The government should adopt this. We put forward wage subsidies last year and the government said it was dangerous idea at the time until the queues formed outside the front of Centrelink offices.
Then they came on board. This is just a practical suggestion, it’s constructive. The chief medical officer, Dr [Paul] Kelly, said earlier this year we need to provide every incentive possible for people to be vaccinated. We know that Australia at this stage is running pretty close to last in the developed world when it comes to the rollout of the vaccine.
…if 100% got the jab, it would be $6 billion. For 80%, the figure that the government’s aiming at, the figure would be around about $5bn.
But that compares, with the cost of these lockdowns, it’s up to $2bn each and every week. And as well as of course being good for health, this is aimed at stimulating the economy.
You give $300 cash payments to Australians, they will spend it, creating and supporting jobs in their local communities, supporting economic activity, given that September has seen, of course, because of these lockdowns in the September quarter, it’s likely to be negative. And businesses and workers are really struggling.