Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced a series of changes to the JobSeeker and JobKeeper payments.
Discussing the health and economic crisis of COVID-19, Mr Morrison says the national response to both these challenges will require the JobSeeker and JobKeeper payments extended.
“We continue to calibrate them to ensure they are effective,” he says.
Mr Morrison says that thus far, JobKeeper has provided $30 billion dollars to almost one million businesses, and has supported some 3.5 million employees.
“It has been well targeted and effective in stemming business closures, it’s saved businesses and livelihoods,” he says.
“The report recommends that we should continue and we shall, but it needs to be in a way that’s responsive to the circumstances.”
Mr Morrison says that JobKeeper will find its levels with businesses and employees across the country, as there will continue to be businesses that will be affected heavily.
To apply for JobKeeper payments, the test for 30% turnover reduction will be applied to the past two quarters and into the next quarter.
This will be the September and March quarters. The ATO will be looking at this performance and it will act as a gateway into the next phase.
JobKeeper payments will be reduced to $1200, with a lower payment for those working less than 20 hours a week to $750.
In the 2021 March quarter this will further decrease to $1000 and $650 respectively.
“Even to deliver these payments, there is still several months of work to put this two tier payments in place,” he says.
“At that time we needed to add the flat rate.”
Mr Morrison says that this was to accommodate for those who had lost second and third jobs.
Existing arrangements for JobKeeper will run out at the end of September.
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From September, those on JobSeeker can earn up to $300 without it affecting JobSeeker payments.
The COVID supplement is going to be reduced to $250 per fortnight from $550. This will run until the end of 2020.
Mutual obligation will be launched in two phases.
From August 4, those on JobSeeker must connect to employment services once more, with the requirement of four job searches per month. A penalty regime will also kick in if JobSeeker recipients refuse a job.
In the end of September there will be a higher rate of job tests and the reintroduction of the assets tests.
They will still maintain the standards for sole traders, waiving the waiting period and the partner income tests threshold.
Mr Morrison says that it will be likely that JobSeeker supplements will remain post December, however the JobTrainer skills training scheme will apply to the mutual obligation required.
Existing arrangements for JobSeeker will run out at the end of September.
More to come.