Media release: JobKeeper changes mean more will struggle

Media release: JobKeeper changes mean more will struggle Main Image

Local Federal MPs, Fiona Phillips and Stephen Jones, today called on the Government to reconsider its proposed cuts to JobKeeper. These cuts are coming at the worst possible time for many workers, businesses and communities, particularly on the South Coast which this year has been hit by drought, bushfire, flood and COVID-19.

Currently more than 3.5 million people are receiving the JobKeeper wage subsidy. However, next Monday the rate of the JobKeeper payment will decrease by $300 per fortnight, coming as a cruel blow to local businesses during one of our greatest economic downturns.  

At a time when our nation’s unemployment rate is rising rapidly, it is astonishing that the Morrison-led Coalition Government is still proceeding with their plan to withdraw support.

These cuts will see businesses close and force more workers into unemployment queues. The Coalition Government has already received advice from Treasury that it expects an additional 400,000 Australians to lose their jobs between now and Christmas.

For many small businesses in our region, these cuts in support will be the final blow.

Both the Electorates of Gilmore, and Whitlam have some of the highest rates of JobKeeper applications in New South Wales. In Gilmore, 5,364 businesses and organisation are currently receiving JobKeeper, while in Whitlam 4,535 are receiving the payment.

As a result of these changes more than $6,000,000 will be ripped out of the Gilmore electorate each fortnight, while more than $5,000,000 will be ripped out of Whitlam. Coming on top of the devastating natural disasters to hit the region this year, many of these businesses may also be forced to close their doors due to these changes.

Our nation’s high unemployment rate provides a clear case as to why the current rate of the JobKeeper wage subsidy should remain unchanged.

As part of Labor’s Eight Point Plan to boost the economy, Labor is advising that the JobKeeper, and JobSeeker payment rates should remain unchanged for the time being.