Australian Government Extends JobKeeper Until March 2021
The Australian government has revealed it will be extending JobKeeper until March of 2021.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison introduced the subsidy as the coronavirus pandemic was kicking off to ensure people who might lose their job would have money to pay for rent and essential goods and services.
It was initially due to run out in September, however the Coalition will keep it running for another six months, albeit at a lower rate.
After 28 September, the new JobKeeper will be a flat rate of $1,200 a fortnight for eligible staff who work more than 20 hours a week. People who work under that number will be eligible for $750 a fortnight.
That will run until 4 January, before the payments are scaled down even further until 28 March 2021.
People working more than 20 hours will get a flat rate of $1,000 per fortnight, those under 20 hours will get $650 per fortnight.
Mr Morrison said the government cannot continue to pay people at the rate they were getting during the pandemic.
"They know a current scheme that is burning cash, their cash, taxpayers' cash to the tune of some $11 billion a month cannot go on forever," he said.
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"Australians understand that. They also understand that the JobSeeker at the elevated levels cannot go on forever."
Mr Morrison also didn't rule out JobKeeper being extended beyond March.
"I think that's premature. Where the world will be at the end of March is not something that we could speculate upon at this time," Mr Morrison said.
"But I think what people - I hope what people - see today was several months ago when these questions were put to both us in this courtyard and the suggestion was that somehow the Government would not be extending arrangements.
"All we were simply saying was that we'd be looking at that at the time, we'd make judgements on where the country was at, what the health situation was and that's exactly what we've done.
"We've made decisions to continue to provide support, based on the evidence, based on the expert advice, based on what we believe the economy needs. When we make the next set of decisions, we'll be doing exactly the same thing. We'll be assessing it and doing what's best for the country which is what we've sought to do today."
After 27 September, people on the JobSeeker program will only get $250, and the government is planning to end that subsidy at the end of this year.
The income free threshold for the JobSeeker payment will be increased to $300 a week.
Featured Image Credit: PA