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WIth JobKeeper ending next month, CPA Australia believes governments need to better support business that are required to close during lockdowns. Image: Lisa Bresler, Unsplash
  • Calls for consistent, scalable, targeted and rapidly deployed assistance for business affected by government-mandated lockdowns
  • Cites JobKeeper ending in March as a reason for greater financial support
  • Have recommended other measures previously during its 2021-22 Federal Budget submission

The Certified Practising Accountant body of Australia (CPA) has called for greater support to businesses that have endured government-mandated lockdowns, such as those in retail, entertainment and hospitality sectors.

The call comes the day Victoria’s lockdown will be lifted and just under a fortnight after Perth’s lockdown ended.

CPA Australia argues that future lockdowns are foreseeable.

Therefore, they believe businesses cannot continually absorb losses created by mostly State government decisions such as snap lockdowns and border closures.

Andrew Hunter, CPA Australia’s CEO, recommends that federal, state and territory governments need to work collaboratively to provide financial support to affected businesses.

“We’ve been living with COVID-19 for more than a year now. JobKeeper ends next month and we still don’t have a substitute for businesses that are compulsorily closed or those otherwise impacted by lockdowns, such as suppliers and customers outside the lockdown areas,” said Mr Hunter.

“We understand the need for swift action to control the spread of COVID-19. However, it seems businesses are being treated as an afterthought when making lockdown decisions. If governments are going to rip the rug out from under them at short notice, they need to provide a safety net.”

In particular, he believes such financial support should be consistent, scalable, targeted and be able to be rapidly deployed when needed.

“This is not a reaction to events in an individual state. The next lockdown could occur anywhere in Australia

“Sympathy won’t pay for spoilt produce, cancelled bookings and empty chairs at empty tables. Businesses need more certainty – they need a coordinated national response that will deliver help fast when the next lockdown occurs.”

CPA Australia has previously recommended standardised models of disaster support for businesses as seen in their 2021-22 Federal Budget submission. Their proposal is equally applicable to natural disasters as to the current unique set of circumstances.

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