Tuesday, 10 November 2020
Economic Recovery Package (JobMaker Hiring Credit) Amendment Bill 2020; In Committee
I move opposition amendment (1) on sheet 1107:
(1) Schedule 1, page 3 (before line 27), before item 5, insert:
4E After section 7
7E Requirements for rules that provide for jobmaker hiring credit scheme—ineligibility for paying increased executive bonuses
(1) This section applies if rules are made for the purposes of subsection 7(1A) that provide for a kind of payment known as the jobmaker hiring credit.
(2) The rules must provide that an entity is not eligible for the payment at any time during the relevant period if:
(a) during the period beginning on 1 March 2020 and ending at the end of the relevant period the entity pays a bonus to an executive or other officer of the entity; and
(b) the Commissioner is satisfied that the amount of the bonus exceeds the amount of the last such payment made by the entity to the officer.
It's really important that economic stimulus measures protect people's jobs, but many large companies that relied heavily on JobKeeper ended up paying large executive bonuses. A good example is Premier Investments, the company behind Smiggle, Just Jeans and Peter Alexander. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Premier Investments was granted $68.7 million under the scheme. The chief executive received bonuses of $2.5 million in short-term incentives and more than $400,000 in long-term incentives. This is on top of the chief executive's salary of $2.4 million.
If the government's going to help pay people's wages so that we can inject life into the economy and recruit more people into the workforce, that money should not be going to firms that are paying big executive bonuses that they can only afford to pay off the back of taxpayer funded schemes like this one.