Treasurer explains the massive $130 billion JobKeeper package and how we’ll pay for it
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has unveiled a massive $130 billion package over six months to provide job security during the coronavirus crisis.
The ‘JobKeeper’ package will subsidise the pay packets of Australians at risk of being stood down because of the COVID-19 downturn.
Six million Australians are expected to access the scheme, which will see recipients granted a $1500 a fortnight payment.
For those who earn more than $1500 a fortnight, employers will chip in the rest.
Workers at businesses with turnover of under $1 billion per year will be able to access the scheme if the business has seen profits fall by 30 per cent or more. For businesses with turnover of over $1 billion per year, turnover must fall by at least 50 per cent for employees to be eligible.
The payments will flow from the first week of May and be back dated to March 30.
Those who were stood down after March 1 will also be eligible for the payments.
The package will be available to full-time workers, part-time workers, sole traders, and casuals who have worked in their position for at least a year.
Workers who are still working in some capacity, as well as those who are unable to work at all due to COVID-19, will be eligible.
Already, over 113,000 businesses have registered their interest in the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme.
As of 8am today, over 113,000 Australian businesses have registered their interest in the new #JobKeeper wage subsidy of $1500 per fortnight for each employee. Our $130 billion plan is all about keeping Australians in jobs while we deal with this #coronavirus crisis.
— Scott Morrison (@ScottMorrisonMP) March 30, 2020
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg acknowledged the enormous package will have far-reaching consequences.
“We’ll pay for this for years to come,” he told 3AW’s Ross and John.
“That’s the harsh reality of the debt burden that’s created by this level of spending.
“This is more generous than New Zealand’s scheme. It is broader than the United Kingdom’s scheme, as it applies to all employees not just those who have been stood down.”
The government will also extend the JobSeeker payment to include those whose partners earn up to $79,000 per year. Currently the payment is only accessible for unemployed people whose partners earn under $48,000.
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Image: Sam Mooy/Getty Images