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Large Net Debt Inevitable in Pandemic

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Tags: COVID-19, State Budget, Treasury

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader and Treasury spokesperson

News of Tasmania’s net debt likely to reach $2 billion within a year is unsurprising.

Coronavirus has hit our community hard, and that flows to government coffers. Public funds, by necessity, are being redirected to prevent the most extreme effects of the social and economic crises caused by the pandemic.

Moving forward, we will need to continue to spend to protect Tasmanians from the ongoing fallout of the virus.

It is vital we choose the most targeted and effective expenditures and do not be cowed by fear of debt generated to deliver public good. This spending is essential.

Increasingly, the Gutwein Government will need to invest in recovery. We urge the Premier to adopt a housing-led recovery, invest in critical social infrastructure that will sustain employment.

The Economic and Social Recovery Advisory Council has a tough job ahead of them, and it is important that they and the Premier are thinking outside the box of returning to normal.

In many ways, for too many Tasmanians, ‘normal’ wasn’t working. It shut people out of the ‘Golden Age’ our then Treasurer, now Premier, once boasted of. We need to seize this crisis-driven opportunity to create a better, fairer, greener Tasmania.