Stimulus package passed
We knew it was going to happen, but now we know it has. The federal government’s latest coronavirus stimulus package has been passed in parliament.
Both stimulus packages were rushed through parliament, representing “the most significant support for the Australian economy and community since the war”, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said.
The legislation was amended slightly, giving Social Services Minister Ann Ruston the power to make changes to stimulus payments for individuals.
Labor also pushed to get financial support to small businesses sooner, but was shot down.
“There is a lack of urgency in this support,” Labor’s Home Affairs Spokeswoman Kristina Keneally said.
“For sole traders and the self-employed, this support is just not enough.”
However, Labor ultimately voted the package through anyway.
“Now is not the time to stand in the way of this package of measures because Australians need support now,” Keneally said.
MyGov crumbles under pressure
The closure of businesses all over Australia, plus the announcement of new support for people who find themselves out of work, caused a run on MyGov services yesterday, which saw the site collapse under the pressure.
Initially, Government Services Minister Stuart Robert blamed the crash on a cyber attack, saying the DDoS attack alert sounds at 95,000 users.
But he’s had to eat his words, admitting that was just how many people had to access MyGov services.
“We prepared over the weekend for 55,000 … I didn’t think I’d have to prepare for 100,000 concurrent users,” he reportedly told 2GB radio.
“My bad not realising the sheer scale of the decision on Sunday night by national leaders that literally saw hundreds of thousands, maybe a million, people unemployed overnight.”
Influencers feeling the pinch
It turns out even seemingly untouchable Instagram influencers are not immune to the coronavirus-related downturn.
As cashflow dries up, businesses are already reallocating marketing budgets. And with events cancelled and sponsorship being pulled left, right and centre, influencers are reportedly having to be even more creative in generating revenue.
At the same time, globally, influencers are being criticised for inappropriate and insensitive posts at a difficult time, and for making light of the pandemic.
But, you know, if you can’t pose in the empty toilet roll aisle or make a bikini out of face masks, what can you do?
Gerry’s faux pas
Dial-a-quote fossil and Harvey Norman co-founder Gerry Harvey has been hammered on social media following his Sunday night interview with 60 Minutes, in which he described the COVID-19 outbreak as an “opportunity”.
Aussies have taken to social media to start something of a Harvey Norman boycott in the wake of the contrarian billionaire’s comments, which have gone down like a lead balloon with the public.
Reax include every manner of creative names, which we won’t repeat here, as #boycottharveynorman received a fair amount of use on Twitter throughout Monday.
Harvey is notorious for being judgemental & cruel towards the poor. He has no social conscience. So logically he’s despised by a lot of people #boycottharveynorman
It must be so lovely to have so much money that COVID-19 just doesn’t affect you. Look at this revolting man – he has made his fortune from Aussies buying his stuff, and is now positively GLOATING over how well his business is going. https://t.co/9ydIImp5jK
— ???????????????? ????Bethany Williams (@BethanyinCBR) March 23, 2020