Coronavirus Australia live update: Victoria reports 28 new Covid cases and NSW two as Queensland relaxes border restrictions

Northern NSW to be included in Queensland border zone and Victoria’s health department boss to front hotel quarantine inquiry. Follow today’s news and updates

7.40am BST

Asked about reports the government will bring forward its income tax cuts plan (an idea Labor previously supported), Chalmers says:

I certainly think that just bringing forward the tax cuts wouldn’t be a substitute for some of those proposals that you have talked about and some of the other respected commentators and economists have talked about. I think it would be very troubling if the government thought that bringing forward some tax cuts was a substitute for a comprehensive jobs plan, it clearly isn’t. You ask me about our previous view on stage 2. We still maintain the view that people need help. The economy needs spending power.

7.37am BST

Chalmers is critical of the government’s decision to taper the jobkeeper wage subsidy from next week.

Host Patricia Karvelas notes that Chalmers himself had called for the rate to fall and asks him why Labor has changed its mind.

The same point that we have been making throughout still stands today, and that point is, that at some future point, jobkeeper will be tapered away, ideally it won’t be a feature of the economy down the track. But we have always said, at every point, that the jobkeeper payments need to reflect the economic conditions, they need to be tailored to what is actually happening in the labour market and in the broader economy. We have been entirely consistent on that point and in pointing out that we think next Monday when all of this money is pulled out of the economy, that that will have very damaging consequences for workers and businesses and communities.

Continue reading… Source: The Guardian: Coronavirus Australia live update: Victoria reports 28 new Covid cases and NSW two as Queensland relaxes border restrictions ———