Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced that JobKeeper and JobSeeker will be extended until March 2021.
However, JobKeeper will now be split into two tiers, with the amount decreasing over time.
Scott Morrison has announced that JobKeeper will be extended until March 2021, but there will be a sharp reduction in its amount.
Speaking in a news conference today, Morrison revealed that the wage subsidy scheme would be split into two tiers, depending on if recipients are working full time or part-time, with the latter categorised as those who work 20 hours or less per week.
At the end of September, full-time workers will receive a revised rate of $1,200 per fortnight and part-time workers will receive $750 – both down from $1,500. Then, in December, the amounts will be further reduced, with full-time workers getting $1,000, and part-time workers getting $650.
JobSeeker is also set to be reduced from September, with the payment going down from $1100 to around $800 per fortnight until the end of the year. This remains up from the pre-COVID rate of around $560 (back when the payment was named Newstart).
Elsewhere, the income threshold for claiming JobSeeker is being raised to $300, meaning if people are working, they will be able to earn more income and still claim the payment. Of course, that’s if they can even find a job at this time.
Recently, a study found that if the JobSeeker payment was to return to its pre-COVID amount, more than half a million Australians would be thrown into poverty.
The announcement has been met with criticism, with some highlighting how the payment continues to least benefit those most in need:
Govt has continued to fail to provide any support for all those who missed out on #jobkeeper because they are in casual or irregular work or are in sectors such as the arts or universities
— Anthony Albanese (@AlboMP) July 21, 2020
JobKeeper reduction to sub-minimum wage levels could set a dangerous precedent, especially as the FWC ruled employer demands to work full time for the supplement are lawful directives. Fears that the minimum wage has been effectively reduced by $300-$500 per fn are well-founded
— Lauren Kate Kelly🌹 (@laurenkatekelly) July 21, 2020
The government is slashing JobKeeper payment to $1200 per fortnight and JobSeeker to $800 per fortnight and reintroducing mutual obligations. Meanwhile new locally transmitted cases are higher than ever and unemployment is the highest it’s been for 20 years.
— Jinghua Qian (@qianjinghua) July 21, 2020
The Morrison government have from today stopped free childcare and taken away JobKeeper for early childhood educators. Both these decisions target women. These decisions fly in the face of what’s needed for a fair recovery.
— Michele O’Neil (@MicheleONeilAU) July 12, 2020