Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme
Minister for Government Services

Transcript: Interview with Melissa Doyle, Seven's The Latest

31 March 2020

The Hon Stuart Robert MP

Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme
Minister for Government Services
E&OE

MELISSA DOYLE: 

And earlier I spoke with Government Services Minister, Stuart Robert, about who has received the money, and where the Government hopes it will go.

Minister, are you confident that everyone who is entitled to this money has now received it?

MINISTER ROBERT:        

I am. We've said all along that the 6.8 million Australians who receive the $750 will receive it between today and 17 April. The first 1.5 million Australians have started receiving it today, and we're hopeful that we can have 90 per cent of it paid out this week, so 10 days earlier than we had first stated.

MELISSA DOYLE:   

90 per cent is a pretty good figure. What would you say the Government would like to see Australians, I guess, spend it on?

MINISTER ROBERT:    

Well, the Prime Minister has outlined the restrictions Australians are currently under, and he's emphasised that it's all about essentials, so I'd encourage all Australians to go to australia.gov.au or download the coronavirus app on the app store or Google Play. All the information you'll need is there, but this money is there for essentials and to help Australians in terms of providing for those essentials.

MELISSA DOYLE:   

Are you concerned that senior Australians, who've taken a significant hit to their retirement funds, might save this stimulus money rather than spending it?

MINISTER ROBERT:
   
Treasury advice is that the money will be spent and, of course, they've reached back to the GFC to look at trends in how people behaved; different then, of course, because there was a lot greater freedom of movement, but again, we'd encourage all Australians to get advice from australia.gov.au, get hold of the app and spend it on essentials.

MELISSA DOYLE:   

Alright. So, you're pretty confident it's flowing quickly, sticking to plan, about one per cent of people to go to get theirs?

MINISTER ROBERT:
   
We're very confident we'll get these funds out this week, 10 days earlier, but we've given ourselves through to 17 April. So, the key is Australians don't need to call us, the funds will flow through automatically to all primary payment holders because they're already part of our social security system. We know who they are, and the funds will be moving quickly.

MELISSA DOYLE:   

Stuart Robert, thanks for your time.

Page last updated: 16 July 2020