A new report from The Australia Institute has found the Tasmanian State Government has spent a far larger proportion of its Gross State Product (GSP) than any other Australian state.
The new analysis collates publicly available data, with at least some traceability, on state responses to the COVID-19 induced economic emergency, between March 23rd and May 20th.
“While businesses waited for the JobKeeper program to roll out, state governments provided emergency grants, waived licensing fees, and more. As queues of newly unemployed formed outside Centrelink offices, state governments provided emergency funding for housing and food supplies,” said Leanne Minshull, Director of the Australia Institute Tasmania.
“The response from the Tasmanian government is far more substantial than that of any other state. The amount of Tasmania’s immediate measures, were more than double any other state when measured as a percentage of GSP”
“As Tasmania still owns its energy and public transport systems, the Tasmanian state government was able to provide immediate relief for small businesses by waiving first quarter energy bills and provide assistance for commuters by making all travel on Metro Tasmania free.
“Premier Gutwein and the Tasmanian Government deserve to be congratulated for the swift manner in which they have responded,” Ms Minshull said.
N.B. The state response programs analysed do not include those aimed at future stimulus or new job creation, but rather, those programs seeking to provide financial relief to keep existing businesses alive and save existing jobs. To be included in the calculations, programs needed to have some level of traceability.
Tanya Martin Office Manager
Jake Wishart Senior Media Adviser