on air now

JobKeeper package: Why the federal government opted for a flat $1500 payment instead of a tiered scheme

Yesterday, the federal government announced an $130 billion wage guarantee package to help millions of Australians at risk of losing their jobs due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Under the package, full-time and part-time workers, sole traders and casuals who have been employed in their role for at least a year, whose jobs are at risk, will be paid $1500 a fortnight.

Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar said the JobKeeper package is unprecedented, but the federal government believes it will pay off.

“It’s the largest single spending outside of war time that any government has ever engaged in,” he told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell.

“The social dislocation, not to mention for a moment the economic dislocation, that this is causing means that this will hopefully be a very worthwhile investment, although we will be paying it back for a very long time.”

Mr Sukkar said the government opted for a blanket payment of $1500 instead of a tiered wage guarantee system for the sake of simplicity.

“We provide the same support for everybody, and there’s no doubt for some people this will be a bit more money than they were getting a fortnight,” he said.

“Part of the reason we did that is for a scheme this big simplicity is important.

“Even with a scheme that you try to keep really, really simple, there is always going to be some complexity in those borderline cases.”

For more information on the package visit

If you’re an employer who wants to register for the JobKeeper scheme visit

Press PLAY below for the Assistant Treasurer’s answers to questions from 3AW Mornings listeners.

Treasurer explains the massive $130 billion JobKeeper package and how we’ll pay for it