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This report urges governments to prioritise ruthlessly. Long-term reforms, such as tax, industrial relations and skills policy changes should be put on hold while governments tackle a huge agenda of urgent policies over the next six months.

Main recommendations:

  • The federal government should announce extra economic stimulus – including spending on social housing and shovel-ready maintenance and infrastructure projects – in or before the October Budget.
  • JobKeeper should be expanded to include university staff, casual workers, and temporary migrants, and extended beyond September for businesses that are still in strife.
  • The permanent rate of JobSeeker should be increased by at least $100 a week, and Commonwealth Rent Assistance should be increased by 40 per cent.
  • The Child Care Subsidy should be raised to 95 per cent of costs for low-income households, to cushion the shock to family budgets as parents start paying for childcare again, and to reduce financial barriers for parents taking on more paid work.
  • On health, the report calls on governments to refine policies put in place over the past few months: expanding telehealth – telephone and video consultations with GPs and specialists – and using private hospitals better, especially to help clear the elective surgery backlog.
  • On schools, the book urges the Federal Government to fund a $1 billion, six-month tutoring blitz to help a million disadvantaged students recover learning lost during lockdowns.
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