Treasurer reveals plans to support business when JobKeeper ends
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has revealed more about the federal government’s plans to support businesses after the JobKeeper scheme finishes towards the end of March.
Mr Frydenberg said he intended to end JobKeeper at the end of March; however, he also said it is not the only measure that the federal government has put in place.
“We have been talking about tax cuts, which is putting billions of dollars into the economy,” he told ABC Breakfast.
“There is the JobMaker Hiring Credit to young people from the unemployment queues into work. There is the infrastructure spending we have brought forward and support for the tourism industry, for the aviation sector.
“There is the HomeBuilder program that was extended for another three months. All of these programs add up to a very significant package of support to help Australia get through this crisis.”
Mr Frydenberg said $77 billion has been spent on the JobKeeper scheme and that, at its peak, it was supporting 3.6 million Australian workers and around 1 million Australian businesses.
“But we saw, in the December quarter, the number of Australians relying on JobKeeper fall dramatically,” he said.
“Some 2 million Australian workers graduated from JobKeeper and there were 450,000 fewer businesses that were on JobKeeper in the month of October compared to the month of September. Now, that is a function of the economic recovery getting under way.”
The second phase of the extension of the JobKeeper payment has begun amid calls for the program to be extended beyond its scheduled March end date.
In this phase, eligible businesses receive $500 per week for each staff member working at least 20 hours per week, down from $600. Other employees attract a payment of $325 per week, down from $375.
The tier 1 rate applies to eligible employees who worked for 80 hours or more in the four weeks of pay periods before either 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020, and eligible business participants who were actively engaged in the business for 80 hours or more in February and provide a declaration to that effect.
The tier 2 rate applies to any other eligible employees and eligible business participants.