The head of Treasury has pushed back against complaints that desperately needed government financial support is being handed out too slowly.
A Senate committee inquiring into the Commonwealth's COVID-19 response heard that $10 billion out of more than $200 billion in direct assistance had been paid out in the past three weeks, and a further $30 billion would be distributed in the next month.
Committee chair Katy Gallagher said it was worrying that so little support had so far reached the community.
"We are concerned to find that out that only $10 billion of the over $200 billion in direct budget support has actually gone out the door at this point in time," the Labor senator said.
"The biggest injection of money into the economy has actually come from private savings through [early access to] super."
But Treasury secretary Steven Kennedy defended the speed with which payments were being made.
"From my perspective those monies are running out remarkably quickly," Mr Kennedy said.
The Australian Taxation Office is implementing the $130 billion JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme, which so far covers 540,000 businesses and 3.4 million workers. Payments to employers of $1500 per fortnight for each eligible employee are expected to begin flowing next week.
Services Australia is administering the JobSeeker scheme and has so far processed more than 600,000 claims.
In addition to JobKeeper and JobSeeker, the government is implementing a range of other measures including a $32 billion cash flow grant program for small and medium businesses and scheme to allow people early access to up to $20,000 of their superannuation.
Treasury deputy secretary Jenny Wilkinson told the committee hearing that of the $10 billion of assistance so far distributed, $4.3 billion came from the first $750 stimulus payment to welfare recipients, $4.5 billion from the business cash flow boost and the remaining $1.2 billion form JobSeeker payments.
Ms Wilkinson also revealed that 762,000 people had applied for early superannuation access, and 757,000 had been approved, providing a further $6.3 billion short-term boost to personal incomes.
The Australian Public Service has undertaken a massive reorganisation and expansion to implement the economic rescue package, redeploying thousands of public servants and hiring thousands of additional staff.
Services Australia has taken on 6500 additional staff and plans to hire a further 3800 while the ATO has redeployed thousands of public services from enforcement and compliance areas into customer service areas.
Mr Kennedy praised both organisations.
"I am incredibly impressed by what the ATO and Services Australia have been able to achieve," he said. "From my perspective, those parts of the public service have done exceptionally well."
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