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     5   Coronavirus Economic Response Package Omnibus Bill 2020

         Guarantee of Lending to Small and Medium Enterprises (Coronavirus Economic Response Package) Bill 2020

         Australian Business Growth Fund (Coronavirus Economic Response Package) Bill 2020

         Assistance for Severely Affected Regions (Special Appropriation) (Coronavirus Economic Response Package) Bill 2020

         Structured Finance Support (Coronavirus Economic Response Package) Bill 2020

         Appropriation (Coronavirus Economic Response Package) Bill (No. 1) 2019-2020

         Appropriation (Coronavirus Economic Response Package) Bill (No. 2) 2019-2020

         Boosting Cash Flow for Employers (Coronavirus Economic Response Package) Bill 2020

Message No. 85, 20 March 2020, from His Excellency the Governor-General was announced recommending, in accordance with the requirements of section 56 of the Constitution, an appropriation for the purposes of the Assistance for Severely Affected Regions (Special Appropriation) (Coronavirus Economic Response Package) Bill 2020.

Message No. 86, 20 March 2020, from His Excellency the Governor-General was announced recommending, in accordance with the requirements of section 56 of the Constitution, an appropriation for the purposes of the Appropriation (Coronavirus Economic Response Package) Bill (No. 1) 2019-2020.

Message No. 87, 20 March 2020, from His Excellency the Governor-General was announced recommending, in accordance with the requirements of section 56 of the Constitution, an appropriation for the purposes of the Appropriation (Coronavirus Economic Response Package) Bill (No. 2) 2019-2020.

In accordance with the resolution agreed to earlier this sitting—

Mr Frydenberg (Treasurer) presented:

a Bill for an Act to provide an economic response, and deal with other matters, relating to the coronavirus, and for related purposes;

a Bill for an Act about loan guarantees, and for related purposes;

a Bill for an Act about Commonwealth investment in the Australian Business Growth Fund, and for related purposes;

a Bill for an Act to appropriate money for community, regional and industry support as part of the Coronavirus Economic Response, and for related purposes;

a Bill for an Act to establish the Structured Finance Support (Coronavirus Economic Response) Fund, and for related purposes;

a Bill for an Act to appropriate additional money out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund for the ordinary annual services of the Government in relation to the Coronavirus Economic Response, and for related purposes;

a Bill for an Act to appropriate additional money out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund for certain expenditure in relation to the Coronavirus Economic Response, and for related purposes; and

a Bill for an Act to provide for a cash flow boost relating to the coronavirus, and for related purposes.

Document

Mr Frydenberg presented an explanatory memorandum to the Coronavirus Economic Response Package Omnibus Bill 2020, Guarantee of Lending to Small and Medium Enterprises (Coronavirus Economic Response Package) Bill 2020 , Australian Business Growth Fund (Coronavirus Economic Response Package) Bill 2020 , Assistance for Severely Affected Regions (Special Appropriation) (Coronavirus Economic Response Package) Bill 2020 , Structured Finance Support (Coronavirus Economic Response Package) Bill 2020 , Appropriation (Coronavirus Economic Response Package) Bill (No. 1) 2019-2020 , Appropriation (Coronavirus Economic Response Package) Bill (No. 2) 2019-2020 and the Boosting Cash Flow for Employers (Coronavirus Economic Response Package) Bill 2020 .

Bills read a first time.

Mr Frydenberg moved—That the bills be now read a second time.

Dr Chalmers moved, as an amendment—That all words after “That” be omitted with a view to substituting the following words:

“whilst not declining to give these bills a second reading, the House calls on the Government to more quickly implement the measures it is proposing, noting that under the current proposal:

(1)    the Coronavirus supplement will not begin until 27 April 2020;

(2)    expanded access to the Jobseeker Payment and Youth Allowance won’t begin until 27 April 2020;

(3)    most people won’t receive the first payment to households until April 2020 or the second payment until July 2020;

(4)    pensioners won’t see a boost in their income due to the change in deeming rates until 1 May 2020; and

(5)    employers won’t receive a cash flow boost until 28 April 2020”.

Debate ensued.

Mr Burke moved, as an amendment to the amendment proposed by Dr Chalmers—

That the following words be added:

“(6)  there is no conditionality on assistance measures to business to keep workers employed; and

(7)    calls on the Government to legislate for a mechanism that provides sufficient incentive for employers to keep employees in work”.

Debate ensued.

Mr Jones moved, as an amendment to the amendment proposed by Mr Burke—

That the following words be added after paragraph (7):

“(8)  (a)     every Australian deserves a dignified retirement;

(b)   Australians are proud of our world-class superannuation system;

(c)    drawing down on superannuation when the market is at historic lows will have negative implications for most Australians, and should only be an option of last resort; and

(d)   the administrative arrangements specified in Schedule 13 of the Coronavirus Economic Response Package Omnibus Bill 2020 will not ensure that Australians in genuine hardship receive prompt payment from their superannuation fund;

(9)    calls on the Government to:

(a)    ensure that ordinary Australians have access to the right information and advice in times of hardship by increasing funding for financial counselling and the Centrelink Financial Information Service; and

(b)   closely monitor the financial advice industry to ensure that early release claimants are not provided with inaccurate advice; and

(10)  asks the Government to:

(a)    table a letter from the Chair of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, certifying that the implementation of Schedule 13 will have no systemic impacts on the superannuation system; and

(b)   consult with industry, unions, and representatives of other political parties before the implementation of the measures in Schedule 13, noting the potentially significant, negative impact on the retirement outcomes of ordinary Australians”.

Debate ensued.

In accordance with the resolution, it being 2 pm, the debate was interrupted and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour this day.