Despite the government’s protestation, the economy was “tanking” before the coronavirus emerged as a global health risk according to Shadow Health Minister Chris Bowen.
The Treasury has warned the full economic impact of the COVID-19, better known as coronavirus, is not yet known but estimated the virus could shed 0.5 per cent off growth in the March quarter.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg indicated the government is planning to fund a stimulus package to help sectors affected by the virus, putting this year’s federal budget surplus in doubt.
Mr Bowen told Sky News it is difficult for the government to deal with this crisis because the economy “was already weakening” when coronavirus emerged in China.
“We went into this issue with a weakening economy,” he said.
“The government would say everything was rosy until the bushfires and the coronavirus, that’s not true, the economy was tanking beforehand”.
“The main issue is the economy was already tanking and this (coronavirus) came on top of it”.
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