Cuts to coronavirus support could impact 54,000 CQ workers
OVER the coming days, more than 54,000 CQ workers will be hurt financially by the Federal Government’s plan to cut back their coronavirus support measures, according to the Labor Party.
After crunching the numbers, Queensland’s Labor Senator Murray has concluded that more than 29,000 of CQ’s local jobseekers, students, apprentices, parents and widows lost $300 a fortnight, due to the Federal Government’s decision to cut to the coronavirus supplement yesterday.
He anticipates millions more to be ripped out of the CQ economy due to changes in the JobKeep scheme on Monday.
“Cuts and changes to the JobKeeper scheme will see some local businesses and workers lose access completely, while others will have their payments slashed by between $300 and $750 per fortnight,” Senator Watt said.
“Treasury data shows that more than 25,500 CQ workers could be worse off when the Morrison Government makes cuts to JobKeeper.
“The Government has the power to reverse these cuts and it should do so immediately.”
With the worst of the unemployment anticipated to be ahead of us, the Queensland Senator was convinced that prematurely winding back financial support would cost jobs and hurt the local economy.
“With unemployment still expected to increase, it makes no sense for Scott Morrison to be cutting support from the CQ economy, particularly with no jobs plan to replace it,” he said.
“In Queensland alone, 667,401 workers receiving JobKeeper are expected to be affected.
“The recession will be deeper and the unemployment queues will be longer because Scott Morrison is pulling support from the economy too soon and because he doesn’t have a plan for jobs.
“The Federal LNP Government are leaving vulnerable businesses and workers in the lurch.”
Capricornia MP Michelle Landry disagreed with the assertion that her government was leaving CQ workers financially vulnerable.
“Both JobSeeker and JobKeeper work together to ensure people can maintain connection with the workforce and, where required, be supported to seek additional or alternative employment,” Ms Landry said.
“For many people on JobKeeper their employer will already be topping up their pay.”
In cases where that’s not possible, she said additional support through JobSeeker may be available.
“People receiving JobKeeper at a rate of $1200 per fortnight may be eligible for a part payment of JobSeeker of about $276 per fortnight including the coronavirus Supplement bringing their total taxpayer funded income to $1476 per fortnight,” she said.
“People receiving JobKeeper at the part time rate of $750 per fortnight may be eligible for a part payment of JobSeeker of about $546 per fortnight including the coronavirus Supplement bringing their total taxpayer funded income to $1295 per fortnight.”
Under the new arrangements, which take effect from September 25, Ms Landry said the rate of JobKeeper would be $1200 per fortnight for full time employees, $750 per fortnight for people employed under 20 hours.
“From September 25, the base rate of JobSeeker plus the $250 per fortnight coronavirus Supplement will be $815.70 for single recipients with no dependents. People are also able to earn up to $300 per fortnight before their payment is affected which would bring their total income to $1115 per fortnight,” she said.
“Families with children who are in receipt of JobSeeker are automatically eligible for the full rate of Family Tax Benefit, may be eligible for rent assistance of up to $139 per fortnight for singles and a range of other supplements
“The Government is focused on getting Australians off welfare and into work and ensuring they remain connected with the labour market.”
Ms Landry said she understood that the changing nature of the labour market meant that job seekers needed to be given the opportunity to train, retrain and upskill as part of their mutual obligations to ensure that they become more employable in areas of high skill demand.
“The August labour force figures show the resilience of the Australian economy and that employers are looking for workers,” she said.