Many Australians on JobKeeper payments are expected to shift to JobSeeker payments as eligibility for the scheme changes this week.
Many Australians on JobKeeper payments are expected to shift to JobSeeker payments as eligibility for the scheme changes this week.

Aussies to move off Jobkeeper to JobSeeker

Many workers receiving JobKeeper are expected to shift onto JobSeeker at the support payments are wound back later this month.

At the Senate Committee's COVID-19 hearing in Canberra on Thursday the Department of the Treasury was quizzed over the $100 billion JobKeeper scheme and JobSeeker payments.

Treasury's deputy secretary of fiscal group Jenny Wilkinson said, "There will be definitely will be an increase in the number of JobSeeker recipients".

"It's never been the case that you could keep JobKeeper but you couldn't get JobSeeker, access to JobSeeker is a function of your income," she said.

"As a consequence of the government introducing a two-tiered payment into the JobKeeper program there will definitely be some additional people who were previously receiving $1500 of JobKeeper who will go to the lower payment rate."

The Australian Taxation Office's second commissioner Jeremy Hirschhorn confirmed they had received about 9000 tips offs about people ripping off the JobKeeper scheme but as to date no penalties had yet been applied to those caught doing the wrong thing.

 

Under the JobKeeper program about 1 million businesses and 3.6 million employees have relied on the scheme to keep afloat.

But the Australian Taxation Office has estimated by the December quarter about 2.24 million individuals are expected to be receiving JobKeeper and of those a majority will be from Victoria at about 1.36 million.

About 1.45 million Australians are receiving JobSeeker payments - previously known as Newstart.

Under Victoria's stage four restrictions which was rolled out at the beginning of August, Treasury's deputy secretary of macroeconomic group Luke Yeaman the severe lockdown would cost the economy $10 to $12 billion over the September quarter.

"Certainly the road map that was announced is a more gradual stepped approach to what we had in the July economic updates," he said.

He said some economic impacts "would carry through to the December quarter."

The Australian Bureau of Statistics released unemployment figures on Thursday and it fell from 7.5 per cent to 6.8 per cent in August, however those on JobKeeper payments are not deemed unemployed.

For business and not-for-profits wanting to claim JobKeeper payments from September 28 they will need to show they have suffered continued significant decline in their turnover.

From September 28 payments will fall from $1500 per fortnight to $1200 for full-time employees.

They will then fall again from the beginning of January to $1000 per fortnight.

These changes apply to those working at least 20 hours per week.

For part-time employees their payments will fall later on September 28 to $750 a fortnight and then again in January to $650 a fortnight.

All payments are scheduled to end on March 28, 2021.

 

 

Ms Wilkinson said many JobKeeper recipients - except in Victoria - were returning to their jobs.

"We are expecting and Victoria is an exception … many of the people who have been on JobKeeper have now been returned to the normal roles that were playing beforehand," she said.

"Most people on JobKeeper are receiving the income supplement from JobKeeper plus whatever the supplement is to correlate with whatever their normal wage should be."

For JobSeeker payments single recipients are entitled to $1115.70 per fortnight.

This includes $565.70 JobSeeker payment and the $550 coronavirus supplement.

These amounts vary depending on a person's situation.

This will then drop at the end of September to $815 a fortnight when the coronavirus supplement is reduced by $300 per fortnight.

sophie.elsworth@news.com.au

@sophieelsworth

Originally published as Aussies to move off Jobkeeper to JobSeeker



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