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Package of pain: ‘No doubt’ businesses will fold and unemployment will rise in coming weeks

Neil Mitchell
Article image for Package of pain: ‘No doubt’ businesses will fold and unemployment will rise in coming weeks

The Australian Council of Trade Unions and Australian Industry Group have warned there’s “no doubt” businesses will fold and unemployment will rise when a slew of government lifelines introduced during the pandemic end on Sunday.

The $90 billion JobKeeper program will come to an end, as will loan guarantees for small and medium enterprises, the 50 per cent wage subsidy for apprentices, power bill exemptions, land tax relief, and the rent freeze.

Neil Mitchell says it amounts to “a package of pain”.

Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox agrees.

“There’s no doubt about it — there’s going to be a lot of pain,” he said.

Mr Willox said there’s “absolutely no doubt” businesses will fold as economic lifelines are taken away.

Assistant secretary of the ACTU, Liam O’Brien says it’s a “tipping point”.

“We’re very worried about what’s going to happen in the coming weeks,” he said.

“We know that there’s going to be an increase in unemployment … and we’re concerned it’s going to potentially stall the recovery at a really critical point.

“We need to think about the economic impacts of withdrawing support and actually if its going to be more costly for governments in the long term.”

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Neil Mitchell
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