â€śOverall, the economic data has been sobering,â€ť Treasurer Josh
Frydenberg told Parliament on the first day of a scheduled three-
day sitting this week. He said he expects gross domestic product
(GDP) will fall more than 10% in the June quarter, representing
the biggest fall on record.
Frydenberg did not say what the governmentâ€™s deficit will be. The
financial year in Australia ends on June 30.
Frydenberg had a lengthy coughing spell during his speech to
Parliament, forcing him to stop several times to takes sips of
water. A test showed he did not have the coronavirus.
â€śYesterday I was tested for COVID-19 out of an abundance of
caution on the advice of the Deputy Chief Medical Officer,â€ť
Frydenberg said in a Twitter post Wednesday. â€śThis morning I
received the result of the test which was negative.`
Other lawmakers present during Frydenberg`s speech appeared to be
observing social distancing. The most prominent Australian
lawmaker known to have had the virus is Home Affairs Minister
Peter Dutton, who has recovered.
The federal government allocated more than 230 billion Australian
dollars ($148 billion) in measures to offset the virus impact,
more than half of that aimed at helping eligible employers keep
their businesses afloat.
â€śGiven the level of uncertainty, our economic measures provide
more than financial relief,â€ť Fydenberg said. â€śThey provide a
psychological boost as well.â€ť
Earlier, Frydenberg had forecast unemployment would double to 10%.
Australia, with an economy about the size of Spain`s, is thought
to have entered its first recession in three decades this year.
But Frydenberg said the additional support for employers and
employees during the pandemic being sought by the opposition was
unlikely to happen.
â€śAustralians know there is no money tree,â€ť Frydenberg said. â€śWhat
we borrow today, we must repay in the future. Temporary and
targeted, the new spending measures were not designed to go
forever but to build a bridge to the recovery phase.â€ť
Frydenberg said the underlying cash deficit at the end of March
was A$22.4 billion ($14.4 billion), almost A$10 billion ($6.5.
billion) higher than the government forecast in Decemberâ€™s midyear
When Frydenberg released the 2019-20 budget in April 2019, he said
Australia was â€śback in the black,â€ť with a A$7.1 billion ($4.6
billion) surplus forecast this financial year. But the government
revised its surplus forecast to A$5 billion ($3.2 billion) in
December -- before devastating wildfires and the coronavirus hit
the Australian economy.
|CANBERRA, Australia (AP) â€` A woman has tearfully embraced her dying sister in Australia after weeks of bureaucracy wrangling over pandemic travel restrictions. Australia had rejected Christine Archer`s request for permission to fly from New Zealand four times before her story attracted media attention. Her only sister Gail Baker was diagnosed with incurable ovarian cancer in late March after both countries stopped international travel. Baker has perhaps weeks to live. Archer was eventually allowed to fly to Sydney and spent only a week in hotel quarantine before testing negative for the coronavirus. International travelers are usually quarantined for two weeks.... Read more...|
|In a victory for `invisible, undocumented children`, unwed fathers will soon be able to register the birth of their children without the mother being present or giving consent, GroundUp reported. In a ruling this week, three judges of the Eastern Cape High Court deemed the relevant provision of the Births and Deaths Registration Act to be unconstitutional. It still has to be confirmed by the Constitutional Court.... Read more...|
|The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) has revealed that some of the South African citizens repatriated from Wuhan, where the coronavirus outbreak began, have requested assistance to return to the Chinese province. The group of 112 citizens, which included students, was the first successfully returned to South Africa as the globe grappled with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.... Read more...|
|JOHANNESBURG, May 20: Twenty-six Indian scientists stranded in South Africaâ€™s Cape Town due to the coronavirus lockdown will be heading back home this week. They had been on a mission to Antarctica and stuck in South Africa three months ago after the imposition of the lockdown. The scientists are among around 150 Indian nationals who will be returning home on a South African Airways (SAA) flight that will leave Johannesburg on Friday for Mumbai and Delhi. Indian Consul General in Johannesburg, Anju Ranjan, said over 1,000 Indian nationals had registered for the flight. Passengers had to be vetted by the Indian mission based on a criteria set by the South African Department of Home Affairs. â€śWe had to select priority passengers depending on their need,â€ť Ranjan said in a Facebook broadcast.... Read more...|
|Court rules on extension of temporary permits The Constitutional Court has ruled that asylum seekersâ€™ temporary permits must automatically be extended while their case is being reviewed. Archive photo: Ashraf Hendricks... Read more...|
|The department of home affairs has outlined temporary measures regarding visas and permanent residence permits during the lockdown. Image: Alaister Russell People whose visas to work, study or conduct business in SA expired during the Covid-19 lockdown will not be penalised, home affairs said on Tuesday.... Read more...|
|Desperate citizens stranded in South Africa have taken to jumping the Lesotho border risking their lives to get home. Reports from Lesotho claim that hundreds of Basotho are resorting to perilous and illegal border crossings having been stranded in locked down South Africa.... Read more...|
|THE country received 527 citizens returning from South Africa yesterday through the Beitbridge Border Post bringing the number of returnees from various countries to 3 134 since the country and other regional countries initiated national lockdowns to curb the spread of Covid-19.... Read more...|
|All around South Africa, migrants, refugees and asylum seekers who have mostly been left out of the government`s official response to the food crisis are going hungry. For Alice Munyanyiwa, a cup of tea has become a luxury she can barely afford.... Read more...|
|The government is working on a scheme to develop six, one-stop border posts with its neighbours to ensure greater efficiency in the movement of goods and people. Priority will be given to the Beitbridge border post connecting SA and Zimbabwe, which is the gateway for most of the land-based trade with the rest of Africa. This border post, the biggest, has long been plagued by lengthy delays, some lasting up to two weeks, which are extremely costly for business.... Read more...|