Thursday, 3 September 2020
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Prime Minister. Thousands of businesses are only surviving because of JobKeeper. Why is the Prime Minister cutting support to struggling businesses all over Australia this month?
The reality is JobKeeper is a remarkable program. They're not my words; they're the words of the Governor of the Reserve Bank. Today it's supporting more than 3½ million Australian workers and around one million Australian businesses. It was established based on being a temporary program, a targeted program, a scalable program and one that could flex depending on the demand. It's the expectation from Treasury—
Dr Chalmers interjecting—
The reality is he's not interested in this issue. We have 3½ million Australians who are receiving JobKeeper. The program has been costed at $101 billion and the program is tapering over time. Even the member for Rankin himself has said we should be looking at a kind of tapering.
Mr Albanese interjecting—
The member for Grayndler interjects. This is what the member for Grayndler said on the Today show about JobKeeper:
… there will need to be some form of tapering off.
Karl Stefanovic asked the question of the member for Grayndler:
What does that look like?
The member for Grayndler replied:
What it will look like is going down over a period of time …
That is the reality of what is occurring with the expansion and the extension of JobKeeper. Originally legislated for six months, it's now going for an additional six months. At $1,500 currently, it goes to $1,200 in the December quarter and it goes down to $1,000 in the March quarter. The reality is this program is supporting millions of Australian workers right around the country. It's a remarkable program. It continues to do a remarkable job and it helps to keep Australians in work.
Just before I call the member for Indi, I say to those members who are remoting in today for question time—I see none on the government side; I see them on the opposition side—that obviously interjections remotely are equally disorderly. It's hard to identify who they are from, although one member looks particularly guilty. I just will say: the standing orders apply and, if it persists, not only will I enforce the standing orders but you might find yourself disconnected.