MINISTERS STATEMENT: BUSINESS SUPPORT
MR PALLAS (Werribee—Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Industrial Relations) (14:17):
Fairness is at the heart of everything that this government does. It is our principal motivator, and it is aimed at ensuring that every Victorian gets access to the equality of opportunity and to the fair go that is such a vital part of the support that this government provides, during particularly these tough times. In the past two budgets the government has invested $75 billion into support for the Victorian community and for our economic recovery. At least $34 billion of those funds have been directly related to our COVID-19 support. As you can see from those results, as the Acting Premier has noted, some 252 000 people have directly benefited as employment has bounced back in this state. We are growing at around 1½ times the national average.
To assist businesses most affected by the circuit-breaker action, we announced the largest pro rata business support package to date, totalling more than $500 million, including $370 million for the business costs assistance package. Comparatively, the commonwealth, which accepted responsibility for workforce support, provided just one week of support for a narrow group of people during the latest circuit-breaker lockdown. Based on the latest reports, this amounts to a paltry $20 million of employee support. As of last week, the commonwealth support per lockdown day in Victoria was less than half the equivalent spent in New South Wales for each lockdown day. As a proportion of our own-source revenue the Victorian government has contributed almost twice as much pandemic support for Victorians as the commonwealth has, so Victorians can know that this government is there to support them.