Jobkeeper reduced to $1,200 a fortnight, jobseeker reduced to $250

PM Morrison has announced that Jobkeeper will be reduced to $1,200 a fortnight and Jobseeker reduced from $550 to $250. The Jobkeeper scheme will continue at a reduced rate for 6 months and cost $16 billion.

The payment of $1,200 per fortnight for full-time employees and $750 for part-time employees will run from 28 September to 3 January, at which point it will drop to $1,000 and $650 respectively.

Treasurer Frydenberg said the two-tiered payment system means people will be receiving payments which are closer to their actual pre-pandemic income.

“It was a conscious decision to introduce the flat $1,500 payment as it enabled us to get money to people who needed it most as fast as possible. However, one of the consequences of the flat payment equivalent to minimum wage was that some recipients were receiving more under Jobkeeper than they were pre-Covid. The two-tiered payment better reflects the pre-Covid income of these recipients,” said Treasurer Frydenberg.

Morrison said the full cost of the jobkeeper and jobseeker payments would be summarised in the economic statement, released on Thursday. Frydenberg said that the original estimate of the program was $70bn, so the $16bn extension brings it to $86bn.

“Employers will need to demonstrate that they have met the relevant decline in turnover in both the June and September quarters to be eligible for the Jobkeeper payment in the December quarter, and employers will need to demonstrate that they have met the relevant decline in each of the previous three-quarters ending on 31 December 2020 to remain eligible for the payment in the March quarter 2021,” said Treasurer Frydenberg.

“As the economy gradually improves, Treasury expects that the number of Jobkeeper recipients will reduce substantially, with around 1.4m people remaining eligible in the December quarter 2020 and 1m in the March quarter 2021.”

Treasurer Frydenberg said 39% of the jobs lost across the economy in the first half of this year were secondary jobs and forecasts that income transfer would be halved under the new Jobkeeper arrangements.

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