NSW unveils $2.8b economic recovery plan

Premier Dominic Perrottet has unveiled a $2.8 billion economic recovery plan for virus-hit NSW.
Premier Dominic Perrottet has unveiled a $2.8 billion economic recovery plan for virus-hit NSW.

The NSW government will spend $2.8 billion to help repair the $50 billion hole left by the state's lengthy pandemic lockdown - "a once-in-a-lifetime economic catastrophe".

Treasurer Matt Kean on Thursday unveiled his economic recovery plan, revealing the state's stay-at-home restrictions - which lasted 106 days in some areas - cost the economy $1.9 billion per week at their peak.

He says his stimulus package will rebuild consumer confidence and target support to industries hard-hit by restrictions, but ultimately, its aim is to "leave no one behind".

"We know this was a once-in-a-lifetime economic catastrophe in NSW, but because of our strong health strategy, because of this economic recovery strategy, I'm confident we'll be able to bounce back better," he told reporters.

The package includes a well deserved reward for parents, said Dominic Perrottet, who has touted himself as "the premier for families".

In an expansion of the state's voucher incentive scheme, $250 per household will be provided to parents of school-age children to spend on accommodation from March.

That comes on top of $50 accommodation vouchers for every adult in the state announced on Wednesday, and the two extra $25 Dine and Discover vouchers already promised.

"This program is a big thank you to parents. Every parent who has homeschooled knows the enormous sacrifices and how challenging it's been during the past three months," Mr Perrottet said.

"We want you to get out with your kids, or take some respite from them and go out with your partner, and enjoy the best that NSW has to offer."

But deputy NSW Labor leader Prue Car says parents need the stimulus now.

"If this $250 is supposed to be a thank you, why do the working families of NSW have to wait six months?" she told reporters.

"Family budgets will be very stretched for the next few months over the Christmas period."

However, the premier said the measure was designed to sustain demand through to next year, and parents will have three school holiday periods to use the vouchers.

He also rejected concerns the package's headline measure left out large swathes of the community, who also deserve a reward, like teachers who don't have children of their own.

"There is something in this economic recovery package for everyone," he said.

"It is the most extensive economic recovery plan in the country by a long, long way."

Big ticket items in the plan include a $66 million alfresco dining package, $50 million for the performing arts sector and $300 million to fund a COVID-19 learning support program

Some $480 million will be spent on new housing or refuges for people fleeing domestic violence, while $130 million will go towards bolstering mental health services.

With 250,000 jobs lost during lockdown and the unemployment rate expected to hit 6.4 per cent, $100 million has also been set aside for helping job seekers to retrain or upskill.

The new packages takes the money spent on support measures as a result of the lockdown to more than $10 billion, the government says.

But shadow treasurer Daniel Mookhey is not impressed.

He says the plan lacks detail.

"Most of what the premier and treasurer announced today are recycled ideas paid for with recycled money," he said.

"The government should have extended the payroll tax discount for another 12 months... (and) they should have tapered off the JobSaver program according to business recovery and economic conditions, not the arbitrary timetable set by Scott Morrison."

Australian Associated Press