CANBERRA, AAP – The federal government is playing up tax cuts already in the pipeline as it prepares to end the JobKeeper wage subsidy measure later this month.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will make the case when he addresses a Business Council of Australia dinner on Tuesday about the government’s economic recovery plan for households and businesses after COVID-19.
“To date around $9 billion in tax cuts has landed in the pockets of 8.8 million Australians during the course of the pandemic,” he will say, according to speech notes published by media outlets ahead of the event.
“Even as temporary emergency supports like JobKeeper come to an end, a further $2 billion per month in tax cuts will flow to Australians between now and the end of September.
“Allowing Australians to keep more of what they earn will help to support the economic recovery by giving households more money to spend at local businesses.”
Mr Fydenberg will also discuss budget repair after coronavirus. The government’s books are in the red to the tune of more than $100 million.
The JobKeeper program, set up to help businesses with wages bills and stem job losses during the pandemic, is due to end on March 31.
Meanwhile, this week’s Australian Bureau of Statistics jobless report for February due on Thursday could give the government good news.
Economists are expecting the unemployment rate to fall further to 6.3 per cent, or possibly lower, from 6.4 per cent in January.
They also expect a further 30,000 people to have joined the workforce in the month.
Ahead of key data, the ABS releases its weekly payroll jobs and wages report on Tuesday.
The previous report – a series introduced to provide a more frequent assessment of the impact of the recession on employment – showed about 85 per cent of the jobs lost at the start of the pandemic had been regained.
The ABS will also release its capital city house price index for the December quarter.
Private sector analysis shows house prices are rising at the fastest pace since 2003, a development the Reserve Bank of Australia is keeping an eye on to ensure lending standards are maintained.
The central bank will on Tuesday release the minutes of its March 2 board meeting, when it kept the cash rate at a record low 0.1 per cent.
RBA governor Philip Lowe told an online conference on Monday business investment needs to pick up if there is to be a strong and durable economy recovery.