JobKeeper & JobeSeeker government payments to be significantly cut by hundreds of dollars post-September.
Scott Morrison today revealed the fate of payments keeping Australians either tied to their employers or kept afloat while out of work.
JobKeeper, the program that gave businesses $1,500 per fortnight per employee will be reduced to $1,200 after September.
Businesses will need to demonstrate a 30% drop in turnover to qualify for the payment at each quarter.
For JobSeeker, which added $550 to unemployed benefits, will go from $1,100 to $750 and offered to everyone working under 20 hours a week.
The payments will go down again in the March 2021 quarter, to $1,000 and $650 fortnightly respectively.
Cost of “JobKeeper 2.0”
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg confirmed this continuation of JobKeeper for another six months at the new levels would cost about $16 billion.
“When it comes to the JobSeeker coronavirus supplement, that’s going to cost around $3.8 billion to extend it out to December,” he said.
Mutual obligations – that is what people have to do to receive payments – will be reintroduced.
“We will be reintroducing mutual obligation in two phases – from 4 August we will be requiring people to connect again to employment services and to undertake four job searches a month,” Mr Morrison said.
“So if there is a job to be taken and a job that is being offered, then it is an obligation, a mutual obligation, for those who are on JobSeeker to take those jobs where they’re on offer.”
Trade unions welcome extension but criticise cuts
The Australian Council of Trade Unions said while it welcomed the payments being extended beyond September, the cuts were concerning.
“This announcement has delayed the economic catastrophe that would have resulted from pushing these programs off the cliff during the pandemic, 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,” ACTU Secretary Sally McManus said.
“The increase of the income free threshold to $300 for JobSeeker is welcome but the reintroduction of mutual obligations is a worrying return to the punitive approach to welfare payments which we hoped the Morrison Government had left behind.”
Watch: Prime Minister Scott Morrison is providing details on JobKeeper and JobSeeker payments
Further Perth & Australia coronavirus news on SoPerth.com.au.