CANBERRA, AAP – Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has attacked the NSW treasurer for asking the federal government to support the state’s new business package.
Matt Kean wanted the Commonwealth to put additional money into the scheme to support businesses that have suffered a 40 per cent downturn during the summer.
But Mr Joyce spruiked the $63 billion of economic support the federal government pumped into NSW throughout the pandemic.
“We didn’t ask the NSW government to split the excessive $63 billion we spent on support with NSW already,” he told the Seven Network on Monday.
“Do you want to split that with us? If you just chuck that in our account we’ll give you the money, no problem in the world.”
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Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the government continued to roll out economic support.
“(Mr Kean) wants to half the bill in this particular instance. When it comes to people who have had to stay at home as a result of COVID we’re picking up 100 per cent of the bill,” he told the Nine Network.
“We have already seen more than 200,000 people in NSW receive more than $170 million from the federal government through the pandemic leave disaster payment.”
Mr Frydenberg also compared the NSW request to South Australia, which unveiled a small business support package over the weekend and didn’t approach the Commonwealth to split it.
“We welcome NSW making this contribution, but we recognise the federal government has done the bulk of the heavy lifting when it comes to the economic support rolled out across the country.”
Labor MP Joel Fitzgibbon hit back at the coalition, saying it had already wasted money giving it to profitable businesses through income support payments like JobKeeper.
“Too many people are looking at their situation, particularly business and their families, and they’re shaking their heads that the government isn’t prepared to do more,” he told the Nine Network.