Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.

Tiered payment to replace JobKeeper

The Federal Government is set to announce a new financial support system to replace the JobKeeper scheme when it comes to an end in September.

Calls to extend the $1500 fortnightly payment to employees of eligible businesses had heightened as Victoria was smashed by a second wave of coronavirus and data revealed the cash was propping up Australian suburbs.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will unveil a solution on Thursday, a new assessment-based scheme that will take into account those in industries that have been hit the hardest such as tourism and hospitality.

"We did take a conscious decision to have one single flat payment of $1500, now that meant some people were getting overpaid while others were getting underpaid," Mr Frydenberg told The Daily Telegraph.

"We took that conscious decision because we wanted to get as much money out of the door as possible and we didn't want to build a new system. We have had time to ­reflect on that."

While full details won't be revealed until Thursday, Mr Frydenberg said the government had been considering a "sliding scale" payment scheme that would give more money to those worst affected.

Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has revealed a new sliding scale payment will replace JobKeeper when it expires in September. Picture: AAP Image/Lukas Coch
Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has revealed a new sliding scale payment will replace JobKeeper when it expires in September. Picture: AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Mr Frydenberg described the new plan as "further economic support" in an interview with The Australian, explaining the government recognised "many sectors will take considerably longer to recover".

JobKeeper was announced on March 30 and has helped about 3.5 million workers via a $1500 fortnightly payment. It was payable to employees of businesses with a turnover of less than $1 billion that had lost 30 per cent of their income as a result of coronavirus and associated lockdown measures.

The $130 billion program was intended to last for just six months, but with border closures, enduring gathering restrictions and returning lockdown measures, many businesses have claimed they are not yet ready to stand on their own two feet.

A final report into the lifesaving scheme was finished by the government last month and is set to be released when Mr Frydenberg gives the economic and fiscal update on July 23.

There have been calls for the Federal Government to extend the $130 billion program. Picture: Andrew Taylor
There have been calls for the Federal Government to extend the $130 billion program. Picture: Andrew Taylor

Labor created a website recently allowing Australians to see how JobKeeper was helping keep their suburb afloat. It featured a petition that called on the government to keep the payment for longer.

"Thousands of businesses are at risk of going under and tens of thousands of workers are at risk of losing their jobs because of Scott Morrison's secret plan to cancel JobKeeper too early. We need your help to stop him," it reads.

"Will you join our campaign and tell Scott Morrison that Australians don't want him to cancel JobKeeper too early?"



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