News digest: Budget 2020 reaction, Vic cases down and Van Halen remembered

Oct 07, 2020
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg handed down the Budget on Tuesday. Source: Getty.

It’s all about the money this morning, after Treasurer Josh Frydenberg unveiled the Federal Budget for 2020/21 on Tuesday night. The treasurer’s announcement focused on employment and economic recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic, which was in stark contrast to last year’s ‘Back in Black’ theme.

There has been a lot of reaction to the Budget this morning, including from the Council on the Ageing (COTA) which welcomed a number of significant initiatives in pensions and aged care, but expressed concern about the plight of mature age and older workers who received no targeted support despite being equally vulnerable to long term unemployment as a result of the COVID induced recession.

“Pensioners will be very pleased about additional pension supplements of $250 in December and $250 in March, a positive response by government to our strong lobbying for additional help to pensioners at a time that the indexation formula did not deliver an increase in the pension rate,” COTA CEO Ian Yates said.

“However, we are disappointed that there is no increase in the inadequate Commonwealth Rent Assistance maximum rate, and that older unemployed people will still have their savings plundered by the Liquid Assets Test at the very time they should have retirement savings protected.”

In other news, Victoria looks like it may be back on track for restrictions to ease further on October 19, as the number of new cases dropped back down to single figures on Wednesday. The state recorded six new cases over the past 24 hours, as well as an additional two deaths.

Metropolitan Melbourne must lower its 14-day rolling average to fewer than five cases, as well as decreasing the number of mystery cases from an unknown source to below five, in order to move into phase two of Andrews’ roadmap to recovery on October 19 . There are currently 12 cases with an unknown source in the Melbourne area.

Meanwhile New South Wales recorded no new cases in the 24 hours to 8pm last night, however three possible cases have been identified in the hours since the cut-off. New South Wales Health said these cases are currently under urgent investigation.

And in entertainment news, rock star and guitar legend Eddie Van Halen, best known for hits like ‘Jump’, ‘Panama’ and ‘I’ll Wait’, has died at the age of 65 from throat cancer. His death was announced on Instagram by his son Wolfgang on Tuesday afternoon.

“I can’t believe I’m having to write this, but my father, Edward Lodewijk Van Halen, has lost his long and arduous battle with cancer this morning,” his son wrote. “He was the best father I could ever ask for. Every moment I’ve shared with him on and off stage was a gift. My heart is broken and I don’t think I’ll ever fully recover from this loss. I love you so much, Pop.”

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