Original article by Patrick Commins, Geoff Chambers
The Australian – Page: 1 & 7 : 21-May-21
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says the latest jobs data shows that the federal government was justified in ending the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme in late March. New figures show that about 31,000 jobs were cut in April, well below forecasts that between 100,000 and 150,000 jobs would be lost when JobKeeper ended. The figures also show that 132,000 people have moved off income support since March. ACTU secretary Sally McManus has welcomed the slight fall in the official unemployment rate, but she says many workers are underemployed or in multiple jobs that are insecure and unreliable. Labor’s deputy leader Richard Marles notes that 1.8 million Australians are still looking for work.
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, ACTU, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY
Original article by Simon Benson
The Australian – Page: 5 : 28-Apr-21
Ian Hickie, the joint director of Sydney University’s Brain and Mind Centre, says the best thing the federal government can do to reduce mental health stress and preventable suicide is to maintain economic and jobs growth. The centre’s latest modelling suggests that COVID-19 support measures such as the JobKeeper wage subsidy will prevent 469 suicide deaths and 4,226 hospitalisations for self- harm between 2020 and 2025. It is also likely to avert more than 51,000 mental health presentations at hospitals’ emergency departments over the same period.
UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY. BRAIN AND MIND RESEARCH INSTITUTE
Original article by Geoff Chambers, Richard Ferguson
The Australian – Page: 1 & 6 : 29-Mar-21
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says the federal government will continue to provide economic stimulus following the end of the JobKeeper scheme on 28 March. He has flagged further targeted support for sectors that have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and says the wage subsidy scheme had ‘stemmed the tide’ of coronavirus-induced job losses. However, he cautions that fiscal discipline is also necessary to prevent higher taxes and higher debt in the future. Shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers says JobKeeper should have been extended in a "responsible, temporary, and targeted fashion", and he has warned that the Coalition will be responsible for any job losses in coming weeks.
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY
Original article by Rosie Lewis
The Australian – Page: 1 & 5 : 12-Nov-20
The Senate has voted 30-28 to pass the federal government’s JobMaker bill without any amendments, after One Nation and Centre Alliance agreed to back the legislation. One Nation had previously indicated that it would support an amendment proposed by Labor that was designed to prevent employers from sacking existing staff and hiring younger workers in order to qualify for the subsidy. One Nation has rejected suggestions that it made a ‘side deal’ with the government.
ONE NATION PARTY, CENTRE ALLIANCE, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY
Original article by Katharine Murphy
The Guardian Australia – Page: Online : 9-Nov-20
Labor has yet to decide whether to support the federal government’s JobMaker hiring credit scheme, which will be debated in the Senate on 9 November. However, senior Labor sources have indicated that the Opposition will seek amendments to the draft legislation to ensure that employers cannot sack older staff and replace them with workers under the age of 35 in order to qualify for the subsidy. The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union has called for labour hire firms to be excluded from the scheme, arguing that they could exploit loopholes in the draft legislation.
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIAN MANUFACTURING WORKERS’ UNION
Original article by Stephen Long
abc.net.au – Page: Online : 15-Oct-20
Professor Marian Baird from the University of Sydney warns that the federal government’s JobMaker hiring credit scheme will encourage employers to ‘cherrypick’ younger unemployed people when recruiting new staff. She is also concerned that some employers will seek to replace older workers with people under the age of 35 in order to receive the subsidy. Professor Baird adds that the scheme could result in greater casualisation of the workforce, given that there is no obligation for people hired via the scheme to work for the same number of hours each week.
UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY
Original article by Geoff Chambers, Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 6 : 12-Oct-20
Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the federal government will not agree to any concessions to get its JobMaker wage subsidy scheme through Parliament. Labor and the Senate crossbenchers have expressed concern that the scheme could be rorted and is too focused, given that it is only available to employers who hire people aged up to 35. Shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers says the JobMaker scheme leaves 928,000 older Australians "in the lurch", and says the existing incentive scheme for employing people aged 50+ has been a "monumental failure". Unions have warned that the government’s wage subsidy scheme for apprentices could also be exploited.
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY
Original article by Rosie Lewis
The Australian – Page: 4 : 24-Aug-20
Centre Alliance will back the federal government’s push to extend temporary changes to the Fair Work Act which allow bosses to vary the hours an employee works and the duties they perform. One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts has signalled that he is also likely to side with the government, which would require only one more crossbench vote in the Senate. The industrial relations changes are linked to the government’s revised JobKeeper scheme. The bill will be put before parliament within days.
CENTRE ALLIANCE, ONE NATION PARTY
Original article by Jennifer Duke
The Sydney Morning Herald – Page: Online : 10-Aug-20
The JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme is now expected to cost $101bn in total, after the federal government agreed to extend it beyond September at a lower rate. Finance Minister Mathias Cormann has emphasised the need to gradually phase out government support, although he has not ruled out further extending the scheme beyond March if the pandemic worsens. Labor contends that the government needs a plan to boost employment rather than focusing on the JobKeeper and JobSeeker schemes.
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FINANCE, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY
Original article by Joe Kelly
The Australian – Page: 4 : 27-Jul-20
Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry CEO James Pearson has backed a push to extend temporary changes to the Fair Work Act for employers that will not be eligible for the JobKeeper scheme after September. He has urged Labor and the ACTU to support extending the emergency measures, which allow bosses to vary the hours an employee works and the duties they perform. Shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers has expressed concern that the federal government wants to adopt an industrial relation policy similar to that of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher.
AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, ACTU