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Pandemic Reserve

This week, amidst the COVID-19 lockdown in Victoria, we are looking forward. Up until now, we have been in the throes of a reactive response to the pandemic. What is needed is some forward thinking and in this presentation we will put forward a ‘forward defence pandemic strategy’. We propose this because pandemics are likely to increase in a world of ever-increasing population growth, urbanisation, environmental destruction and industrial farming practises. These issues make us more susceptible to viruses crossing the animal-human barrier.

When formulating any kind of pandemic strategy, we need to look at both the economic and health consequences and plan for them. On the health front, we believe there should be a national pandemic response team who can plan for future pandemics. What we have witnessed in Australia with COVID-19 is a piecemeal approach carried out by the various states and territories which has caused untold suffering, both economically and health wise.

Secondly, we need a pandemic reserve, just like the SES, who can spring into action in an outbreak emergency. They would also be responsible for disseminating information to the community to educate them on how they can best prepare and respond to a pandemic.

What about the economic factors?
A Universal Basic Income (UBI) for every Australian is a must. The end of the Jobkeeper and Jobseeker supplementary payments will be catastrophic for both individuals and small businesses. A UBI ensures that whatever disaster occurs, people will have enough resources to survive.

How do we fund all these measures?
We propose a 2% pandemic levy paid by all taxpayers, a 1% stockmarket turnover tax and a 1% turnover tax on all the companies and corporations whose turnover is greater than $2 million per year. These measures would raise hundreds of billions of dollars annually. We would have more than enough money to fund our pandemic strategy.

Every idea starts somewhere. How fast and wide they spread is dependent on how many people take them up. We encourage you to have a look at the Public Interests Before Corporate Interests (PIBCI) website and think about joining us. We are on the cusp of reaching 550 members which is the number needed to form a federal political party. Think about it.