Huge change visiting JobKeeper could strip millions of Australians of payments as government looks to crack down on cheating companies
- The JobKeeper wage program is currently being reviewed by the Treasury
- Firms prove their earnings dropped by 30 % to qualify for the scheme
- Now many businesses are operating normally, the Treasury really wants to do checks
- Business turnover would be checked monthly to make sure they are still eligible
- Ineligible companies will soon be cut off, leaving millions without their payments
- The $70 billion JobKeeper program is defined for its last payment on September 27
The Australian Tax Office could begin to check businesses’ turnover every month to ensure they truly are still qualified to receive the JobKeeper scheme.
Some 3.5 million Australians working at 872,000 businesses currently receive the JobKeeper wage subsidy, which is $1,500 per fortnight.
Businesses just need to prove once that their turnover has dropped by 30 % in order to be qualified to receive the scheme.
But since many organizations now have higher turnover because of eased restrictions, the Treasury is considering retesting them each month to make sure they are still eligible, according to news.com.au.
Companies which can be found to own ‘bounced back’ could be cut off from the scheme while those above the threshold will continue to receive JobKeeper wage subsidies.
A woman cleans surfaces in preparation for the reopening of a Melbourne cinema. The Australian treasury is considering retesting business turnover so that you can cut off companies that are no further eligible for the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme
Australian Treasury Regulatory Reform Taskforce head Mark Cully is leading the JobKeeper review.
At this stage, the $70 billion JobKeeper scheme is defined to end on September 27, which is once the final fortnightly payment is scheduled for.
ANU Economics Professor Robert Breunig said monthly testing would have been a ‘useful way’ to ensure taxpayer funds are likely to workers, organizations and industries that certainly need it.
But the professor warned it would be hard to implement a testing program in this short period of time.
‘Changing the principles between July and September just may seem like a lot of work. If they are going to extend it (JobKeeper), the battle is really over limiting it to a tiny number of industries rather than to keep zombie firms alive,’ Professor Breunig told news.com.au.
People line up outside of Centrelink in Adelaide. ANU Economics Professor Robert Breunig said monthly testing of the JobKeeper scheme would be a ‘useful way’ to make sure taxpayer funds are going to workers, businesses and industries that want it
‘I think the cost of the program is actually pretty large. If companies are not viable it’s probably better we find out at some point.’
The Jobkeeper review was seemingly confirmed by Prime Minister Scott Morrison (pictured) on Friday, who said a decision on the scheme’s future will soon be made following a review in July
‘Zombie firms’ are companies that would perhaps not survive without JobKeeper and completely rely on the wage subsidies to stay afloat.
Professor Beurnig said an eventual move from JobKeeper will ensure that taxpayers are no further supporting these zombie firms.
The JobKeeper review was seemingly confirmed by Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Friday, who said a decision on the scheme’s future will soon be made following a review in July.
‘We’ll manage to make a decision soon. The announcement will be manufactured in the third week of July when the economic statement is handed down,’ that he told 2GB’s Ben Fordham.
‘That’s about three months in advance [of JobKeeper’s scheduled end date in September].’
Struggling airline Qantas has called on the government for extra financial assistance after sacking 6,000 workers – a fifth of its workforce – on Thursday.
Air crew walk through the Qantas Terminal at Sydney Airport on June 19. Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has called on the government to make a bespoke financial assistance program for the beleaguered aviation industry
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce urged the federal government to support those losing their job with a bespoke financial assistance program.
Mr Joyce does not are expecting Qantas to resume international services in virtually any significant way until July next year at the initial, meaning the airline will soon be struggling long after JobKeeper subsidies end up in September.
‘The prime minister is a big supporter of Qantas. He is a big supporter of the aviation industry,’ Mr Joyce said on the Today Show.
‘He has been one of our biggest supporters and I know he’ll do the best thing.’
Mr Morrison has acknowledged the aviation sector will be needing ongoing help but was unable to offer any certainty.
‘We are just working through the easiest method to target and deliver that support,’ he said on Thursday, adding that could include JobKeeper or other measures.
Mr Joyce (pictured) will not expect Qantas to resume international services in any significant way until July next year at the earliest, meaning the airline will be struggling long after JobKeeper subsidies end in September