Heather du Plessis-Allan: GDP figures show our lockdown was too hard

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 17 Sep 2020, 4:41PM

Heather du Plessis-Allan: GDP figures show our lockdown was too hard

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 17 Sep 2020, 4:41PM

I think the GDP numbers out today will put to bed the argument over whether our first lockdown was too hard. It quite clearly was. 

If you accept the fact that Australia ended up in a very similar place to ourselves with Covid - and ignore Victoria for this comparison because the problems there are quarantine and Daniel Andrews related – but if you accept that they ended up in a similar place to us, on path to elimination or eradication in most states, then these numbers surely prove that we took way too big an economic knock to achieve the same end, didn’t we? 

For the second quarter, which covers which covers April and May when we were in levels 4 and 3 as a country, our economy took a hit of 12.2 per cent. 

That’s a hellluva lot worse than Australia’s contraction of 7 per cent.

Now Grant Robertson is right to say that we are harder hit in part because we are much more reliant on international tourism and international students than Australia.

But even if you strip then out if this GDP figure you end up with a contraction of 9.5 percent, and that shows we gave up so much more economically unnecessarily. 

We might have been able to achieve the same result, with our manufacturing going, with our construction going, with retailers operating safely 

It’s proven by the fact that even with our second Covid wave we haven’t gone back into level 4. And it’s proven by that data we’ve seen today – 12.2 percent compared to 7 percent.