Millions of Australians who receive JobKeeper payments from the Federal Government will receive up to $300 less per fortnight, with those payments scaled back from today.
The full-time rate has fallen from $1,500 per fortnight to $1,200 for all eligible employees and business participants who were working 20 hours or more a week on average before the pandemic hit.
Those who were working less than 20 hours a week on average will receive the part-time rate of $750 per fortnight.
Analysts Deloitte Access Economics criticised the decision saying now is not the time to cut financial support.
“The emergency Band-Aids are starting to come off – a little earlier than we’d have liked,” Deloitte’s Chris Richardson said.
From 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021, the payment rates will fall again to $1,000 and $650 per fortnight.
“So both families and businesses are set for a big cash crunch between now and end-March 2021 as emergency responses run out: as JobKeeper and JobSeeker are dialled back, as money from early access to superannuation dries up, and as a range of mortgage and rent deferrals run out.”
3.5 million workers in 960,000 businesses were covered by the JobKeeper payment as of July.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said today the October 6 budget will focus on creating jobs amid speculation a new ‘JobMaker’ subsidy will offer incentives to employ new staff.
“The Morrison Government will continue to support Australians through COVID-19 and next week’s Budget will focus on our economic recovery and creating jobs to secure Australia’s economic future,’’ he said.
In July the government announced the JobKeeper Payment will be extended until 28 March 2021 as employees faced massive job uncertainty and severe financial distress.
Last week, fortnightly JobSeeker payments for the unemployed were reduced by $300.