Anthony Albanese has accused the federal government of failing to understand how badly small businesses are hurting during the Omicron wave, as the Coalition resists calls to provide extra economic support.
The Labor leader said businesses were suffering from a “void of national leadership” after the deputy prime minister, Barnaby Joyce, declared the government could not say yes “every time someone turns up and says I want money”.
The New South Wales Coalition government announced on Sunday it would roll out a $1bn economic support package to help small- and medium-size businesses, but the payment will be capped at half of what was offered during the Delta wave.
The state treasurer, Matt Kean, said he was “very disappointed” that the federal government had declined to pour in funding.
“In their absence we’re having to step up to the plate and do our bit to preserve those businesses and help our national economy,” Kean…