Thursday, 18 June 2020
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Prime Minister. Under this Prime Minister, Australia has entered its first recession in three decades. Some 835,000 Australians have lost their jobs since March. How many unemployed Australians don't have a job because the Prime Minister deliberately excluded them from JobKeeper?
I would say to the member for Rankin, if he rang up the Premier of Queensland, there would be 66,000 more people in a job if she lifted those restrictions. It's more than $600 million a month to the Queensland economy. All he has to do is pick up the phone to that Labor Premier and get her to lift the restrictions. The reality is that we put in place a $70 billion JobKeeper program that is supporting more than three million Australians. We were very clear, at the outset, that we wouldn't be picking up the bill for fully owned foreign companies here in Australia. We said at the time that we wouldn't be picking up the bill for local governments because they were the responsibility of state governments. And we made it very clear that, when it came to long-term casuals, they would be under the JobKeeper program, but, when it came to short-term casuals, we were hoping they would stay in a job and we put in place a $30 billion cash-flow boost to support small businesses, based on the size of the payroll. So I say to the member for Rankin: if the Australian economy was being hit by his $387 billion of higher taxes, you would see fewer people in a job. Under this government, we are dealing with a once-in-a-century pandemic. Under this government, we are working day and night to keep Australians in jobs and businesses in business.