TONY BURKE MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE ARTS
MANAGER OF OPPOSITION BUSINESS
MEMBER FOR WATSON
BRENDAN O’CONNOR MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT AND INDUSTRY SHADOW MINISTER FOR SCIENCE
SHADOW MINISTER FOR SMALL AND FAMILY BUSINESS
MEMBER FOR GORTON
LABOR WELCOMES START OF JOBKEEPER – BUT IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO MAKE IT BETTER
Labor welcomes the commencement of the JobKeeper wage subsidy but again calls on the Morrison Government to make the simple changes required to keep more Australians in work and out of the unemployment queues.
With just one week remaining for employers to make initial payments for the JobKeeper program thousands of businesses are confused about their eligibility, their obligations to their employees, or are struggling to access the vital bridging finance made necessary by the scheme’s design.
Labor called for a wage subsidy when the Government said it wasn’t necessary.
When the Government finally changed course we helped them pass it quickly through Parliament because we knew this money would do its best work in the hip pockets of workers and families.
It will help many Australians but more than a million workers will still be left behind.
Up to 1.1 million casual workers are missing out. Working visa holders are missing out. Many workers in schools, universities, local government, the disability sector, and in the arts and entertainment are missing out.
How is forcing all these people into the Centrelink queue good for them or for the Australian economy?
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has extraordinary powers to extend JobKeeper with the stroke of a pen and he should use them.
This money should have flowed much sooner. The Government’s delayed economic response to this crisis pushed many Australians out of work unnecessarily, and many businesses have struggled to keep their doors open while they waited for this wage subsidy to kick in.
Labor has been constructive, supportive and responsible throughout this virus outbreak. But being constructive does not mean being silent when there are clear gaps that need to be filled.
Labor’s priority is to protect jobs and support Australian workers, businesses, families and communities through this difficult time.