House debates

Wednesday, 24 February 2021

Statements by Members

JobKeeper Payment

1:40 pm

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

The more companies report, the more we learn about the appalling mismanagement of the JobKeeper scheme by the Morrison government. Accent Group got $45 million in JobKeeper, yet its 2020 profits were up 40 per cent. It paid its CEO a million-dollar bonus, and shareholders got $65 million in dividends, $11 million of which went to a Monaco billionaire. Bentley dealer Autosports got $2 million in JobKeeper and doubled its profits. Investment bank Moelis got $3 million in JobKeeper and paid $4 million in executive bonuses.

Public scrutiny has led a few public companies to return JobKeeper. When Labor supported the scheme, we gave the government extraordinary discretion in the event it was being abused. Treasurer, you've had four business activity statements and a tax return from everyone who got JobKeeper. You could have told this House who was ripping off the taxpayer. Your inaction has led to a padding of corporate profits and billions going to billionaires. So come clean. How many firms forecast a drop in turnover that never eventuated? How many JobKeeper recipients saw their profits grow? Explain yourself to the unemployed Australians and to people in sectors such as tourism that desperately need government support.