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‘This is unsustainable’: MPs go head-to-head on crisis policy

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With the government spending billions on economic stimuli, the Energy Minister and Shadow Agriculture Minister have debated the long-term impacts on public policy.

Energy Minister Angus Taylor tells Deborah Knight he’s adamant the spending will be a temporary measure, ending when the coronavirus crisis is over.

“At the end of this, as business steps back up, it’s crucial that government steps back.

“This is unsustainable.”

Shadow Agriculture Minister Joel Fitzgibbon, however, believes the crisis will have longer-term impacts on government.

“It will cause governments to revisit some of the orthodoxy, in terms of economic policy and even social policy.”

He says policy on public ownership, especially the manufacturing industries, should be reconsidered in terms of Australia’s self-sufficiency.

“Sometimes you have to have that extra capacity for times of crisis.

“If that costs the public purse a little bit more… there’ll come a time when we might deem it to have been worth it.”

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