500,000 more Aussies now eligible for JobKeeper, here’s what you need to know

In new changes to the JobKeeper scheme, allegedly more than 500,000 extra Australians could have access to the payment.

The $15 billion adjustments come as Victoria continues to see a drastic increase in coronavirus cases amidst Stage 4 lockdown.

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Source: The New Daily

More than 500,000 previously uneligible Australians will allegedly now have access to JobKeeper in changes announced by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.

“Today we’re announcing two significant changes to JobKeeper. The first is to the business turnover test and the second is to the eligible employee test,” Treasurer Josh Frydenberg described in a press conference.

Frydenberg revealed that businesses now only needed to demonstrate their earnings had fallen in one quarter, rather than two, to be eligible for the payment. Previously, a business would have had to prove that their income was down in both the June and September quarters to be eligible for JobKeeper in the December quarter, however, now they only need to prove they were down in the September quarter.

Secondly, Frydenberg announced that employees who worked for a business as of the July 1 – rather than March 1 – would be now eligible for the payment.

Both changes take into account the fact that businesses may have reported higher earnings and hired more staff during the period after the first lockdown, only to now find themselves faced with even more stringent restrictions.

“We believe that about 530,000 extra Victorian employees will now join the JobKeeper program over the September quarter, that means 1.5 million Victorian employees will be using JobKeeper,” Treasurer Josh Frydenberg described, as reported by the ABC.

Whilst the changes will apply country wide, it’s expected that the majority of new eligibile businesses and employees will come from Victoria.

The JobKeeper payment is set to remain at the current amount until September 28, when it will then split into two tiers with the dollar amount decreased over time.

Whilst the announcment is welcome news for many, it has been met with some criticism. Some have been vocal about the fact that the payment is still set to decrease in September, despite the fact that Victoria is currently in Stage 4 lockdown and the rest of the country is trailing behind.

Others have argued that businesses may need to withdraw from JobKeeper entirely because its not economically viable.

And many have called out the fact that there are still so many Australians in need who remain uneligible.