Tuesday , May 26 2020
Home / Federal Politics / Review to consider extending JobKeeper beyond September

Review to consider extending JobKeeper beyond September

The program’s massive cost to an already ballooning budget deficit has some Coalition MPs calling privately for it to be wound back as soon as coronavirus restrictions on businesses such as pubs, clubs and restaurants are fully lifted.


However, confirmation on Thursday that almost 600,000 jobs were lost in April has fuelled concerns among many government MPs the economy will “fall off a cliff” once the massive subsidies finish.

Labor leader Anthony Albanese and his frontbench quizzed the government during question time over why a range of casuals, gig workers and workers for foreign companies were not eligible for the program while student casuals were now receiving subsidies higher than their pre-pandemic wages.

NSW Liberal MP Jason Falinski called for the program to be turned off “as soon as possible” this week, but cautioned it would need to be phased out.

Australian Council of Trade Unions secretary Sally McManus said Thursday’s unemployment numbers should remind the government more needed to be done to protect jobs during the crisis.

“Cutting the subsidy short or scaling it back would be a disaster for working people and for the economy,” she said. “We need to keep people in work, and keep money in the hands of working people. Domestic spending is the key to recovering as soon as possible.”

The Morrison government on Thursday suspended the requirement for welfare recipients to go to job interviews and work for the dole for another week until June 1.

Employment Minister Michaelia Cash said the government would review whether to reinstate the requirements at that time depending on the labour market and the level of COVID-19 restrictions.

When the so-called “mutual obligation requirements” were reinstated, Senator Cash said they would come back in three stages.

“That first phase could literally be touching base with your job provider,” she said. “Gradually as we move into phase two, that would be increasing the number of appointments with your provider, potentially looking for a job.”

At that stage, welfare recipients could be required to search for up to four jobs a month. Senator Cash said penalties for failing to meet requirements would resume in stage three but did not give a time frame for the three stages.

Sign up to our Coronavirus Update newsletter

Get our Coronavirus Update newsletter for the day’s crucial developments at a glance, the numbers you need to know and what our readers are saying. Sign up to The Sydney Morning Herald’s newsletter here and The Age’s here.

Most Viewed in Politics


About admin

Check Also

Frydenberg moves to shield boards from class action lawsuits

The changes are designed to make it harder for shareholders to sue companies if the …