The Shadow Minister for Small Business Dr Steve Thomas says that the current COVID shutdown has again highlighted the need for a standardised support package for business, which he has been calling for throughout 2021.
“At a time of massive windfalls from iron ore, largely as a result of COVID stimulus spending around the world, the McGowan Government can afford to put in place a standardised compensation program for businesses that are damaged by Government imposed closures” Dr Thomas said.
“The recent incredible $5.8 billion surplus recorded for the 2020-21 financial year, and the fact that this Government is looking at $16 billion worth of surpluses over five years, gives them an unprecedented capacity to support the businesses that have to carry the cost of shut downs.”
“The arts, tourism and events industries in particular face another bleak Christmas and New Year period and should not be left to carry the burden alone.”
Dr Thomas said that with the potential opening up of the state’s borders the need for a set standard compensation program was paramount, as localised outbreaks and localised shutdowns appear to be inevitable.
“We are currently getting a taste of what is to come in 2022 when outbreaks of COVID are certain to occur, and it is not acceptable for the McGowan Government to make up a different compensation scheme each time it happens” he said.
“I support the implementation of the medical advice, but business does not deserve to be subject to the Premier’s economic whim each time when they are carrying the financial burden for the entire Western Australian community.”
On the 29th of June this year Dr Thomas said in a media release that “We need a standard set of rules for compensation for these lockdowns, not the haphazard process the McGowan Government appears happy to put business through.”