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‘It’s not enough’: Leading economist calls for billions more in stimulus

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The $130 billion JobKeeper scheme is the largest financial bailout ever signed into law by an Australian government.

Yet despite its massive size, leading economist Stephen Koukoulas says the government’s stimulus package is equivalent to a “garden hose fighting a bushfire”.

“It’s not enough,” Mr Koukoulas tells Money News host Brooke Corte.

“While whatever billions we’re talking about is a huge number, there’s no doubt about that, and it’s all in the right direction but maybe it should be double that,”

Koukoulas’ desire to see many more billions pumped into the economy is based on projected unemployment figures which could reach double digits within months, doubling February’s unemployment rate of 5.1%.

Unemployment of 10% or more could see as many as two million Australians jobless as a result of the coronavirus economic crisis.

Koukoulas says he’s not trying to overstate Australia’s ability to avoid a recession by spending our way out of one but argues the country could potentially avoid a depression if the government’s economic safety nets are wide enough and generous enough catch all who fall.

“When we’re looking for the economy to recover people can’t because they’re saddled with extra debts because the government hasn’t paid people’s rent,” he said.

Click PLAY to hear economist Stephen Koukoulas speak with Brooke Corte on Money News: