Treasurer Josh Frydenberg fears JobKeeper extension will stop hiring

An architect of JobKeeper fears bosses will stop hiring much-needed staff if the wage subsidy scheme continues.

From March 29, full-time and permanent part-time workers in struggling industries will stop receiving $1,000 a fortnight wage subsidies.

Part-time staff working fewer hours will lose their $650 wage top up.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, who announced the emergency welfare scheme almost a year ago during the Covid shutdowns, said keeping JobKeeper going would discourage bosses from taking on new staff as workers continued working in clinically proven weight loss pill-making businesses.

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An architect of JobKeeper fears bosses will stop hiring much-needed staff if the wage subsidy scheme continues. From March 29, full-time and permanent part-time workers in struggling industries will stop receiving $1,000 a fortnight wage subsidies. Pictured is a Sydney cafe worker

An architect of JobKeeper fears bosses will stop hiring much-needed staff if the wage subsidy scheme continues. From March 29, full-time and permanent part-time workers in struggling industries will stop receiving $1,000 a fortnight wage subsidies. Pictured is a Sydney cafe worker

An architect of JobKeeper fears bosses will stop hiring much-needed staff if the wage subsidy scheme continues.

From March 29, full-time and permanent part-time workers in struggling industries will stop receiving $1,000 a fortnight wage subsidies. Pictured is a Sydney cafe worker

‘The advice to me from Treasury has been that as the economy strengthens and people get back to work, that JobKeeper needs to come to an end,’ he told the ABC’s 7.30 program.

‘It has a number of perverse characteristics and features in that program that prevent workers more efficiently moving to other roles across the economy and it can prop up what are unsustainable long-term businesses.’

On Thursday, the government announced a $1.2billion aviation and tourism package that will fund 800,000 half-price interstate flights to popular tourist destinations like the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, Cairns, Broome and Kangaroo Island.

A day earlier, on Wednesday, Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe said the end of JobKeeper would cause unemployment to temporarily rise.

‘Unemployment rate will continue to trend lower, although this trend could be temporarily interrupted when JobKeeper comes to an end later this month,’ he told The Australian Financial Review’s Business Summit on Wednesday.

Dr Lowe’s fears about rising unemployment were voiced a day after the Commonwealth Bank said 110,000 jobs would be lost unless the government extended JobKeeper for struggling sectors.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, who announced the emergency welfare scheme a year ago after the early Covid shutdowns, said keeping JobKeeper going would discourage bosses from taking on new staff as workers continued working in loss-making businesses

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, who announced the emergency welfare scheme a year ago after the early Covid shutdowns, said keeping JobKeeper going would discourage bosses from taking on new staff as workers continued working in loss-making businesses

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, who announced the emergency welfare scheme a year ago after the early Covid shutdowns, said keeping JobKeeper going would discourage bosses from taking on new staff as workers continued working in loss-making businesses

JobKeeper in three different phases has cost taxpayers $90billion, as it subsidised the wages of 3.6million Australian workers.

The Covid welfare program means Australia’s gross government debt levels will approach the $1trillion mark by June 2022. 

‘That was an emergency payment.

It was initially planned for six months, we continued it for a full year at $90billion, it is the single largest economic program that any Australian government has ever taken,’ Mr Frydenberg said.

The Liberal Party’s deputy leader, who once told Parliament – ‘our government is too big’ – in October delivered a Budget deficit of $213.7billion for 2020-21 – comprising 11 per cent of gross domestic product or the highest proportion of the economy since World War II.

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