The Morrison government will pay up to $1,500 a fortnight for full-time employees to businesses to keep their staff in jobs as part of a massive third stimulus package to be announced today.
The ‘JobKeeper’ wage subsidy is expected to be backdated and last for up to six months to help businesses in danger of closing to stay open and keep people in work. The details of which businesses will receive it and under what circumstances, are not yet known, but it’s believed that the payments will be backdated and assist the retail, hospitality, aviation and travel sectors, which have been forced to close, shedding tens of thousands of jobs.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told Seven’s Sunrise this morning that it was a “war on two fronts” – the virus and the economic shock – and the government wanted to work with businesses to keep jobs.
“We want to work with you to keep your staff employed. We recognise there’s going to be the other side to the coronavirus and we want Australia to bounce back stronger than ever, so keeping that connection between employer and employee is very important,” he said
“It’s all about cushioning the blow for families and businesses from this very big economic shock.”
During yesterday’s announcement of a moratorium on commercial and private rental evictions for six months, Prime Minister Scott Morrison asked companies to hold back before making any further cuts to staffing ahead of today’s stimulus announcement.
“I would ask that before you make any further decisions that you take the opportunity to see the further measures that the Government will be announcing, and we will be seeking to enlist you in that process.”
The Morrison government is not following in the footsteps of the UK’s 80% wage subsidy with its scheme, saying it would not suit the nation’s social security system.
The government has also moved to put every foreign purchase of an Australian business under review amid concerns that scavenger investors could seek to snap up distressed companies on the cheap. The Foreign Investment Review Board’s review threshold will be reduced to zero so every future acquisition will be investigated and require FIRB approval according to the ABC.
Meanwhile, The Australian is reporting today that the big banks are getting behind business to extend the six-month loan repayments deferral scheme to 30,000 businesses as part of a $250 billion package.
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