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Australia’s government will lay out a spending program to resuscitate a recession-hit economy and generate jobs for the hundreds of thousands of people left unemployed by the nation’s Covid-19 lockdown.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is expected to announce a A$220 billion ($158 billion) deficit when he hands down a delayed budget for the year ending June 2021, at 7:30 p.m. in Canberra. The shortfall will be equivalent to 11.6% of gross domestic product, according to the median estimate of surveyed economists.

Five hours earlier, the Reserve Bank of Australia delivers its October interest rate decision, and is expected to keep policy unchanged.

The government’s economic blueprint is expected to backdate to July 1 this year income tax cuts that had been set to start in July 2022, and fast track another round due to start in 2024. It also plans an investment allowance for firms as well as tax breaks for small startups, according to reports. The government has already announced A$1.5 billion to revitalize manufacturing and create jobs and A$1.2 billion to subsidize wages of new apprentices.

It also plans an expanded first-home buyer program and billions of dollars extra in infrastructure funding to state governments on the proviso they use it or lose it. A women’s economic security statement is also expected aimed at cutting the gender pay gap and getting more women into the workforce.

timeline: Position Shift

© Bloomberg
Position Shift

The central bank is working in tandem with the government, keeping borrowing costs low across the economy via its bond-buying and bank-lending programs and ensuring the government can borrow as needed. Tonight’s fiscal blueprint will aim to bring down unemployment — forecast to be 8% by mid-next year and still at 7.2% in mid-2022, when an election is due.

Australia entered its first recession in

a plane sitting on top of a runway: Air travel has been devastated by a fall in demand during the pandemic

© Reuters
Air travel has been devastated by a fall in demand during the pandemic

US airlines have begun laying off thousands of workers after efforts to negotiate a new economic relief plan in Congress stalled.

American Airlines says it shedding 19,000 workers and United Airlines 13,000.

The carriers – badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic – say they are ready to reverse the decisions if more financing is found.

The airlines have received billions of dollars from the federal government.

Congress agreed the aid agreed earlier in the year as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act [Cares Act]. It was conditional that the carriers did not lay off workers until 1 October.

Airlines worldwide have been hit by a massive fall in demand caused by the pandemic.

In a letter to staff announcing the layoffs, American Airlines Chief Executive Officer Doug Parker said: “I am extremely sorry we have reached this outcome. It is not what you all deserve.”

On Wednesday United Airlines, in a message to its employees, said it was imploring “our elected leaders to reach a compromise, get a deal done now, and save jobs”.

“In a continuing effort to give the federal government every opportunity to act, we have made clear to leadership in the administration, Congress and among our union partners that we can and will reverse the furlough process if the Cares Act Payroll Support Program is extended in the next few days.”

It added: “To our departing 13,000 family members: thank you for your dedication and we look forward to welcoming you back.”

The layoffs increase pressure on Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi who have been trying to agree on a follow-up relief plan for the struggling US economy.

Democrats, who control

Tough news today as PMRC, the recently announced joint venture between Deadline parent company PMC and MRC, will lay off around 50 of the 250 employees who are coming over from Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter and Vibe. I got from a THR source a copy of an internal email sent out this morning by MRC co-CEOs Modi Wiczyk and Asif Satchu (read below). Editorial is not expected to be among those laid off. As often happens in a joint venture like this, layoffs will fall in the area of brand support employees, where there are shared positions in the back offices of PMC and MRC. Those impacted are being told this morning and the memo discloses that there will be exit packages and up to six months of COBRA insurance, and job placement assistance offered. There will be approximately 40 layoffs today, while the rest will stay temporarily in a transitioning process. Deadline is not directly part of the PMRC configuration, but after reporting all the painful consolidation at agencies and studios in the past six months, we certainly feel for those impacted by this morning’s action. Here is the memo from Wiczyk and Satchu just sent out.

Colleagues –

With the news of Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter and VIBE moving into PMRC, our joint venture with Penske Media (PMC), many questions about the path forward have begun to circulate. As you can imagine, there are various elements to the strategy for a stable and long-term future for these iconic brands and not everything can possibly be covered in one letter. We will gather on Friday, and will discuss more in the coming weeks.

For now, our first and most painful step has implications on our workforce. Unfortunately, we will be saying goodbye to some of our colleagues today. It’s