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'Australia will never be the same': Why the coronavirus crisis is SIX times worse than the GFC and could leave the nation with $300bn deficit, a massive recession and one in 10 workers unemployed

  • More than a million Australians could be left unemployed thanks to COVID-19 
  • Experts fear the economic downturn will be as bad as the Great Depression 
  • It could see a record deficit of $300bn, six times worse than the financial crash
  • House prices could also tumble as a huge recession hits, economists warned 

Australia could be changed for a generation by the COVID-19 pandemic, with house prices set to tumble, unemployment on the rise and a $300 billion deficit looming. 

Economists fear the aftershock of the coronavirus outbreak could be far worse than the effects of the global financial crash of 2008.

The economic downturn resulted in Australia's worst budget deficit since records began 50 years ago, with the 2009-10 shortfall sitting at $54.5 billion. 

But a looming recession caused by the coronavirus outbreak could be six times worse than that, with a $300 billion shortfall. 

More than a million workers face being unemployed, one in ten of the country's working population of 12.5 million, with house prices also set to take a hit.

Australia could be changed for a generation by the COVID-19 pandemic (pictured: The Queen Victoria Building is usually filled with shoppers, however it has been left empty)

Businesses have been forced to close because of drastic restrictions aimed at stopping the spread of the deadly respiratory virus.

This has left thousands of people already out of work, with more jobs at risk if stricter 'level four' measures are brought in.

Currently, people are told to stay in their homes unless doing an 'essential' activity, such as going to work, the supermarket or for exercise. 

Embattled ANZ Bank chief executive Shayne Elliott said the devastating impacts will affect the national psyche 'for an entire generation'.

'Australia in the future won't look the same,' he told The Age.   

'It won't look the same because it will impact a whole generation of our customers, the way they think about technology, the way they think about borrowing, the way they think about employment, the way they think about frankly the capitalist system and democracy.'

Centrelink offices around Australia have been inundated with people since the restrictions left many unemployed

It comes as Australia's major banks continue to take a huge economic hit, deferring mortgage payments for impacted customers and waiving fees.

The cost has already been big, with ANZ's shares falling 40 per cent since February and now at their lowest level since the global financial crash.  

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By Alisha Rouse
(Source:; April 4, 2020;
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