JobSeeker rort: Staff refuse to return to work

 

JOBLESS Australians are turning down shifts to stay on the $1115 a fortnight JobSeeker payment, Prime Minister Scott Morrison revealed the boosted payment comes under review.

It follows reports the government is moving into the next phase of the JobKeeper and JobSeeker payments, which are due to finish their six-month run at the end of September.

Mr Morrison indicated JobKeeper wage subsidy was likely to be continued in some form for some industries hit harder and longer by the COVID-19 lockdowns, naming tourism, aviation, hospitality, events and entertainment and others.

People queue to enter Centrelink. There are 1.7 million Australians now on JobSeeker unemployment benefits. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images
People queue to enter Centrelink. There are 1.7 million Australians now on JobSeeker unemployment benefits. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

"When we make a decision about the next phase, and there will be a next phase of this, we have to get it right," he told 2GB.

"Rushed decisions are never smart when you're spending that amount of money and you want to make sure it's targeted to the people who need it most."

He said JobKeeper was costing $10 billion a month to keep running in it's current state.

"We said at the time it was temporary and can't be sustained at that level," he said.

"But equally we've got to look at what's happening post September."


But Mr Morrison said they had to be more careful with the JobSeeker dole payment, which increased from $565 to $1115 a fortnight, saying it could get in the way of getting people back into work if left at its current level.

"What we have to be worried about now is we can't allow the JobSeeker payment to become an impediment to people going out and doing work," he said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said there is anecdotal evidence people are turning down shifts to stay on JobSeeker. Picture: Matt Blyth/Getty Images
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said there is anecdotal evidence people are turning down shifts to stay on JobSeeker. Picture: Matt Blyth/Getty Images

"We are getting a lot of anecdotal feedback from small businesses and even large businesses where some of them are finding it hard to get people to take the shifts back because they're on these higher level payments.

"We've got to make sure we provide a reasonable level of support in the middle of the worst recession we've had since the Great Depression.

"But at the same time we can't let the help get in the way that we've giving to people."

There are about 1.7 million Australians on JobSeeker payments, which have doubled during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Originally published as JobSeeker rort: Staff refuse to return to work


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