Debt, savings to help Qld economy recover
Queensland will plunge itself further into debt to spare the economy from whatever damage it can during the COVID-19 crisis.
The state is bracing for a projected $4 billion hit as revenue streams from GST and the real estate market collapse, leaving a gaping hole in the economy.
Treasurer Jackie Trad was due to deliver the state's budget on Tuesday and give insight into the state of the economy.
Instead she declared the coronavirus pandemic had "knocked it out of the water".
"The economic shock from the virus is like nothing we have seen before," she said.
While the government will borrow heavily to fund recovery programs, Ms Trad said it would also have to tighten its belt to find savings.
But she assured public servants they would not be laid off in order to prop up the economy.
"We are managing expenses by freezing wages across the public service and we will look at further measures to find savings," Ms Trad said.
"The government should not be adding to the unemployment queue."
The June and September quarters are expected to be "particularly bad" in terms of economic downturn.
Treasury estimates indicate about 130,000 Queenslanders have lost their jobs or had their hours drastically cut through forced business closures.
Most of those people work in shops, restaurants, theatres, bars, cafes, live music venues and galleries.
The state government estimates 20,000 businesses have been directly affected by the COVID-19 restrictions, while roughly 166,000 people have shown interest in the federal government's JobKeeper program.
Originally published as Debt, savings to help Qld economy recover