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Scott Morrison dismisses JobKeeper speculation

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has shot down suggestions that he will wind back the JobKeeper payment scheme earlier than expected as Australia charts its road back to recovery.

Business Jotham Lian 11 May 2020
— 1 minute read

Despite the $130 billion JobKeeper scheme legislated to run until 27 September, there has been ongoing speculation that the government will use its scheduled June review of the program to announce a scale-back as the country works towards a three-step plan to reopening.

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“All of this is very premature. We are six weeks into a six-month program. And the impact of the virus, how it will impact on Australia in the months ahead with a reopening economy is very much a work in progress,” Mr Morrison said.

“At this stage, the uncertainties about the global economy, let alone our own economy, are still very much there, and it would be very premature, I think, to get into speculations.

“What people know is there is six months of an economic lifeline to the value of $130 billion and that says to Australians that we will be there for you and we will be there for you to get Australians back into work.”

However, Mr Morrison refused to rule out further changes to the scheme that could see a more targeted approach for more impacted sectors.

“How that program can be adjusted to better support over that period or if there are sectors that come under greater strain over a longer period of time, these are all things that the government is fully aware of,” Mr Morrison said.

“But we are not going to get ahead of ourselves here, and I would encourage others not to get ahead of themselves here.

“We are six weeks into a six-month program in one of the most uncertain economic and health environments any of us have ever seen, and so, if you’ve got a crystal ball, you might want to share it with me. I don’t have one.”

The Treasury’s latest figures show that over 768,000 entities have now enrolled for the JobKeeper scheme, covering more than 5 million employees.

A breakdown of those figures revealed that 40 per cent of all enrolments were made out of individual or sole traders, followed closely by companies at 39 per cent, trusts at 15 per cent and partnerships at 6 per cent.

Scott Morrison dismisses JobKeeper speculation
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Jotham Lian

Jotham Lian

Jotham Lian is the editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.

Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.

You can email Jotham at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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