Australia

Jim Chalmers urges Scott Morrison to extend scheme

Australian workers will soon be able to access a guaranteed paycheck of $1500 a fortnight, are you eligible for it?

Shadow Treasurer Jim Chalmers has called on the government to release its JobKeeper review. Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas
Shadow Treasurer Jim Chalmers has called on the government to release its JobKeeper review. Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

Labor says JobKeeper needs to be extended so businesses don’t fall of a cliff come September.

Shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers called for the Morrison Government to release its review into the wage subsidy scheme, which is examining whether further support is needed after the September cut-off.

Dr Chalmers slammed Prime Minister Scott Morrison for not making the report public and denying businesses and workers clarity.

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“It’s time for him to come clean about the future of JobKeeper,” Dr Chalmers told reporters in Logan, Queensland on Saturday.

“He’s had the JobKeeper review for weeks. It’s time that he released it.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison addresses reporters at Parliament House after Friday’s National Cabinet meeting. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Martin Ollman
Prime Minister Scott Morrison addresses reporters at Parliament House after Friday’s National Cabinet meeting. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Martin Ollman

About 3.3 million Australian workers are receiving the $1500 per fortnight wage subsidy, which was initially implemented to cushion the negative economic effects induced by the pandemic.

Dr Chalmers said businesses and workers risked falling off a cliff as COVID-19 financial support measures are scheduled to end on September 27.

“It’s very clear that the economy won’t just snap back to life in September, or large parts of it won’t, as the Prime Minister has said that it will,” Dr Chalmers said.

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Mr Morrison has promised income support will continue after the September cut-off, but has yet to provide specifics.

“The details of our decisions will be set out at the time of releasing the economic statement, as I have been saying for some weeks, and there is no change to that timetable. I do note today, regrettably, that the Labor Party has engaged in fear mongering during a pandemic and I think this is disgraceful,” Mr Morrison told reporters in Canberra on Friday.

“I have made it very clear that there would be a further stage of income support and to make people feel more uncertain in this climate I think is disgraceful and I think it reflects badly on their leadership.”

Shadow Treasurer Jim Chalmers has hit back at the PM. Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas
Shadow Treasurer Jim Chalmers has hit back at the PM. Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

Dr Chalmers hit back at the PM on Saturday, saying “now is not the time for the Prime Minister’s infamous glass jaw”.

“We released into the public domain some Treasury figures, which show the magnitude of the challenge here, and the size of that rapidly approaching cliff,” the shadow treasurer said.

“The Prime Minister says that that’s disgraceful. Well, let me tell him what’s disgraceful. Disgraceful is sitting on a secret report for weeks in a way that only adds to the uncertainty that businesses and workers feel. Disgraceful is focusing obsessively on the Labor Party, as he does, rather than on the national economic interest. Disgraceful is leaving businesses in the lurch and in the dark, and leaving workers behind.”

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