Prime Minister Scott Morrison has rejected calls to reinstate JobKeeper. This is despite their being 13 million Australians who are currently in lockdown which is over half the nation’s population.

The Prime Minister strongly insists that there is no time to implement a system to deliver emergency payments to individuals who need it now.

“I’m not trying to solve last year’s problem, I’m trying to solve the issues and provide economic supports directly to individuals fast. You’ll recall that, when we put JobKeeper in place, it took four to six weeks in order for the system to be rolled out, for businesses to go to their banks to get the loans for their cash flow, to then actually make the payments to those who are working with them, and to work through that process. I don’t have six weeks. I need to make sure that we’ve got $200 million out the door now. Which is exactly what we’ve done” said Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Scott Morrison’s statement comes followingmounting pressure from local and state government leaders to re-introduce the scheme.

Both Melbourne and Sydney lord mayors Sally Cap and Clover Moore spoke to ABC News Breakfast on 22nd July to add to express their desire for the federal government to renew JobKeeper to assist Australian businesses. 

Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Cap said her staff have been calling for the return of JobKeeper, as the Victorian capital endures what is being dubbed “Lockdown 5.0”. The states fifth lockdown means that some Victorian residents have spent close to six of the last 18 months under lockdown. 

Ms Cap stated that the permanent reintroduction of the wage subsidy would give residents the confidence that they’re supported, even if future lockdowns are required. 

“Even when we come out of lockdowns, there are ongoing lags to returning revenues. What JobKeeper would do would really give everybody a sense of confidence about the future and if we go in and out of lockdowns as we keep responding to this virus, there would still be that underlying mechanism helping people cope with the other elements of this pandemic and that is the financial hardship, the emotional and mental anguish that has come from our responses” said Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Cap.

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore echoed the comments made by Sally Cap by saying that the federal government had failed the nation, and that if it weren’t for a cumbersome vaccine rollout, Sydney wouldn’t be in the position that it is. 

“This is also why we’re calling for the reinstatement of JobKeeper. When I talked to businesses last year, it was JobKeeper that helped them survive that. And given the federal government has failed us on vaccination, it’s got to really help people get through this again and JobKeeper is the most effective way of doing that” said Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore.

The federal government has so far introduced various individual and business support mechanisms in partnership with the New South Wales and Victorian government, after weeks of public pressure and requests.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the introduction of a new cash flow boost, dubbed JobSaver, alongside Premier Gladys Berejiklian in mid-July which will see eligible businesses receive a minimum of $1,500 and a maximum of $10,000 each week. 

JobSaver was announced along with a boost and expansion of the federal Covid-19 disaster payment, which was last week bumped from $500 to $600 for those who work more than 20 hours each week, and from $325 to $375 for those who have lost between “eight and 20 hours” of work a week. 

The payment was extended to the whole state, not just those in Commonwealth-declared hotspots.

In Victoria, Premier Daniel Andrews brokered a similar deal, which saw the reintroduction of the $200 million Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund and Business Costs Assistance Program business support grants announced in June 2021.

On top of the re-introduced $200 million, the Victorian government announced that it had reached a similar agreement with the federal government than what was reached with NSW. The boost and expansion of the COVID-19 disaster payments was made available to Victorians across the state, under the same conditions imposed on residents of NSW.

The team at C&D Restructure and Taxation Advisory are here to help. As part of the Vault Group we can offer the full suite of financial products and advice to help you navigate the business landscape. Schedule a meeting here via Calendly or give us a call on 07 36086800. 

Post Author: Craig Dangar

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