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Australians shouldn’t be ‘overly concerned’ about government debt, report says

A new report has played down public fears over government spending during the current downturn, saying there is no reason to be “overly concerned about debt”.

The report, released by Per Capita, says more spending will be needed to get the country back on its feet, but Australians shouldn’t shy away from that government spending.

Executive Director of Per Capita, Emma Dawson, said more debt is the only way Australia will be able to cope with the position it will find itself in after the coronavirus crisis.

“We’re going to be looking at a very different world, with quite high levels of unemployment. We already had very high levels of underemployment,” she told 3AW’s Tom Elliott.

“For young people in particular it can be a real blow to their life chances to start their careers during a recession.”

Ms Dawson said spending so far has not served as a stimulus, but that will be required in the future.

“What we’ve seen so far really isn’t stimulus spending, it’s life support for the needs of the economy, but stimulus is going to be needed next,” she said.

“That will require the government to take on more debt.

“What responsible governments do in times of downturn like this is borrow to invest in people and invest in jobs.”

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