It looks increasingly likely that the Federal Government will be completely axing the JobKeeper program in March, according to reports from Sky News this afternoon.
In an exclusive report, Sky News Political Editor Andrew Clennell stated that the decision to cut off JobKeeper payments is included in papers concerning the Federal Government’s next budget. That scheme, which aided people displaced from their employment by the COVID-19 pandemic, will instead be replaced by a wage subsidy scheme aimed at small and medium businesses.
“I am told the budget papers are clear – the scheme ends then,” Clennell stated this afternoon.
The report this afternoon has been met with strident opposition from opposing Federal MPs on social media, including Greens MP for Melbourne Adam Bandt who cited the optics of cutting people off the hugely vital programs while the unemployment rebound from COVID is still active.
We’re in the worst recession in a lifetime, millions are still under lockdown, real unemployment is around 13%, there’s one job for every 13 looking, and the PM thinks this is the week we should cut JobKeeper and JobSeeker? No. #maintaintherate
— Adam Bandt (@AdamBandt) September 22, 2020
Although March 2021 may seem like a long time away, the big shock to JobKeeper recipients will be the reduced payments that come into practice next week.
The previous $1500 payment will be reduced to $1200 for full-time workers and $750 for part-time workers, as part of a broader phasing down strategy by the Morrison Government.
Labor’s treasury spokesman Jim Chalmers said the decision to slash the value of the wage subsidy next week was a mistake, highlighting that this payment cut could not have come at a worse time.
Next Monday, 1,224,598 NSW workers will have their JobKeeper payments cut. In the middle of this jobs crisis, why is Morrison pulling support back without a jobs plan to replace it? #auspol pic.twitter.com/YOvh38Ppuj
— Jim Chalmers MP (@JEChalmers) September 22, 2020
More to come.