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New Government Economic Measures Welcome

"The additional economic measures being announced by the Federal Government today are a timely and welcome response to the rapidly escalating challenges facing Australian businesses and households," Innes Willox, Chief Executive of the national employer association Ai Group said today.

"The situation is changing daily. Confidence, cash flows, trading and macro-economic conditions are rapidly impacting business operations and the employment prospects of hundreds of thousands of Australians.

"The measures reported today come on top of those announced by the Government on 12 March and the welcome monetary steps announced by the RBA on Thursday.

"The boost to income support for people who are now facing reduced hours and unemployment is critical both for the households directly affected and for the many more businesses and households whose livelihoods rely on continued business sales and consumer spending.

"The increase in the cash flow assistance for small businesses who keep employing staff is a sensible expansion of the PAYG relief for these businesses and will help keep them afloat and supporting their employees.

"The offer by the Government to support small business loans by partially guaranteeing unsecured loans will help address an emerging hot spot. The partial nature of the guarantee will ensure lenders continue to weigh creditworthiness.

"The Government will need to continue to assess the need for additional measures as the situation unfolds. The pressures in the economy are becoming more widespread by the day. The impacts of COVID-19 will be felt for a long time both in our economy and on the structures and systems we had in place to protect and drive our living standards ," Mr Willox said.

Media enquiries: Tony Melville – 0419 190 347