When COVID-19 struck, the Australian government – along with just about every government around the world – unleashed unprecedented support for workers who were at risk of losing their jobs due to the various health-related restrictions on business activity. One of the talismans of the Scott Morrison/Josh Frydenberg government’s response was JobKeeper, a scheme formulated by Treasury’s Jenny Wilkinson, for which she was later awarded a Public Service Medal.
Yesterday the government released the independent review of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), along with confirmation that it would accept all of its recommendations. I’m not going to go over all 51 of them here but will say that on balance it appears to be little more than tinkering on the margin, an outcome that was always likely given the authors: a former Canadian central banker, a former Treasury bureaucrat and an academic.
It must be open season on the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), because the central bank was recently savaged by both Deloitte Access Economics and business journalist Alan Kohler, for very similar reasons. First Deloitte: “Our view remains unchanged – the additional 50 basis points of increases earlier this year were unnecessary, and have prompted a further downgrade in Australia’s growth outlook.