The leader of the opposition has called on the Morrison Government to start dolling out the promised $750 cash payments to welfare recipients immediately.
Labor’s Anthony Albanese said the rolling out of $4.8 billion from March 31 to keep the economy afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic probably wouldn’t be enough, and it certainly wasn’t timely enough.
Watch the video above
“I said very clearly, to make an announcement of $750 and to say it will take place on March 31, that’s a political decision, not one that’s an economic decision,” Albanese said on Friday.
“An economic decision would have been for that money to flow immediately.”
An estimated 6.5 million Australians, including those on aged and disability pensions and people on Newstart and Youth Allowance, are expected to receive a $750 cheque paid directly into their bank account in coming weeks.
More on 7NEWS.com.au
The payments are part of a $17.6 billion stimulus package announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, last week, in response to the coronavirus-led sharp downturn in the economy.
A second stimulus package is expected to be announce over the weekend.
On Thursday the Reserve Bank of Australia cut the cash rate and announced a raft of measures to prop up the economy.
On Friday, the Australian Banking Association announced a relief package for small businesses affected by the downturn.
How can you tell the difference between the coronavirus, the flu, a cold or seasonal allergies? Credit: Sam Aitken, 7NEWS
The opposition’s treasury spokesman, Jim Chalmers, said while the RBA and the banks were moving in the right direction, the government wasn’t moving fast enough to deal with the looming economic crisis.
“This is no time for half-measures,” he said.
“It’s no time for dithering or delay. It’s no time for stuffing around. We need to get more money circulating in an economy which desperately needs support right now, and not some months down the track.”