How much JobKeeper Qld got for every man, woman and child
The Federal Government's direct economic support to Queensland since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic has been equal to nearly $5500 for every person in the state, according to new figures.
Unpublished Treasury data shows Queensland individuals and small businesses received a combined $28.6 billion from April 2020 to February this year with more than half coming from JobKeeper payments.
But despite the massive economic stimulus, which includes $6.9 billion in cash flow boost payments and $4.4 billion in coronavirus supplement payments, the looming end of JobKeeper on March 28 is creating increasing anxiety in still-struggling sectors such as tourism.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg arrived in Cairns yesterday to start a Queensland listening tour as the government finalises plans for support to the hardest hit industries after JobKeeper ends.
"We know that a number of Queensland families and businesses are still doing it tough and my message to all Queenslanders is that the Morrison Government continues to have your back," he said.
"Our economic recovery plan is focused on keeping businesses in business and Australians in jobs through measures such as tax cuts, business incentives, the JobMaker hiring credit, new infrastructure spending and a record investment in skills and training."
Opposition treasury spokesman Jim Chalmers said his counterpart had arrived in Cairns but "hasn't packed a plan" to support about 8000 workers and 2600 businesses in the city still relying on JobKeeper.
"We've known for almost a year that the Cairns economy has been particularly hard hit by the international border closure and that this pain will continue for some time," said Dr Chalmers, who will also be in Cairns today.
"Despite having months and months to develop a proper plan to support the Cairns economy, Josh Frydenberg and Scott Morrison have only added to the anxiety many here are feeling by failing to offer certainty, clarity or confidence about what will happen to those thousands of workers and businesses after March 28.
"Nobody is saying that JobKeeper should go on forever, but it should be tailored and targeted to what's actually going on in communities like Cairns and surrounding areas."
Nearly 80 per cent of Queenslanders who were on JobKeeper in April have graduated off the payment, leaving 161,741 individuals and 57,546 businesses relying on the payment.
Cairns had the lowest graduation rate from JobKeeper with just 55 per cent of recipients moving off the payments by September last year.
Originally published as How much JobKeeper Qld got for every man, woman and child