View from The Hill: MPs aim for lightning sitting on stimulus as third parliamentarian contracts virus

When will the government present the next coronavirus stimulus package?

australian flag with medical equipment in the background

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra

A pared-down parliament will aim to pass the government’s stimulus package in a single day’s sitting on Monday.

As a third federal parliamentarian tested positive for coronavirus, the government and opposition agreed to pair 30 a side from the 151 House of Representatives members. The Senate will also be reduced.

Members with personal or family health issues will be the first off the list of attendees, followed by those who live furthest away. Staff travelling from interstate will be kept to a minimum.

If complications arise, the sitting – originally scheduled for four days – might have to extend to a second day but both sides want to avoid that.

On Tuesday, NSW Liberal senator Andrew Bragg announced he had tested positive for the virus. This followed Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton and Queensland Nationals senator Susan McDonald also being confirmed with the virus.

Mr Bragg contracted the disease at a March 6 wedding where multiple guests were infected. He chaired a Senate committee on March 9. Senate crossbencher Rex Patrick, one of those present at the inquiry, said he had no symptoms but was going into self-isolation and would get tested.

Foreign affairs late Tuesday issued advice to Australians abroad that if they want to come home, they should do so now. “If you’re already overseas and wish to return to Australia, we recommend you do so as soon as possible by commercial means.”

Against the background of increasingly disastrous news from the business community and more chaos in supermarkets, Scott Morrison and his senior ministers are working at full speed on the new support measures to be added to last week’s $17.6 billion package.

The NSW government unveiled a $2.3 billion package including health measures and tax relief for small business.

With travel to and from overseas drying up and local air travel drastically reduced as events are cancelled and businesses ground their employees, Qantas announced it was cutting 90 per cent of its international capacity and 60 per cent of its domestic capacity.

The government is blunt about the devastating economic consequences of the virus crisis.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, who usually puts an upbeat interpretation on everything, said:

“The impact is clearly getting more severe. We expect that businesses will close and people will lose their jobs. We are currently working to provide the necessary support through what will be a difficult transition. That is the grim reality of it.”

Mr Cormann said tourism and hospitality sectors were “very much on the front line”, while also pointing to the difficulties of the not-for-profit sector.

“There are a whole series of Australians at the lower income end who are facing particular challenges,” he said. These people would need “appropriate levels of support”.

Mr Cormann said the government was considering “to what extent we might be able to channel those workers who have less work for a company like Qantas, but might be able to do more work for companies like Coles and Woolworths”.

The government announced expanded telehealth services. They will now cover midwives, access to more GPs, and a range of specialist services including general surgeons, psychiatrists and mental health support, and geriatricians.


Read more: View from The Hill: Government forced to “scale up” fiscal response to deal with impact of “scaled up” health response


Health Minister Greg Hunt also said 230,000 new masks had just arrived in Australia and flagged an expansion of testing. He said he had had discussions with the Doherty Institute about new testing regimes, so “we can expand beyond the individual tests”.

“They are looking at ways of expediting the testing process, and, indeed, some significant new mass testing processes over and above what we’re doing.”The Conversation

Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

What do you hope will be included in the next stimulus package?

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    COMMENTS

    To make a comment, please register or login
    Incognito
    19th Mar 2020
    3:51pm
    How about releasing the first stimulus package immediately? Those lower income people and pensioners need it now not in 2 to 4 weeks.
    Foxy
    19th Mar 2020
    4:58pm
    Agree agree agree! Supermarket shelves are bare now - longer people are expected to wait the worse it appears to be getting!

    Seniors and everyone whom this package was directed to should have received it within 48 hours IMO - always thought it was simply a "press of a button" by Centrelink" once the amount was released/decided?

    I personally know of people desperate til their next fortnightly payment! Appalling!
    older&wiser
    20th Mar 2020
    8:36am
    Foxy - agree! Funny how 'with the press of a button' Centrelink can cut your benefits. Very quickly.
    My uncle died on a Saturday. When we went to notify Centrelink, they advised it had already been done - on the Monday after his death. Don't know if it was the nursing home or funeral place, but they were VERY quick at reducing my aunt's benefits.
    And yes - the stimulus package should have been released as soon as it was announced. Is just like the banks - when amounts go up, they are VERY slow to pass it on. But if cutting the amount - voila! - instant.
    rtrish
    19th Mar 2020
    3:55pm
    Somehow I wonder if the lower income people and pensioners will get anything this time. Seeing as a $750 payment (not yet received!) was announced already. My guess is business this time.
    Incognito
    19th Mar 2020
    3:58pm
    I was thinking the same, I doubt they will still not raise the rate. Raisetherate.org.au
    Anonymous
    19th Mar 2020
    4:06pm
    They will come up with some sort of excuse not to hand it over.
    Foxy
    19th Mar 2020
    5:03pm
    They don't want us to get too excited ..after all our "fantastic" $10.90 increase starts also in March - right? Almost pays for 1 x pack 24 "dunny" rolls! Pathetic!
    101
    19th Mar 2020
    5:14pm
    Pensioners don't need any more support, nothing will change for them, they will still get the pension every fortnight. The ones needing support are the low income WORKERS with families, those in the GIG economy and casual workers.
    panos
    19th Mar 2020
    7:11pm
    How caring of you CARE BEAR.. to trample on the pensioners
    KSS
    19th Mar 2020
    9:34pm
    Oh for goodness sake! Stop whinging.

    When the first package was announced the $750 was to be paid on 31 March. That is still 12 days away. Just be patient. If you qualify for it, you will get it. Nothing has changed.

    And business also got something last time or have you forgotten? I fully expect small to medium businesses to get more, but we cannot forget big business either, not if you want to save jobs.
    older&wiser
    20th Mar 2020
    8:40am
    Was waiting for 'Care Bear' to put his 2 bob in....

    Really needs to change their name as 'Care' is certainly a word that they don't know the meaning of.

    You could say that Anzac Day WASN'T on MAY 25th, and he would argue about that!
    101
    20th Mar 2020
    11:03am
    Tell me what will change for Pensioners, will payments stop?
    Now compare that with low income WORKERS, some with families to support.
    Loss of total income... they are the ones the Gov't needs to support.
    As for name change, you only need to change half of yours, you only need Older because you certainly aren't Wiser. If you are you must have been really dumb before.
    Nika
    19th Mar 2020
    4:10pm
    Testing is a joke. My daughter has had immediate contact and is symptomatic can't get tested because she hasn't traveled. Giving large companies like Qantas cash is only a cash grab. They will bounce back in no time.
    panos
    19th Mar 2020
    7:12pm
    I wonder how much of Joyce's 23 million dollars he earns will be helping his staff out yes pigs fly
    Foxy
    19th Mar 2020
    7:31pm
    .... a very subdued and pale looking Alan Joyce on tonight's news! Not his normal "cock sure and smiling" attitude!
    KSS
    19th Mar 2020
    9:39pm
    Panos you really need to keep your internal bias in check. Mr Joyce announced a few weeks ago that he will not be drawing a salary for a minimum three months plus all bonuses were cancelled and other directors took pay cuts. All this to help save jobs. At the very least they deserve credit for that.

    Given that planes are likely to be grounded for at least six months, just what do you expect will happen to the workforce?
    panos
    20th Mar 2020
    8:54am
    Maybe when he was announcing the massive job losses at Qantas he could have stated how many jobs he had saved due to the largesse from his executive staff?

    Oh by the way you peasants, I have a job for you all packing shelves at woolies, HOWZAT !!!!!!
    eraser
    19th Mar 2020
    4:59pm
    Reserve Bank cash rate now .25% deeming rate should be suspended or scrapped
    Mootnell
    19th Mar 2020
    5:52pm
    It’s Based on what your other sources of income are such as super and shares. A rort at best disguised theft at worst.
    I agree though, scrap it and people just pay tax on their income above the basic pension.
    panos
    19th Mar 2020
    7:13pm
    Hmmm shares are doing well at the moment are they not.....

    Someone with a lot of money is going to make a MOTZA when it is all over and it bounces back up to 7000...
    Incognito
    19th Mar 2020
    11:02pm
    Panos they certainly are going to make billions, happens every time after a world crisis, whoever has the money will spend up like a shopping spree sale and will do extremely well. Part of Bill Gate's event 201 plan.
    Life experience
    19th Mar 2020
    5:13pm
    Pensioners are getting income. Their income not gone down. To nil. Some people are getting no income. Lost their jobs etc.
    They should be helped now. A lot of people live from wage to wage. They will be starving soon. To stop unrest and more houses being robbed. Because of necessity. This needs to be addressed.
    101
    19th Mar 2020
    5:16pm
    At last a rational comment. But wait for the onslaught from the entitled lot.
    Incognito
    19th Mar 2020
    5:30pm
    I agree Life Experience, it is a real worry about those who will not be able to work, some are getting paid leave but many are not. Charity organizations will be over worked. Watch the crime, domestic violence and suicide rate increase. We have to avoid civil unrest.
    Mootnell
    19th Mar 2020
    6:02pm
    The Care Bear why are you an entitled lot if you have worked, saved hard, ridden out the various financial crashes and still have a bit to fall back on due to that saving ethos?
    There are plenty of people who have The attitude ‘live for today and bugger tomorrow attitude’, am I supposed to be happy to continue to enable that at the expense of another?
    What’s happening is a deliberate action bought about by corporate greed and poor governance, save your derision for them and not those who are still backing this country.
    For Believe me it’s those savers money that will now carry the countries debt.
    The Reserve bank has been quietly buying up all bank debt over the last few months. Guess who now owes the countries debt.......the people of Australia. Guess who underpins it.....the saver.
    Rae
    19th Mar 2020
    7:31pm
    Yes I agree and it's not always the low income earner who often doesn't have high debts and lives frugally. Those earners used to spending a few thousand a fortnight are going to really feel this if they have no savings.
    Rae
    19th Mar 2020
    7:34pm
    Yes Mootnell. When the Us fell apart in 2009 it was cash dollars passing hand to hand that held the economy sort of together and prevented chaos.

    Let's see how it pans out here with most running on credit and spending every dollar they get with little thought for rainy days.
    Mez
    20th Mar 2020
    10:18am
    COULDN'T CARE BEAR displays a basic lack of neurones in comprehending facts and figures as well as having no empathy.
    Symptoms very similar to someone having dementia!
    101
    20th Mar 2020
    3:30pm
    MEZ, you really need to get a grip. My point is that the Low Income workers need the handout before pensioners. Nothing will change for pensioners, if they are struggling now, they will continue to struggle,but, pension payments will still be paid. Compare that to people in the GIG economy, low paid hospitality workers who are more likely to lose their jobs and therefore income. Some have families to support.
    We need to support our Workers first, they are our assets, they pay tax, before we increase support to our Welfare population because Nothing will change for them.
    If I'm wrong, tell me what will change.
    panos
    20th Mar 2020
    3:35pm
    If they are low paid they don't pay tax anyway. Get a refund...

    Welfare horrible word..... It's people who need income support to live so they dont cause havoc for the rest of us who do pay taxes


    Glad I don't have rental houses as investments in fact glad I dont have any investments
    Mootnell
    19th Mar 2020
    5:46pm
    How convenient, paring down the senate/government just as it’s a bought to vote on the 10,000k transaction money bill. They snuck through the disgusting ‘bail in’ bill with a paltry 5 out of 7 senators passing it through (not even a legal quorum) we have over 70 sitting senators that should have been present. Make no mistake these two bills are very much linked and dependant on getting access to your savings. Dangerous virus my butt not as dangerous as our hypocritical government.
    Anonymous
    19th Mar 2020
    6:58pm
    Makes no difference at all.
    Rae
    19th Mar 2020
    7:37pm
    It'll make a difference if all your deposits suddenly become worthless shares and you can't sell them to pay the bills.

    The Bail In would not have passed with a full Senate.
    Connie
    19th Mar 2020
    5:49pm
    The one of payment of $750-00 will be released at the end of March and everyone should have theres at the latest by middle of April to the people who are to receive this payment....
    Life experience
    19th Mar 2020
    6:00pm
    The one off payment does not go to people who have lost their jobs and have absolutely no income , some no savings. This is wrong. They should be helped. Pensioners have income. It’s small. But enough to struggle through. They are the lucky ones here.
    panos
    19th Mar 2020
    7:16pm
    I was born in April but I feel I will never ever forget this April 2020 if I survive this virus
    Foxy
    19th Mar 2020
    7:47pm
    So much for your "Life experience"! Obviously never had to pay private rental in your life out of your pension? Enough to struggle on? Yeah maybe if you own your own home and not sickly!

    Try being in Melb. - Sydney in the private rental market with simply the pension? No super - no savings - just the pension! 50/70% of your meagre monthly payment on rent alone?
    Ha - think you maybe need more "Life experience" before making outrageous statements like that! Maybe you didn't "think" it thru' - right?

    Pensioners the lucky ones? - not in the real world! FIFO and GIG workers will be some of the hardest hit - also casual hospitality workers! Not to mention small business and sole traders!

    The financial crisis looming is more frightening than the virus! - just my opinion ...............
    101
    20th Mar 2020
    3:32pm
    So what will CHANGE for you?
    VerbalVirtuosity
    19th Mar 2020
    6:10pm
    One group which has not been even mentioned, who also may need to receive some handouts or financial support, are the self funded retirees, (after working all their lives to set themselves up as to not be a burden on the government or have invested some inheritance wisely) who may also be unemployed or working part-time often due to no fault of their own/due to age discrimination, who may have one or two investment properties, but you really need 3 investment properties before you start to see some cash flow. So cash poor self funded retirees, too "old" for anyone to want to employ yet too young for the pension. I would like to see this demographic considered, acknowledged and remembered, as some tenants of those investments properties may lose their jobs (another issue/not good) and that would then put the senior group at financial risk
    panos
    19th Mar 2020
    7:19pm
    Sell em at a loss and cash out if your worried about your investment houses and need dollars you have assets to sell, sell em to survive... Dont expect the govt to bail you out.. so you can keep em
    older&wiser
    20th Mar 2020
    8:50am
    panos - could not agree more! I have a friend (aged around 74, single) who is a self funded retiree, lives in very exclusive area of Gold Coast, owns a minimum of 6 rental homes (not units). Huge boat moored on the pontoon, 3 cars in the garage, and all he complains about is how, as a self funded retiree, he gets no govt assistance! Oh - and complaining because his overseas trip has had to be cancelled.
    When I mention selling one of his houses, he almost has a fit! The latest really made my blood pressure go up a few octaves. He was annoyed that his personal assistant couldn't go early to the supermarket to do the shopping, because she had no pension card to show!
    panos
    20th Mar 2020
    8:59am
    OMG, amazing no doubt true story of the entitled.

    There is them and then the rest of us and it will always be the same....

    I bet he is busy now after letting his personal assistant go, trying to find someone over 60 with a senior's card that can get his toilet paper for him and wipe his A*** for him.
    Triss
    19th Mar 2020
    6:43pm
    Time for the government to lead by example, cut their salaries by 50% which is not to be refunded at the end of the troubles. Bring in asset assessment for ex politicians forever.
    panos
    19th Mar 2020
    7:19pm
    Here, here but it will never ever happen.
    panos
    19th Mar 2020
    7:24pm
    Oh yes I forgot to add, I see the Banks are at there best as well, stimulus package the reserve lowers rates again and the BANKS are very very quite. While oil hits an 18 year low the petrol companies are doing $1.60 a litre and diesel has not budged at all for many months...

    ACCC says motorists should shop around, toothless tigers....
    Rae
    19th Mar 2020
    7:48pm
    Bit of a worry. The companies are pulling rigs out right now to avoid further losses. With our fuel supplies in Singapore and borders closing it could get nasty very quickly. This country is run by inexperienced fools.
    panos
    19th Mar 2020
    8:12pm
    Who do we have to blame if there are fuel shortages coming guess what the blinkered govt, we dont need a steady fuel storage in this country.

    Now we sow what the govt has reaped.
    Azzo
    19th Mar 2020
    8:39pm
    Ok that all sounds great and I agree that there are pensioners that are doing it tough and they deserve the stimulus package but what about the self funded retirees ???
    I worked for 50yrs retired at 67 years old pay all my taxes, never never received a hand out from the government or the dole . The government says save and don’t be a burden on the country and that’s what I did.
    WHAT INCENTIVE DO I OR ANY ONE reading this as self funded have to SAVE .... NON . The problem is , I still PAY FULL PRICE for everything even my car licence . Thank you Government ! SO WHATS THE ANDWER FIR US , only one .. and that is SPEND ALL OUR HARD EARNED MONEY AND BE BURDEN TO THE GOVERNMENT ? Now let’s see how Mutch they like to have MORE OLD PEOPLE ON THE PENSION ???? It’s a NO BRAINER Mr givernment .. convince people to self fund give them an incentive to do and guess what ??? Your government funding pension will be more than HALVED .. and I’m not even a financial advisor lol ..
    panos
    20th Mar 2020
    9:04am
    Ohh here we go another self funded retiree, with there hand out for dollars from the govt.

    Perhaps you can give all your obviously hard earned savings, tax avoidance, through super and tax breaks and accountant shenanigans away, and come onto the pension.

    You will then be very happy with the rest of them......

    LOL
    gonebush
    20th Mar 2020
    7:49am
    well will see the 750 bucks they say we are supposed to get when its in the bank then will believe it till then who knows
    Incognito
    20th Mar 2020
    3:23pm
    They are rolling it out from March 31st.
    Beelzebubbles
    20th Mar 2020
    3:33pm
    What repugnant, pallid abomination that slithered from the diseased Petri dish that is the IPA decided to quarantine the $750 for any poor bastard trapped on the LNP/Forrest Indue "cashless card" SCAM??? Just when I think this LNP infestation can't stoop any lower, they dive to new depths of cruelty.
    JoJozep
    22nd Mar 2020
    11:50am
    Why do we bother?

    We are like lap dogs looking up for someone to throw scraps off the table!

    Wake up please! Note the Announcements in the press: "Government releases $189 Billion"
    My first reaction was Wow! They’re doing something about the crashing economy. How wrong I was to find this a beat up by ScoMo & Co. and although not totally false, totally misleading advertising by the "press" (you all know who I mean).

    The new daily reports: (In my summary form):

    1. $189 Billion stimulus package to go towards economy rescue. Package contains measures to prop up businesses worth under $50 million with loans up to $100,000 tax free for tax withheld from Employees salary and wages up to 100% of tax withheld. (Tax withheld?) Please explain!

    2. Not for profit charities $25.2 Billion. (What grants? loans? electorate dependent?) (Please explain)!

    3. The first $17.6 Billion and $105 Billion of Reserve bank action to go to big business lenders and banks in the form of guarantees? (Shit, please explain)!

    4. Under SME conditions, Eligible banks and lenders will get guarantees of loans of up to $250,000 of up to 50% of loan to new customers, but not existing customers. NC

    Then YLC reports above: "Aside from the $4.8 billion in handouts, another $8 billion will go towards wage subsidies and a major expansion of the instant asset write-off program and around $11 billion will go to businesses and households." - Quote from above.

    Trying to unravel this is so complex my head hurts. Like winning a lottery, you're told how much you get if you're a winner. Not what each retiree gets, much less pensioners.

    Your $750 handout x by say 6,000,000 recipients is around $4.5 Billion. So out of a total package announced of $239 Billion to help us all, $4.5 Billion goes to pensioners and people on welfare. That's a little less than 1.9% of the total handouts. So for all the government bullshit announcements from ScoMo and Co, bugger all is going to pensioners and welfare recipients of taxpayer money.

    Gee, the ScoMo election team is working over time, appearing to help people in need, appearing benevolent when in fact, all they want is your vote. Also note, there's $122.6 Billion made available by the Reserve Bank, but mainly to help big and small business, which is paper money and QE. The poor people in this country will be lucky to get a sniff of this.

    So Bullshit on ScoMo & Co, time is drawing near to the next election.
    Incognito
    22nd Mar 2020
    1:23pm
    The sad thing is the gullible will believe that they are helping the people but sounds to me all they are doing is helping their mates get richer, what good is a loan to small business if they do not have any customers, puts them further in debt with more worry hanging over their head about how they are going to pay it back. As for big business surely they can take out some money from their tax havens and ride the storm with all their profits.
    And which not for profit charities those run by their mates?
    And where is all this money coming from, are they going to print it? What funding elsewhere will be withheld or stopped?
    The best way to get this economy going is to start a big infrastructure that will provide thousands of jobs, was done after the war why not now? Start by building more housing for the homeless and low income people, or even middle income people could rent to buy.
    panos
    22nd Mar 2020
    1:26pm
    That is the thing they wont pay it back move it offshore when this all blows over go bankrupt and off to another country just like sam azis went off to egypt and wont be back
    panos
    22nd Mar 2020
    12:18pm
    " Employees salary and wages up to 100% of tax withheld. (Tax withheld?) Please explain!"

    It means the employee pays tax but the employer gets to keep it are'nt they lucky..Bosses get richer everyday, they will be rolling in it $$$$ that is
    panos
    22nd Mar 2020
    12:21pm
    Oh as well this is going to be rorted to the hilt by the same type of persons that did the childcare scams and the training packages.....

    There is going to be a lot more wealthy dual nationals.
    Incognito
    22nd Mar 2020
    2:49pm
    HERE IS SOMETHING I GOT IN MY EMAIL TODAY FROM SCOTT PAPE (Barefoot Investor) send it to everyone, This is what Scott Paper wrote not me:

    So, I have some bad news.

    I’ve spent this week fighting a virus.

    It’s dangerous, it’s destructive … and it’s about to explode, and potentially infect millions of people.

    Let me explain: it’s a financial cousin of the coronavirus which I’m calling the ‘Payday Lending Pandemic’.

    See, this weekend, in kitchens and living rooms across the country, people are stressing out about their finances:

    The single mum who works as a waitress, who just had her hours cut, and has no food in the fridge to feed her kids.

    The small business owner who sits with his wife, worried about how he’ll pay his loyal staff and make the rent.

    The father who drives an Uber to feed his family, who gets a nasty cough — but has no sick pay or entitlements.

    They’re all terrified.

    Yet there’s a small group of multi-millionaire businessmen who are rubbing their greedy little hands with glee:

    Payday lenders.

    See, up until now they’ve made their fortunes by preying on the mentally disabled, the addicted and the sick.

    Yet this corona crisis is about to open the payday loan market up to millions of brand-new customers.

    In a moment, I’m going to ask you — yes you — to help me stop them. But first I want to explain how dangerous and contagious this Payday Lending Pandemic is:

    This week the Reserve Bank cut the cash rate to 0.25% ... yet payday lenders can legally charge their customers an outrageous 407.6% per annum (not a typo) for a one month loan.

    And, while they’re marketed as ‘short-term loans up to $2,000’, the reality is these loans are designed to put vulnerable people into a long-term debt spiral, where one loan is used to pay off another. And another. And another.

    After all, the payday lenders know that when all else fails they have a guaranteed payer:

    You.

    Or, more accurately, Centrelink (which we collectively pay for through our taxes).

    The payday predators can swoop in and snatch their clients’ Centrelink payments before they can spend it on food, medicine or schoolbooks. And that’s exactly what they do (they also pull the same trick with people’s wages).

    Okay, ready?

    Now I’m going to make you feel really angry.The Government knows that payday lending and consumer leases (hello Radio Rentals) are on the nose.

    And that’s why, four-and-a-half years ago, they decided to do something about it.

    So they launched … drum roll … a REVIEW.

    Bam! Pow!

    And surprise, surprise, that review came back and recommended that these mongrels have a muzzle put on their lending practices, otherwise known as the Small Amount Credit Contract reforms (SACC for short).

    Done and dusted, right?

    Oh, no, no, senor!

    In fact, the Government has sat on the recommended reforms for nearly four years, and as late as last week they said they still need more time to consider.

    What the hell is going on?

    I’ll tell you what the hell is going on.

    The businessmen who own these payday lending outfits are seriously rich, and seriously powerful.

    In fact, they’re so rich, and so powerful, that they employ an army of lobbyists to influence our politicians.

    And these lobbyists are good.

    They’ve tied this thing up in knots for years and NOTHING has happened. Which is exactly what they’re paid to do.

    Meanwhile the payday lenders can continue making hundreds of millions of dollars off the backs of battlers.

    And here’s where it gets downright disgusting:

    With the corona-crisis, the Government is (rightly) handing out billions of dollars in an effort to stimulate the economy and look after society’s most vulnerable.

    However, some of this stimulus will actually end up stimulating the pockets of the multi-millionaire payday lenders.

    That sucks, right?

    Now of course there have been some heroes — not-for-profit consumer advocates — fighting the good fight against these predators, and their lobbyists.

    Truthfully, though, it’s like they’ve been in the ring with Mike Tyson … for almost five years.

    I met up with one of these battle-scarred boxers — Gerard Brody, CEO of the Consumer Action Law Centre.

    “After all this time we’ve almost given up”, says Gerard.

    “We can’t even get so much as a meeting with the responsible Minister. The Assistant Treasurer, Michael Sukkar, is in charge of implementing these reforms, but it feels like he just doesn’t care.”

    So the lobbyists have won, right?

    Wrong.

    Ding, ding — it’s time for you and me to get in the ring.

    We may not be able to do anything about this damn coronavirus, but we can sure as hell wash our hands of this Payday Lending Pandemic. Even better, I’ve found us a vaccine, and his name is the Michael Sukkar MP.

    I just reckon the honorable member needs a little reminder of just who he’s working for.

    We the people.

    So, given I’ve been ‘social distancing’, I’ve had a bit of time on my hands. Maybe too much time. Enough time to track down his personal email address:

    Michael.Sukkar.MP@aph.gov.au

    Now here’s where you come in.

    I need you to send Michael Sukkar an email right now.

    In the subject line you could write: “Look after the little people, not the lobbyists”.

    And in the body of the email you could write: “Do your job and put a muzzle on these mongrels right now!”

    Now look, I don’t want to be a hater. I honestly believe that every politician — on both sides of the aisle — wants to look after Aussies who are under a huge amount of financial stress right now. And I know that if enough people email Michael Sukkar this weekend then he’ll take notice of us.

    I’ll be back next week to answer all your questions about the corona-crisis. And I genuinely hope that, when I do, I’ll be able to tell you that millions of hard-up Aussies have dodged the Payday Lending Pandemic (even if we have to blow up the Government’s email server to do it).

    It’s time to wash our hands of this pandemic — and if there’s anyone up to the job, it’s Michael Sukkar.

    Tread Your Own Path!

    P.S. If you’re reading this you’re probably in social isolation, so you too have some time on your hands. Instead of reading scary headlines, let’s make some ourselves.

    Please, spend 30 seconds — right now — and send an email to Michael.Sukkar.MP@aph.gov.au.

    As a society we will be judged by how we look after our most vulnerable.

    Let’s fight for them.

    By Scott Pape
    JoJozep
    22nd Mar 2020
    3:54pm
    After some detective work, I see where Scott pape is coming from.

    I have translated the first page of his comments and someone else can do the rest. Here it is.
    " Employees salary and wages up to 100% of tax withheld. (Tax withheld?) Please explain!"

    It means the employee pays tax but the employer gets to keep it are'nt they lucky..Bosses get richer everyday, they will be rolling in it $$$$ that is
    panos
    22nd Mar 2020
    12:21pm
    Oh as well this is going to be rorted to the hilt by the same type of persons that did the childcare scams and the training packages.....

    There is going to be a lot more wealthy dual nationals.
    musicveg
    22nd Mar 2020
    2:49pm
    HERE IS SOMETHING I GOT IN MY EMAIL TODAY FROM SCOTT PAPE (Barefoot Investor) send it to everyone, This is what Scott Paper wrote not me:

    So, I have some bad news.

    I’ve spent this week fighting a virus.

    It’s dangerous, it’ll be destructive and it’s about to explode, and potentially infect millions of people.

    Let me explain: it’s a financial cousin of the corona virus which I’m calling the Payday Lending Pandemic.

    See, this weekend, in kitchens and living rooms across the country, people are stressing out about their finances:

    The single mum who works as a waitress, who just had her hours cut, and has no food in the fridge to feed her kids.

    The small business owner who sits with his wife, worried about how he would pay his loyal staff and make the rent.

    The father who drives an Uber to feed his family and who gets a nasty cough, but has no sick pay or entitlements.

    They’re all terrified.

    Yet there’s a small group of multi-millionaire businessmen who are rubbing their greedy little hands with glee: Payday lenders.

    See, up until now, they’ve made their fortunes by preying on the mentally disabled, the addicted and the sick.

    Yet this corona crisis is about to open the payday loan market up to millions of brand-new customers.

    In a moment, I’m going to ask you all, yes you all, yes you all to help me stop them. But first I want to explain how dangerous and contagious this Payday Lending Pandemic is:

    This week the Reserve Bank cut the cash rate to 0.25% ... yet payday lenders can legally charge their customers an outrageous 407.6% per annum (not a typo) for a one month loan.
    Incognito
    22nd Mar 2020
    4:06pm
    Why did you copy some of what I posted, I was interested in hearing what you think but cannot see any comments except the first line? Did you send the email to Michael Sukkar?
    JoJozep
    22nd Mar 2020
    3:59pm
    Sorry, The system is still rooted! Would the editor of this column (Your First Choices) do something about the inability of the system to accept things like " and ' without going into hieroglyphics. I have seen this problem for at least 2-3 years now.

    FIX the bloody thing!!!!!!! It's bloody annoying.
    Incognito
    22nd Mar 2020
    4:07pm
    Yes they do not remove scam advertising either, as above from LM I have reported it from about 3 or 4 topics.
    JoJozep
    22nd Mar 2020
    4:06pm
    Hey all! Look at Scott Pape's post!

    I just discovered something. There is a Chinese character in the way it reads and is translated for example I'm becomes I' BULLSHIT- CHINESE CHARACTER. Are our comments being spied upon by the Chinese?

    Come on Editor, come clean or I'll never write another post.
    JoJozep
    22nd Mar 2020
    4:26pm
    Can't believe it!

    All the hieroglyphics have disappeared! There is someone watching these posts!

    Musicveg, I agree with the majority of Scott Pape's comments, but I don't feel it's a total disaster. Yes there is tremendous upheaval both in sickness and financial matters, and whether or not the oldies (myself included) will live through it is anybodies guess, it's best to look at the possible bright side of life to come.
    Incognito
    22nd Mar 2020
    5:11pm
    The main thing he was trying to get across was the payday lenders and how much they are making and will take advantage of the situation.
    Incognito
    22nd Mar 2020
    7:53pm
    So pensioners, austudy and others are missing out:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/22/australian-jobseekers-to-get-550-increase-as-part-of-huge-coronavirus-welfare-package
    JoJozep
    24th Mar 2020
    2:50pm
    OK, time to stop bashing the PM! As the good Lord said as he was dying on the cross, "forgive them lord for they know not what they do"

    But!,

    Ok! still we have to live with the consequences of Covid-19. Something that's been swept under the carpet, is that we are facing a testing kit shortage. Only in the next week or so will stocks be replenished. In the meantime, hundreds if not thousands of people with C-19 symptoms are not being tested, so the spread that could have been limited further, is happening anyway.

    WHY? Is it cost? Is it complacency? or is it government incompetence? Why too, is the press relatively silent on this issue? Above it is written, 250,000 masks arrived this week to quote health MP Greg Hunt. Really? what, we didn't need them before? Why spend $189 billion and so it seems, with little on preventative methods and equipment. I haven't yet seen a disinfectant truck or hand spray being used in Australia, yet we keep saying we are the leading virus protection country in the world. Sorry! I just can't accept these statements.

    Those in the medical profession are being too patriotic. Our local GP waiting room for example, do provide hand disinfectants but no hand washing facilities, except in toilets, - hardly the most hygienic way to ensure germs don't get you. There are no masks provided. The room is not disinfected by pressure spray to my knowledge, so there I hope I won't catch the virus when I visit tomorrow for my Diabetes checkup.

    By the way, why is Coles in Riversdale Rd. Camberwell out of stock of disinfectants/hand sanitizes? They are critical to wipe handles, locks etc at front doors. They have not restocked 3/4 of their shelves for the past 2 months (8 weeks), as I used to visit twice a week on different days for at least 7 weeks before home lock down. The shelves are always bare. Is Coles deliberately creating a sense of panic? They have a massive warehouse, why can't they deliver a truckload of disinfectants. It would supply Coles and half of Camberwell for a month. Is it because the other shelf providers want to keep their priority ordering?

    There is no shortages of non essentials like chocolate, kids lollies, soft drinks and other harmful goods. Nor is there panic buying of such goods. (Their prices have not gone down thank goodness, so the more gullible keep away.) I have seen close at hand, once a young child screams for food, the first thing mum reaches for is a choc bar to keep him quiet, even though his clothes are busting at the seams from dire obesity.
    Incognito
    24th Mar 2020
    7:46pm
    Yes I heard about the testing shortage, but are they accurate anyway? They say only 90% accurate, that is not good enough for me, could be a false positive or a false negative.


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