Victoria’s COVID crisis causing financial stress Australia-wide

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The financial fallout of the second wave of the coronavirus in Victoria has been felt Australia-wide, according to the latest statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

According to the Household Impacts of COVID-19 survey in mid-August, fewer Australians expected that they would be able to pay household bills received in the next three months, compared to when the question was asked in mid-June (before the explosion of case numbers in Victoria).

The survey was conducted in mid-August, at a time when daily new cases of coronavirus in Victoria led to stage four restrictions in the state and extra caution across Australia.

Australians also reported feeling less able to raise $2000 within a week for something important in mid-August than was the case in mid-June.

One in seven Australians reported that their household was unable to pay one or more selected bills on time over the past 12 months due to a shortage of money.

While the majority of Australians (87 per cent) reported that their household expected to be able to pay bills received in the next three months, that figure was down from 94 per cent in mid-June.

In mid-August, 77 per cent of Australians reported that their household could raise $2000 for something important within a week, but that figure was down from 88 per cent in mid-June.

One in eight Australians (13 per cent) said they were receiving the coronavirus supplement in mid-August with people aged 1864 more likely to report receiving it than those aged 65 years and over (14 per cent compared with 6 per cent).

Feelings of anxiety and depression because of Victoria’s second wave were also being shared across the country, according to the ABS data.

“While Victoria has experienced the greatest surge in recent cases of COVID-19, our latest Household Impacts of COVID-19 Survey showed that the effects on how Australians are feeling are country-wide,” said ABS head of household surveys Michelle Marquardt.

“In fact, the mid-August results were consistent across Australia with no significant differences reported by people in Victoria when compared to the rest of Australia.”

With all of Australia seeming to be feeling Victoria’s pain, both financially and emotionally, the positive news is that the case numbers continue dropping and Premier Dan Andrews will on Sunday announce a roadmap out of stage four lockdown.

On Tuesday, Premier Andrews announced that that roadmap would actually be two roadmaps, one for regional Victoria, which is currently only in stage three lockdown and has seen case numbers reduce significantly, and a separate road map for Melbourne.

“We believe that given the low case numbers it will be possible for us to have different settings in regional Victoria, and a different timeline and road map compared to what will be essential in metropolitan Melbourne,” Mr Andrews explained.

“On the basis that the virus is presenting in very different ways and at very different levels in regional Victoria compared to metro Melbourne, there may be some things allowed in regional Victoria that won’t yet be allowed in metro Melbourne.

“It’s about a steady and safe easing out of these rules and then finding a normal that we can lock in for many, many months.”

How have your finances held up during August? Do you expect to be able to pay all of your bills in the coming months? Could you raise $2000 within a week if you needed it?

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Written by Ben

24 Comments

Total Comments: 24
  1. 0
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    Government needs to spend money on jobs through education and direct spending. For universities to allow students to be educated and gives jobs to universities and keep them viable. Build new accommodation for low income people. Give money to those who will spend it to keep people in jobs in manufacturing and retail. This information comes from experts and the reserve bank. Expand these ideas but examples to kick start the economy.
    Ignore Abbott, saving lives and jobs can be done together and no need not to value each and every life.
    I am in Victoria and support our premier. At this point in time politics are not important but rather being together to fight the virus. Kudos to the Greens Mum who came to parliament to help push through the emergency bill. People need to fight the virus not each other.
    I am happy to be in lockdown in order to save lives including my own. With experience of the virus via a son it is not mild for most. He is still struggling after five months.

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      Agreed, with the emphasis on greed. Right wing politicians are thinking with their wallets, not their hearts.

      I wish Abbott would stay in UK. He still thinks that us old folk are just wasted efforts – hurry up and die! No thoughts for the younger folk who will suffer for ages from the effects of Covid. He intended to be a Catholic priest – might have made a good one!

      Also agree about universities and education generally. That spending is not a cost , it is an investment that pays great rewards, but not within an election cycle.

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      Andrews is taking advice from medical professionals because he is not one.

      This virus is spreading by selfish carriers and its very real. Our frontline doctors and nurses are getting it.

      It makes me sick that all those wealthy businesses in lockdown have a class action against Andrews for $Billions. I pray they lose and go bankrupt.

  2. 0
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    Dear Paddington and Janus. I can see that you are both died in the wool Labor voters so should be informed that Abbott has left the Australian Parliament.
    I too am a Victorian and have to put up with our totalitarian state leader and his mishandling of Covid with his shambolic approach to the hotel lock-downs, which obviously as he has said, has nothing to do with him. i accept the restrictions and having to wear a mask in public but his attempt to try for 12 months dictatorial control of the state is just too much.

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      Victoria has been the business capital of Australia for decades supporting the rest of Australia with our highest taxes. A virus comes along and suddenly we have a dictator because some dimwit can’t play golf? The three previous Victorian Premieres did nothing compared to our current hardworking Andrews Government. He has been fixing up decades of neglect. Victoria had the pandemic under control until a low paid unqualified security guard did not do their job correctly and spread the virus through his other 2 underpaid jobs. This is what happens when a greedy business employs visa workers instead of Australians with proper pay and work conditions.

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      Red Dan would be very proud of you, The Thinker, although your soubriquet may be misplaced. The quarantine problem is much, much larger than “a low paid unqualified security guard”. Andrews declined the offer of the ADF and chose a private security firm without due diligence with, apparently, the only reason is that they supported indigenous employment. Andrews allowed over 1000 people out of quarantine without testing if they had COVID-19 and it’s that group which caused the majority of Victoria’s disaster, not “a low paid unqualified security guard”. By the way, it is a government that is responsible for pay and conditions of subcontractors employed doing government work so, again, Andrews is in the firing line.

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      Let’s not forget the Ruby Princess, shall we? This pandemic is affecting all Australians nationally not just Victoria. We all know the financial implications will be a disaster but turning the matter into a political one is ridiculous. Australia was in the highest deficit in Australia history before this pandemic began. That’s because small business service industries pass the buck they do not create growth. When Morrisson will stop funding them watch Australia watch Australians really hurt.

    • 0
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      Thinker You may well throw up the Ruby Princess trying to absolve Victoria of its litany of errors (and surprised you didn’t throw in newmarch house for good measure). BUT the Ruby Princess fiasco was in March near the beginning of the pandemic for Australia where systems and processes were still being implemented; and whilst there were many errors, shared between several parties, NSW has not repeated them. Ruby Princess lead to 663 infections and 28 deaths including 8 in the USA. In total NSW has 3,890 cases and 52 deaths.

      It is unforgivable that Victoria did not heed the obvious lessons to be learned and created for themselves a far worse situation from failures in quarantine and failure to heed public health directives. Perhaps you would like to provide the number of infections and deaths in Victoria? No? Well, on 3 July 2020 at the start of the second wave, Victoria had a total 2368 COVID cases and 20 deaths. Fast forward to 1 September and Victoria has 19,138 cases and 570 deaths.

      Now you were saying about the Ruby Princess????

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      Wrong about my voting but you are sure showing your political priority, kram. Now is not the time for politics!
      Your ignorance is also stunning. You obviously have chosen to listen to possibly Murdoch? By trying for 12 months he could negotiate to six months. It is about telling you to wear a mask and stay home before and after testing. It is because of people like you we need this.
      The advice comes from the medical experts. He is the mouthpiece telling you what you must do to protect others.
      People using politics no matter the side to buck the lockdown rules are selfish, ignorant humans. Horace, the virus has no brain to choose a side and you should therefore just be on the side that is fighting it.
      The virus does not see blue or red or green just idiots looking to spread it.

  3. 0
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    I agree with Kram I am sick of this dictator running Victoria, he has made a complete messs of the whole situation and is too arrogant to admit it and step down. I am prepared to wear a mask although find it most uncomfortable but I live 90 kms from Melbourne right on the edge of Cardinia, 2 mins walk and I am in Baw Baw where I used to shop as being in my 80’s I felt safer there than going to crowded Pakenham, we have 1 small supermarket with very limited choice and prices have skyrocketed up so I am having to shop online. He and his Health Department have just bulldozed through things with no thought. Now a so called Greens member (labour under anpther name) has been bribed into supporting the extension to the ridiculous state of emergency – we are fighting a virus not a war

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      You are making it a war. Fight the virus not the people trying to protect you. We are shopping online. You are in a better position than most in the middle of Melbourne. Sounds like you will be back in a week or so to a better situation than many of us. Just be grateful not to get the virus because so many are working night and day to fight the virus.

  4. 0
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    There are people in Victoria hurting badly, not because of COVID-19 but because there are bills to pay, mouths to feed and little to no income being generated. There are trains of thought that believe that it is possible to allow businesses to trade as long as social distancing, quarantining where necessary and continued testing is carried out. The problem in Victoria can be traced back directly to what Andrews has done as all other states and territories are experiencing a small problem with the pandemic. Now, under pressure, Andrews declared that the roadmap out of the pandemic will be released next Sunday when any sort of planning would have all bases covered and a roadmap should have been designed quite some time ago. It’s OK for us retired people or politicians and essential workers or those able to work from home but I feel for the hundreds of thousands who are unable to work and may be in financial peril.

    • 0
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      There are people hurting because Australia sent all it’s industries offshore. The only industries around are small business service industries. This pandemic has proven they are not enough to keep the country afloat. Passing the buck around is not growth. Bring back the industries we had and start training our young with skills instead of depending on slave labour imports and cheap visa workers. This is the very reason Australia WAS in the highest deficit in Australian history BEFORE this pandemic under a Liberal Government. Liberal Governments have been the longest-serving Governments in Australia’s history. They are to blame for the deficit they created nothing and no one else is to blame.

    • 0
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      Agree with you Horace, and Kram entirely. Dan lost my vote and support sometime ago. He stated “I am responsible for my government and all their decisions” therefore it is entirely his responsibility that we are in the this position,and that the virus was available in the community to infect aged care homes (Genomic testing has proved that), and people died at a higher rate than anywhere else in Australia.

  5. 0
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    And how many of those security guards were actually indigenous????

  6. 0
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    Had the virus. Didn’t die didn’t hurt. I am in my 70s. 99% of people won’t be affected by the virus. Just a few flu like symptoms. And for all this Our State Governments have destroyed the economy which will result in a depression once jobseeker ends and zombie company defaults begin. And the RBA forecasting up to a 40% drop in house prices. Wow. Strange we lose 20000 per year to cancer and heart disease but the figures are not reported daily. The media and our politicians have created mass hysteria scaring people witless that they are going to die. Dictator Dan and Anna are just loving their new found power. People are so stupid to accept the lockdowns. Everyone get back to work before we have riots when people run out of money and food. Open the borders you morons.

    • 0
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      Have to agree with you, BigAl.

    • 0
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      Another science denier BigAl.

      Funny how science is king in relation to climate change and yet COVID-19 is all a put up job and no real consequence!

    • 0
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      Our son did too but five months on he is not okay and younger than you are Big Al.

    • 0
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      Sweden which kept its economy open lost 6 per 10000 people, 80% of the people who died were in old age homes and most had more than 2 comorbidity factors eg heart disease, diabetes etc. So if you protected the people in the old age home better you could have reduced most of the deaths. Same here. We have lost 0.002% of our population, and if you took out the comorbidity factors it could be half that. Average age of death is in the 80s. Losses from stress related illnesses will far exceed any losses from Covid. Also quality of will be substantially reduced due to the forthcoming depression.

    • 0
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      It’s Right-wing anti-lockdown rebel fools like Al who are responsible for spreading the COVID-19 virus. He says that he had the virus. Well I wonder how many people he infected, and from those, how many died? He and his ilk ought to hang their heads in shame.

  7. 0
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    My biggest bugbear is State Premiers playing politics with COVID19. Despite having no cases for well over 50 days (significantly loner than any other state or territory) ACT is still considered a “hot spot” – typical Canberra bashing by the State Premiers.
    I am saddened by the loss of life in Victoria and the high number of cases in Victoria (a serious State Government mistake in choosing normal security guards and not to use police to monitor those in quarantine). There is no doubt that the rest of Australia is paying a heavy price for this mistake.

    I am more constrained by limitations on where I can go and what I can do than I am by monetary constraints. I am still saving money and hope that I can spend it in 2021 on visits to my friends in Poland, Russia and Kazakhstan.

  8. 0
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    Andrews is doing the right thing, even if it’s economically painful.


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