Kevin Rudd slams PM's coronavirus response, suggests economic stimulus

| 28.02,20. 01:50 PM |


Kevin Rudd slams PM's coronavirus response, suggests economic stimulus




Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has slammed Scott Morrison's coronavirus response, calling for an economic stimulus to avoid Australia plunging into a recession.
In a fiery statement, Mr Rudd said the Morrison government "has been far too complacent" about the damaging effects coronavirus could have on Australian trading.
This morning the ASX 200 dropped more than 3 per cent, taking the week's losses to in excess of $200 billion.
"The government's pandemic plan is a part of Australia's response. But a targeted economic stimulus is the other, still missing, element we need to avoid the threat of recession," said Mr Rudd in a statement provided to 9News.com.au.
"When looking at the economic impact, you can't just look at the effect on countries where the virus is most prevalent, like China.
"You also need to consider the hit our major trading partners, most of whom also depend on China. All of that cascades back to Australia very quickly."
Mr Rudd said the current PM "needs to either get started or get out of the way".
"It's concerning that Morrison is seeking applause for looking like he's ahead of the curve. He's really not. Other developed countries are making their own preparations," said Mr Rudd.
"The big difference between Australia and many other developed countries is that we are on the geographic and economic frontline.
"It's good that we have a public health plan, but what's missing is an economic plan."
On Tuesday Mr Morrison told Australians the coronavirus outbreak was not like the Global Financial Crisis in 2008.
"This is not like a global financial crisis. This is a global health crisis," said Mr Morrison.
"This is affecting global supply chains. It's affecting the building industry, it's affecting the manufacturing industry, it's affecting our export industry. When planes aren't coming in, planes aren't going out.
"The bellies of those planes reason taking Australian produce into those markets."
Following Mr Morrison's announcement that Australia would enact its national pandemic plan – ahead of the World Health Organisation labelling the spread of COVID-19 as one – investors scrambled to exit the Australian market.
The market is on track to record a 10 per cent fall since it opened trade on Monday morning.
If the cash rout continues, the local bourse is on track to record its worst week of trading since the height of the Global Financial Crisis in January 2008.


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