JobKeeper hopes dashed for 200k workers

THE Federal Government has shut the door on 215,000 Queensland casuals hoping for an expansion of the biggest rescue package in Australian history.

Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter yesterday refused to bow to union and Labor demands to include casuals employed for less than 12 months in the $130 billion JobKeeper program.

Rushing to draft the landmark legislation before tomorrow's extraordinary sitting of parliament, Mr Porter said they had to draw a line somewhere, and a proposed union definition was too broad.

"I will confirm this for the seventh time in the course of two days but the definition is a systemic and regular definition (of being) with the same employer for 12 months," he said.

Workers missing out on the $1500-a-fortnight payment would still be eligible for the Jobseeker payment and coronavirus supplement worth about $1100 a fortnight before additional supplements such as family tax benefits and rent assistance.

Opposition industrial relations spokesman Tony Burke lashed Mr Porter for seeming to open the door on Sunday to broadening the definition, before slamming it shut yesterday.

 

 

"A million Australians who were given hope (on Sunday), have been told there'll be nothing for them in the wage subsidy this morning," he said.

"There is time for the Government to fix this, and they should."

Mr Burke said Labor would not block the legislation, but hoped to convince the Government to make changes.

"Of course we're not going to let the perfect be the enemy of the good," he said.

"But we're not going to also … stop advocating for a million people who the government wants to leave behind."

Labor senator for Queensland Murray Watt said analysis of employment date showed 215,800 of the state's casual workers had been with their employer for less than 12 months.

"My office and many others have been inundated by calls and letters from Queenslanders confused by the criteria, and desperate for assistance," he said.

"There are still many people slipping through the cracks of JobKeeper eligibility, and they are crying out for clarity and more help."

 

 

 

CASUALS EMPLOYED LESS THAN A YEAR:

Wide Bay - 8300

Townsville - 18,400

Toowoomba - 3400

Sunshine Coast - 17,600

Outback - 2,300

Mackay Isaac Whitsunday - 5,200

Gold Coast - 28,900

Central Queensland - 11,200

Darling Downs - Maranoa - 3,800

Cairns - 14,100

Moreton Bay - South - 6,100

Moreton Bay - North - 4,500

Logan Beaudesert - 14,600

Ipswich - 17,300

Brisbane inner city - 13,700

Brisbane west - 7,500

Brisbane south - 19,200

Brisbane north - 11,000

Brisbane east - 13,300

* ACTU analysis using ABS table builder

 

 

 

 

 

 

Originally published as JobKeeper hopes dashed for 200k workers


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