House debates

Thursday, 18 February 2021

Statements by Members

JobKeeper Payment

1:51 pm

Photo of Andrew LeighAndrew Leigh (Fenner, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury) Share this | | Hansard source

This week we learnt that $3 million of taxpayer money went via JobKeeper to Moelis, an investment bank that last year paid its executives millions of dollars. At a time when wages are flat for most Australians, the wealth of billionaires rose 59 per cent in the last 12 months. At least 11 Australian billionaires, including Solomon Lew, Gerry Harvey, John Gandel, Brett Blundy, James Packer and Nick Politis, have benefited from the JobKeeper program. There have been a handful of firms that have repaid their JobKeeper as a result of enjoying strong profits—a shout-out to Toyota Australia, Super Retail Group, Domino's, Iluka, Santos and Collins Foods. Who's asking for repayments? Well, it's not the people opposite, who set up the robodebt scheme to persecute social security recipients; it's Labor that's asking for it. Those opposite are as soft on billionaires as they are cruel to social security recipients. They've been treating JobKeeper money like it's Liberal Party money rather than taxpayer money. But we have the receipts in now from four business activity statements and an income tax return from every JobKeeper recipient. We need to know how many firms got JobKeeper and used it to pay executive bonuses. Has the Morrison government lifted a finger to ask firms that didn't need JobKeeper to repay the money? They have the receipts. We need to know what they're hiding.