Kicking the economy while Qantas is down

The government's handling of Qantas and the carmakers would be acceptable if the economy wasn't taking a beating from all other angles. Investment is plummeting and the stream of job losses could soon become a torrent.

Last week started well enough: Australia was the centre of the economic world, proudly announcing an agreement by the G20 to set a ‘growth target’ that would push global real GDP 2 per cent higher than current forecasts by 2018.

Everything had changed by the end of the week: Qantas had announced it would cut 5000 jobs and slash spending by $2 billion. Multi-lateral ‘growth targets’ seemed like a world away.

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