia
Authorised by A. Hirst for the Liberal Party of Australia.
Corner of Blackall and Macquarie Streets, Barton ACT 2600.
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