Prime Minister Scott Morrison has pledged $130 billion over the next six months to help Australians who have found themselves out of work.
Mr Morrison said the $130 billion was to “support the jobs and livelihoods of the almost six million Australians who will need that lifeline in the months ahead”.
As part of the $130 billion support package, the government is introducing a $1,500 “Job Keeper” payment.
$1,500 “Job Keeper” Payment
The payment will provide businesses with $1,500 a fortnight, per employee, for the next six months. Businesses applying for the Job Keeper payment will need to prove their turnover has dropped at least 30 per cent.
“We’re all in this together, that’s what’s fair, that’s what’s Australian,” Mr Morrison said.
Mr Morrison said the Job Keeper payment was “to keep Australians in their jobs even when the work dries up”.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the payments would be available for full-time workers, part-time workers, sole traders and casuals who have been with their employer for 12 months or more. The payment will be a flat rate of $1,500, regardless of how much they had previously been paid.
The payment will provide the equivalent of around 70 per cent of the national median wage. For workers in the accommodation, hospitality and retail sectors it will equate to a full median replacement wage.
New Zealanders living in Australia on 444 visas will be able to access the $1,500 fortnightly payments, the government also confirmed.
Bigger Than Anything You’ve Seen Before
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said Australia’s $130 billion scheme was “unlike those announce by other nations”.
“It is more generous than New Zealand’s and broader than the UK’s scheme,” he said.
Josh Frydenberg and Scott Morrison both foreshadowed the wage subsidy separately, with Scott Morrison referencing it in his press conference yesterday.
“The last (stimulus) package that we announced was about broadening and strengthening the safety net for those who are going to be immediately impacted by the shock of losing their jobs,” he said on Sunday morning.
“The next stage, which will be even bigger than anything you have so far seen, will go broader than that and ensure that we are working together with companies to keep people connected to those companies.
“This is part of the hibernation strategy of ensuring that we keep people connected with businesses and with their jobs so that on other side of this, Australia can bounce back stronger.”