Wednesday, 2 September 2020
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Prime Minister. Won't the Prime Minister's decision this week to cut JobKeeper, cut JobSeeker and cut wages make the worst recession in almost a century even deeper and even longer?
As you know, Mr Speaker, JobKeeper is at $101 billion and is the single largest economic support program that this government, or indeed any Australian government, has ever undertaken. Right now it is supporting 3½ million Australians and around one million businesses. Around the country, in every corner of this great country, there is a great story about JobKeeper and how it's keeping people in work.
We've always said, though, that the program was temporary and targeted and that there would be transition. Not just those on this side of the House have said that it should be tapered and it should come down. One person has said, 'what they should be looking at is a kind of tapering'. Somebody said this about JobKeeper:
There needs to be some transition over time away from these extraordinary levels of support in the economy.
The same person went on to say, '… which recognises that JobKeeper won't be there forever.' The same person said that the government should be considering better ways to transition the JobKeeper program. That wasn't the member for Flinders, that wasn't the member for Wannon and that wasn't the member for—
Honourable members interjecting—
No, hang on! I haven't ruled, okay? Unless you can read my mind! The question was quite specific, so whilst you can compare and contrast to an extent you can't use the rest of the answer to speak about what the opposition's policies are.
The Treasurer can resume his seat! I'm just going to say to the Treasurer that it doesn't matter; the rules are quite clear. I'm trying to maintain order in the House and that can't just be when it suits those on my right. The Treasurer has the call.