The Australian states of New South Wales and Victoria will further ease COVID-19 restrictions today. The main changes include the
The Australian states of New South Wales and Victoria will further ease COVID-19 restrictions today.
The main changes include the removal of mandatory quarantine for close contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases and the end of vaccination requirements to access venues in Victoria. The rule relaxations will assist Australia’s economic recovery from the pandemic which has outperformed the majority of advanced economies. The country’s GDP is expected to be 6.6% larger at the end of 2022 than in 2019- higher than the United States at 6.1% and the EU average of 3%. Additionally, Australia’s unemployment rate is at 4%, the lowest level since 2008. Nevertheless, inflation and the rising cost of living remains a threat to Australia’s future economic performance.
In terms of cost of living pressures, the Australian government has sought to provide relief in its 2022-2023 budget through the use of financial bonuses, tax offsets and a temporary 50% reduction in the fuel excise tax. These measures are likely to provide some relief to Australians in the short-term however, the government is likely to engage in a balancing act between further assistance and controlling inflation in the medium-term. A strategy that will limit the extent of any future domestic support packages.
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