A Two-Tiered JobKeeper Extension Passed by Australian Parliament

A Two-Tiered JobKeeper Extension Passed by Australian Parliament
Prime Minister Scott Morrison during Question Time in the House of Representatives at Parliament House on Aug. 26, 2020 in Canberra, Australia. (Sam Mooy/Getty Images)

JobKeeper wage subsidies are being split into a two-tiered system and extended for another six months.

Labor has waved through the six-month extension after failing to introduce a wage floor for workers who are no longer eligible for the scheme.

Independent senator Rex Patrick also could not secure enough support for an amendment to force businesses that have paid dividends or executive bonuses to repay the wage subsidies.

The two-tiered system replaces flat $1500 subsidies paid each fortnight.

People who worked less than 20 hours a week before the crisis struck will be paid $750 a fortnight, while all others will receive $1200.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison described the wage subsidy scheme as the most significant economic intervention in Australia’s history.

“We are now extending and transitioning,” Morrison told coalition colleagues on Sept 1.

“Transitioning and looking to a day when Australian communities don’t need JobKeeper and when Australians can then run their businesses and hold their jobs sustained by a vibrant and growing economy instead.”

Daniel McCulloch, Matt Coughlan in Canberra