Scott Morrison Considering Slashing Or Ditching JobKeeper Allowance Earlier Than Expected
The Australian government is reportedly considering switching up the JobKeeper payment.
News Corp reports Prime Minister Scott Morrison is looking at options for the $1,500 a fortnight payment and whether it could be changed or ditched sooner than expected.
The subsidy support was announced to give employers an opportunity to keep staff on the payroll without going broke. The payment is delivered to full-time, part-time and casual workers who were working for more than 12 months and has been instrumental in ensuring people can feed themselves and their families whilst also not ending up homeless.
The payment was project to cost up to $130 billion and is legislated to be paid out until September.
It was also forecast to apply to more than six million Australians, however only five million have been signed up.
After the government unveiled its three step plan to coming out of the coronavirus pandemic, the question of whether the payment is needed for several more months is now hotly contested.
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Prime Minister Scott Morrison said: "The JobKeeper and the JobSeeker program, as you note, have a legislative life which was set out over a six-month time frame.
"There's a review built into JobKeeper to be done before the end of June. Treasury will be doing that, they've been doing a lot of work on that just over the last week or so.
"So, look, we'll take that one step at a time. But I need to stress again that that was a temporary lifeline put in place to help Australians through the worst of this crisis. It comes at a very significant cost, not just to current but to future generations as well. And it will be there to get us, to meet that objective, but it's not envisaged - never was - to be a longer term arrangement."
One of the options being considered is targeting the payment to businesses that are directly affected by the pandemic, rather than having the subsidy available to anyone who is eligible.
Another option is reassessing the payment given to workers based on the their status. At the moment, all those who are eligible get $1,500 per fortnight. That doesn't take in account how much they were earning previously or whether they were full-time or part-time.
That option would involve looking at whether to scale back the payments for part-time workers or scale the payments based on how much people were earning before the pandemic.
Mr Morrison warned that the payment was always intended to be temporary, however it could be on a much shorter time frame than previously expected.
"I give them the certainty that I want them to be back in their jobs where they don't need it; that's what we want," he said.
Featured Image Credit: PA