An extension of the four-week lockdown is set to cost the federal government a staggering $ 2 billion.
The federal finance minister revealed the conspicuous cost of the Greater Sydney lock on Wednesday morning and said $ 500m was flowing to NSW households each week as the Covid crisis continued.
“We will work very hard to avoid it (another recession),” Senator Simon Birmingham told Sunrise.
“We know these are difficult times for Sydney’s businesses and households and for many people throughout Sydney.
“Right now we have financial support of $ 500 million a week flowing into NSW.”
He said the government had discussed the economic consequences that a lockdown extension would have, knowing it was a likely outcome.
NSW registered 172 new cases on Tuesday, the worst day since the outbreak started on 16 June.
“(We have had discussions) on how we (the government) can ensure that the right help continues to support Sydney and NSW through this and ensure that the closure is a success when it comes to suppressing Covid,” he said. he.
Senator Birmingham was asked if JobKeeper would return, but admitted while it had served as a nationwide scheme, but the Covid disaster payment in place “now helped hundreds of thousands of people across Sydney”.
“It is capable of being targeted, but it also has a broader reach,” he said.
“It is available for e.g. Relaxed employees who may not have been permanently relaxed.
“It gives a real boost to (the) people who are eligible, and it actually proves to be a more adaptable and effective long-term support in these targeted lockdowns.”
Sydney’s outbreaks have shown no signs of slowing down, and the virus is now spreading to the Central Coast.
The NSW Premier is expected to unveil a four-week extension to the lockdown later on Wednesday.
But areas on the outskirts of Greater Sydney could leave lockdown in front of suburbs that have been hit harder by coronavirus.
Central Coast MP Adam Crouch wrote on Facebook: “I spoke to the Prime Minister yesterday and she will end the Central Coast’s lockdown as soon as it is safe to do so.”
However, he said five locals recently discovered in the area would prevent the rules from being eased for now.
The northern beaches are another area where restrictions could be relaxed ahead of schedule.
“I am hopeful that any easing of restrictions under consideration will include Manly and the northern beaches,” Manly MP James Griffin told NCA NewsWire.
It is believed that the state crisis cabinet reached a decision on Tuesday night on closure with a formal announcement to be expected on Wednesday.
– further reporting by Anton Nilsson