It is difficult to write about anything other than the circumstances surrounding the current COVID-19 Pandemic, so I won’t try to, however it is important to share the light where possible.
This medical crisis has been very concerning for the entire global community and there are sure to be dire economic impacts. Sadly, many good businesses will not survive, and many jobs will be lost. As bad as it is likely to be, I think the outlook has been greatly exaggerated by some seeking a headline.
Of course, there have been some huge benefactors from COVID lockdown. Yesterday, I tried to buy a gym bench for my home gym and all of Melbourne is sold out. In fact, on every gym equipment web site I visited, most equipment was sold out. The same is true for computers, tablets, web cameras, home appliances and many other goods and services.
But I feel strongly that there have been some refreshing positives to arise out of this adversity. A new world order is very likely and many changes to our daily lives have unfolded, seemingly for the good.
Isn’t it refreshing to see government from all sides of politics working in co-operation for the good of the country and the community? In the short term, we have been spared from the constant bickering, stone-throwing and cheap shots and the result has been for the greater good. One can only hope that this co-operation extends into the initiatives that will be essential for the government to leads us out of the inevitable economic challenges that lie ahead.
We are already hearing about government initiatives to bring about a co-operative discussion between employers, employees, trade unions, and others to endeavour to achieve fair and balanced work-place initiatives that will stimulate economic recovery and provide jobs. The PM Scott Morrison withdrew the contentious “Ensuring Integrity Bill” from the senate and called for all sides to “lay down our weapons” and work together to achieve a positive outcome for all.
It appears that the highly successful National Cabinet will replace COAG and set the scene for a more co-operative interface between the Commonwealth and the States.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has also eluded to taxation reform which may re-focus on consumption-based tax rather than income tax and adjustment to indirect taxes like stamp duty. No doubt the government will be fully committed to driving the economy and looking for many other initiatives like strengthening the local manufacturing supply chain and decentralisation. Developing foreign markets will be important like where there are already moves afoot for developing new trade agreements with Indonesia, the EU, and the UK.
So far, the opposition has been supportive of the government initiatives whilst playing their role of challenging the detail, which is fair and reasonable. But I hope we can avoid the pointless “opposition for opposition sake” and stand-off politics that have characterised Australian politics for the past 20 odd years.
There is no doubt that our lives will change following this severe shock to global well-being. But, if I was a gambling man, my money would well and truly be on this change being generally better for our lifestyle, our economic future and our attitudes towards looking after the planet and those that live on it.
I may be a dreamer or a hopeless optimist, but I do not think so. The signs are there, evidenced further by this week’s continued market rebound. Let’s just hope that we all continue to work together and those we entrust with representing our best interests, will seize the opportunities and allow us to see the future more brightly.
How lucky we are to live in Australia.
Hewison Private Wealth is a Melbourne based independent financial planning firm. Our financial advisers are highly qualified wealth managers and specialise in self managed super funds (SMSF), financial planning, retirement planning advice and investment portfolio management. If you would like to speak to a financial adviser on how you can secure your financial future please contact us 03 8548 4800, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.hewison.com.au
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