Senate debates

Thursday, 5 August 2021


Treasury Laws Amendment (COVID-19 Economic Response No. 2) Bill 2021; In Committee

11:25 am

Photo of Simon BirminghamSimon Birmingham (SA, Liberal Party, Minister for Finance) Share this | Hansard source

I just wish to make one point clear. Anybody who listened to Senator Patrick's entire contribution, prior to the slight interruption to debate, would perhaps forget that it was a requirement of the operation of the JobKeeper program that every dollar paid under that program was paid to employees.

Senator Patrick interjecting—

Senator Patrick, I don't think I interrupted you once. I'm pointing out the facts as to how the program operated and the fact it was a requirement. Indeed, many part-time or casual employees potentially received payments in excess of what their normal wages would be. That was a requirement of the operation of the program. It's a fact, as I acknowledged, that economic conditions in some sectors recovered faster than had been anticipated at the time, but I think the way in which Senator Patrick framed a number of his remarks simply proves the point that this amendment is about being able to pursue a pattern of attacking and vilifying certain companies and, in doing so, attacking those who are providing jobs and opportunities for many Australians and who have helped in our economic recovery, which is so important to the economic future of the nation.


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