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Treasurer 'optimistic' about economy for 2021

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Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has said he feels very optimistic about the economy recovering from the pandemic in 2021 but warned Australia is "not out the woods yet".

a person drinking from a cup: The hospitality industry is worried about the impact when the JobKeeper wage subsidy ends in March.

The hospitality industry is worried about the impact when the JobKeeper wage subsidy ends in March.

Mr. Frydenberg told Today that the $7 billion in the Federal Government stage two tax cuts brought forward in October was boosting the economy.

"We're seeing the benefits of that money rolling out into people's pockets $7 billion that's coming into people's pockets in the last six months. Another $9 billion over coming months as well."

Mr. Frydenberg said there were also good signs that employment was recovering from the impact of pandemic restrictions.

"Eighty-five percent of the 1.3 million Australians who either lost their jobs or saw their working hours reduced to zero at the height of the pandemic are now back at work."

 

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"So there are some positive and hopeful signs across the economy. But we're not out of the woods just yet."

But Mr. Frydenberg has ruled out bringing forward the planned stage three tax cuts and also extending the JobKeeper wage subsidy.

Small Business Council CEO Peter Strong told Today that the government should consider extending JobKeeper for heavily impacted industries such as hospitality when it ends in March.

But Mr. Frydenberg said gaining control of the virus would best help the economy.

"What will support hospitality beyond March is containing the virus on the health front. That is the best thing you can do for the economy is to get the virus."

Mr. Frydenberg also said he expected the Brisbane lockdown to be lifted today after the state recorded no new coronavirus cases for two successive days yesterday.

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