David Seymour: "You should be able to open if you're safe, whether you're 'essential' or not"

coronavirus 16/04/2020

ACT Leader David Seymour joins The AM Show to discuss efforts on passing a law that will allow MPs to take a pay cut and the Government's 'dictatorship' during the coronavirus pandemic.

Seymour firstly addresses the Government's recent decision for the Prime Minister, ministers and public sector chiefs to take a 20% pay cut:

We are technically called a House of Representatives, and when you've got people in the private sector doing it, it's only right that the same should apply to the representatives in parliament as well.

Seymour, who has been advocating for the pay cut to extend wider, says he's received advice that a law change would be required for it to happen. He's subsequently had a Bill drafted that he will table when Parliament resumes after the lockdown is lifted. That's currently meant to be on April 28.

As for nearing the potential end of Alert Level 4, Seymour warns of the Government's inability to consider the health impacts of being in lockdown:

We've had a lot of fear of the virus, but I don't think we've properly understood the impact of the lockdown.

"Not just on the economy, but on health as well. There's a whole lot of health impacts of being poorer, people being locked and the anxiety it has caused."

"I think that is why it's so important that, whether it's today or next Wednesday, we need to move from saying..."

You can open if you're essential, to you can open if you're safe.

"Not only would that allow a lot more businesses to open, but it would also shift the emphasis away from this dictatorial approach of the Government saying you're essential, you're not."

For the full interview, watch the video above.