House debates

Thursday, 18 February 2021

Questions without Notice

JobKeeper Payment

2:08 pm

Photo of Richard MarlesRichard Marles (Corio, Australian Labor Party, Deputy Leader of the Opposition) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Prime Minister. Yesterday, the Treasurer rejected Treasury's expectation that 100,000 Australians will lose their jobs when the government cuts JobKeeper next month. How many people who are now on JobKeeper will lose their jobs when JobKeeper is cut?

Photo of Scott MorrisonScott Morrison (Cook, Liberal Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

When we went through the first transition on JobKeeper, the increase in employment in Australia in October was 180,000 jobs. And then, with the second change, as I've just been able to inform you, there were 59,000 full-time jobs that we created. That's net. That's up. That means more jobs. That means more people in employment. That means people, through the course of the COVID-19 recession, as they're coming back, if they find themselves in a position, sadly, where they're unable to retain employment in one firm, are able to gain employment in another firm. That's what a growing economy does. This may be lost on the new economic spokesperson taking over from the shadow Treasurer but, when there is a net increase in jobs, that means more people are in work. Under our policies, more people are getting into jobs—93 per cent of jobs that were lost are coming back. The only people who seem to be unhappy about the changes taking place that are getting more people back into jobs are those sitting opposite.

Our economic plan is working, the recovery plan is working and more Australians are getting back into jobs. That's happening because of their confidence, and that confidence is building and building and building. The vaccination program that rolls out from next Monday will continue to build that confidence and ensure that, as we go through 2021, we will be in an even stronger position in 2021 as we come back from this COVID-19 recession and the COVID-19 pandemic.

There are few countries in the world that can look at their record over the past 12 months—as difficult as it has been, where we have seen the biggest single contraction in our economy since the Great Depression—and say that, in their country, they've been able to mitigate as much as possible the dreadful losses of the COVID-19 pandemic, whether that was the loss of livelihoods or the loss of lives. The Australian people know this, and they're building in confidence. No amount of trying to undermine that confidence by the Labor Party will stop the resilience of Australians.