Speaking to the media on Friday, the PM hinted that the government could consider extending some of its stimulus measures beyond their September expiration date, but only for some sectors of the economy.
Commenting on Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe’s opinion that JobKeeper may need to be extended beyond its cut-off date, if the economy is not up to speed, PM Scott Morrison said: “We’ve always been flexible about how we manage this.
“We are planning to ensure that the economy and jobs get the support they need to get us through this crisis and to get us out the other side. JobKeeper and JobSeeker, and how they’re currently framed, have got their legislative time frame heading out to the end of September.
“But it is important to ensure that we come out of this crisis strongly and we continue to create jobs in our economy. And so, we’ve always been flexible about how we manage this.”
He, however, noted that the government’s view is that more of the economy will be less in need of specific support.
“What is important to know is that, as time goes on, more of the economy gets stronger. And more of your economy is less in need of those specific supports than it was at first,” Mr Morrison said.
“But some sectors of your economy will need them for longer.”
Referring specifically to JobKeeper, the PM noted: “That’s an option for the government to consider.”
Reiterating the PM’s remarks, the Treasurer said in a separate interview that the government is aware that some sectors will need additional support.
“We recognise that maybe additional support will be needed for some sectors that are slower to recover,” Josh Frydenberg told Channel 7.
In his address to the media, the PM went beyond the relief packages, also evaluating the RBA’s coronavirus response.
Unprompted, the PM judged that the “Reserve Bank may have run out of ammo” when it comes to “what they can do on cash rates”, but assured that the government is ready to fill the void.
“The Commonwealth government, in particular, has certainly stepped into the breach and we’ve done so significantly and we anticipate that we’ll need to do that for some time,” the PM said.
However, asked whether the RBA and the government are at odds, Mr Morrison said: “No, we are actually ad idem on these issues.
“I don’t think there’s any real difference between what the Reserve Bank and the government is saying, and more importantly, what the government is doing.
“I think it’s very consistent and the numbers and the investments and the supports we’re putting in place, I think, back that up. So, we’ll continue to go down that path.”