House debates

Thursday, 18 June 2020

Questions without Notice

JobKeeper Payment

2:50 pm

Photo of Jim ChalmersJim Chalmers (Rankin, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Treasurer) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Treasurer. I refer to reports in today's The West Australian that the Treasurer is holding dinners with backbenchers to decide which workers will be kicked off JobKeeper before September. The government excluded millions from JobKeeper from the start and has already kicked off thousands more. Who's next?

2:51 pm

Photo of Josh FrydenbergJosh Frydenberg (Kooyong, Liberal Party, Treasurer) Share this | | Hansard source

All I'd say to the member for Rankin is: don't believe everything you read. That's all I'd say to him. But the member for Rankin—

Dr Chalmers interjecting

Photo of Josh FrydenbergJosh Frydenberg (Kooyong, Liberal Party, Treasurer) Share this | | Hansard source

knows all too well that the Australian economy dodged his $387 billion of higher taxes and is now in the midst of a once-in-a-century pandemic. He also knows that the government has committed 13.3 per cent of GDP, at $260 billion, in economic support, including a JobKeeper program that is supporting more than three million workers. He also knows that we have effectively doubled the safety net, with the jobseeker coronavirus supplement. He also knows that we have put in place a $30 billion cashflow boost, based on the size of the payroll of businesses to ensure that they can put that money to their fixed costs but also to their labour costs. He also knows that we put in place an extension of the instant asset write-off for businesses with a turnover of up to $500 million. And they can purchase assets as many times as they want of up to $150,000.

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

The member for Rankin on a point of order?

Photo of Jim ChalmersJim Chalmers (Rankin, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Treasurer) Share this | | Hansard source

Yes, thank you, Mr Speaker. The question was about how many people the government will kick off JobKeeper.

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

The question had some preambles and some other aspects to it as well. If the member for Rankin wishes to confine the Treasurer's answer he really ought to confine his question to one question.

Photo of Josh FrydenbergJosh Frydenberg (Kooyong, Liberal Party, Treasurer) Share this | | Hansard source

The member for Rankin knows all too well that there's a comprehensive suite of economic measures that we have put in place, and those are measures that are helping to contribute to the comeback in consumer and business confidence. Consumer confidence has picked up 93 per cent off its lows. Business confidence has picked up 70 per cent off its lows. The ABS weekly payroll jobs data, finishing at the end of May, the 30th, showed payroll jobs worked by females increased by 1.4 per cent through May compared to 0.4 per cent for males.

The member for Rankin knows all too well that we're considering a review of the JobKeeper program. He knows that under the coalition, through the economic support that we put in place, we're helping to keep people in jobs and businesses in business.