Stimulus to focus on small business

The Australian, 5 March 2020

Josh Frydenberg has announced the government will spend more than $1 billion on its stimulus package to respond to the impact of the coronavirus but warned its scope will be focused on helping small businesses.

The Treasurer went on a media blitz on Thursday morning, talking about the upcoming policy that would be announced “sooner rather than later.”

“We are focusing on ensuring that businesses stay in business, Australians stay in jobs and that the cash flow will be maintained,” Mr Frydenberg told Sky News.

Mr Frydenberg said the stimulus would rely on a fast tracked state infrastructure project that Michael McCormack announced on Wednesday, as well as small business investment, but warned it would not be a “cash splash”.

“We’ll have a series of measures that is responding in a targeted, scaleable way but also a responsible way,” Mr Frydenberg told ABC Radio.

“What we are giving serious consideration to is an investment-type allowance.

“What we do want to focus on is supporting small business and we’ve also seen a direct impact in key sectors like tourism, like education, and our agriculture sector.

Asked about the dollar figure the government would spend, he said “it’s going to have a b in front of it, that’s for sure”.

Mr Frydenberg also said it was clear after an IMF phone meeting on Wednesday night with other economic leaders, that many countries were considering fiscal responses to revive economies.

“Ultimately it won’t be the economists that solve this problem it will be the scientists.”