Here’s What You Gotta Know About JobKeeper 2.0, Which Is Facing Massive Cuts After September

The Federal Government has announced a raft of changes to the JobKeeper wage subsidy program, confirming the $1500 per fortnight payment will continue in a downgraded form from September.

Speaking at Parliament House this morning, Prime Minister Scott Morrison provided details on the next phase of the scheme.

First up: The $1500 payment, which was introduced in May to help employers keep their workers on the payroll during the coronavirus crisis, will be carved into two tiers.

From the end of September, eligible full-time employees will be entitled to $1200 per fortnight, while folks who work fewer than 20 hours a week will land a $750 support payment.

The payments will ratchet down even harder from January 2021, with full-timers eligible for $1000 a fortnight, and workers on fewer hours copping $650.

Once again, workplaces will need to provide evidence they’re in financial distress.

Those decisions come after a huge review of the JobKeeper system, which found that as many as 900,000 workers technically received a pay bump thanks to the subsidy.

The idea of hard-hit workers having bonus cash to pump into the economy? Well, that doesn’t gel with the government’s plan to tackle the recession, so they decided to put an end to that ‘over-payment’ as soon as possible.

The amended JobKeeper system will jack up the bill by $16 billion, bringing the tab to $86 billion – still way, way below the original $130 billion figure forecast by the Treasury.

The news of JobKeeper’s extension, even in this pared-back form, will likely be seen as scant good news for folks in the tourism and entertainment sectors, whose workplaces will take a while to recover from the crisis.

But the two-tier system has come under fire, with the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) asking why workers on minimal hours are, once again, copping a raw deal compared to their full-time counterparts.

“This announcement has delayed the economic catastrophe that would have resulted from pushing these programs off the cliff during the pandemic,” said ACTU Secretary Sally McManus, “but we need far-reaching government investment to create a path out of recession and to create the jobs we will need to rebuild the economy.”

The new JobKeeper system is slated to run until March 28, 2021. Hopefully the virus has well and truly fucked off by then.

JobKeeper isn’t the only payment facing a shake-up, either. Morrison also revealed a huge change to the JobSeeker payment, meaning unemployed Australians will also have their entitlements cut in the coming months. You can catch up on those amendments here.