As Australia was nearly able to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has focused on the fiscal policies to revive the country’s A$2 trillion ($1.3 trillion) economy, which was shaken badly by the virus outbreak.
On Tuesday, keeping a view to bring a transformation in the ideological stand of the country for the near post-pandemic era, Morrison called for an ideological truce between employers and workers to push the country’s economy effectively.
Morrison’s Economic Stimulus
So far, Australia has reported just over 7,100 COVID-19 infections, including 102 deaths, though the figure was well below numbers reported by many other developed countries. The government attributed the slowdown of the virus cases to tough preventive measures including social distancing rules and started opening up its business operations nearly a week ago.
With this development in the country, Morrison’s government has focused to boost the country’s economy, which was severely devastated by the pandemic. Morrison said the government has reserved of A$250 billion worth of stimulus to support Canberra to stand on its own feet for economic revival. “At some point you’ve got to get your economy out of intensive care,” Morrison said in a speech in Canberra.
Australia announced plans to remove the virus restrictions by July while nearly A$70 billion of government aid would be executed within September. On Monday, schools returned back to normal in many states across the country while Australia’s National Rugby League will this week become the world’s first contact sport to resume.
Cooperation between Employers and Workers
Morrison said his government would foster the relationship among unions, employers, and business groups and bring them together in the discussion related to industrial relations laws to push the country’s economy. The latest move of Morrison was similar to former Prime Minister Bob Hawke who was widely seen as Australia’s most transformative lawmaker since he won support from the political left to float the Australian dollar, remove controls on foreign exchange and interest rates, and lower tariffs on imports during the 1980s.
Australia has been facing challenges in its economic development since the divide between employers and workers in the country has grown in recent years amid stagnant wage growth and the rise of unemployment. Citing to implement a conciliatory approach, Morrison also suggested conducting vocational training programs for workers to enhance their skills.
Meanwhile, US biotechnology company Novavax Inc. (Novavax) said it had begun the first phase of a clinical trial of a novel coronavirus vaccine candidate in Australia. While the preliminary results are expected in July, Novavax’s Chief Scientific Officer Gregory Glenn told reporters in Melbourne, “We’ve really made great progress.”
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