PM dismisses JobKeeper changes

 

 

SCOTT Morrison has hosed down speculation the JobKeeper program could be phased out early as he faces growing calls to tweak the $130 billion wage subsidy.

The Prime Minister said any changes to the $1500 a fortnight payment would be "premature" while the economy was only just starting to reopen and with coronavirus "still out there".

JobKeeper was legislated as a six-month payment due to expire on September 27 but Australia's rapid flattening of the coronavirus curve and early reopening of the economy have led to calls to change the costly program.

 

 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says its too early to make changes to the JobKeeper program which is designed to keep people out of the unemployment queue. Picture Glenn Hampson
Prime Minister Scott Morrison says its too early to make changes to the JobKeeper program which is designed to keep people out of the unemployment queue. Picture Glenn Hampson

The government has reportedly been looking at phasing it out early or slashing the payments. Meanwhile Labor have raised concerns the program has left people behind and yesterday Deloitte Access Economics lead partner Pradeep Philip said it should be tweaked and extended to "shore up a strong recovery".

"The aim is to save more jobs that can be saved, while recognising that there will be some we cannot save," Dr Pradeep said.

"Australians cannot keep a job that won't earn its keep but we can keep more if we tweak JobKeeper.

"For JobKeeper to stop abruptly, all it would have done is have kicked the unemployment can down the road."

 

But Mr Morrison dismissed any changes yesterday, saying the country was only six weeks into the six month JobKeeper program.

"We still have a long way to go on this and I think it's quite dangerous to assert that this is all over … we've still got a long way to go," he said.

"We are just now starting to reopen our economy. We are not fully certain about what the implications of all of that will be. And that's why we have to remain on our guard."

 

 

He said the government had committed to support Australians for six months.

"We need to adjust based on advice and the strength of the economy and how many people we're getting back into jobs," he said.

"Well, these are the things we'll be watching carefully."

Originally published as PM dismisses JobKeeper changes



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