Govt has an extra 60 billion reasons to make universities eligible for JobKeeper

The announcement today by Treasury and the ATO that an “accounting error” means that the JobKeeper package is likely to cost $70 billion instead of $130 billion gives the Government an extra 60 billion reasons to make universities eligible for JobKeeper, the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) said today.

“Universities are facing a $4.5 billion dollar revenue shortfall this year and even more next year, threatening 30,000 jobs,” NTEU National President Dr Alison Barnes said today.

“We have proposed a Jobs Protection Framework that could save 12,000 jobs, but that’s still a lot of university workers who could find themselves joining CentreLink queues.”

“Here is the perfect opportunity for the Government to step up and protect those jobs and keep the university sector operating efficiently.”

“The Government has changed the regulations covering JobKeeper three times so far to prevent universities from qualifying. We simply ask – why?”

“The tertiary education sector is vital for protecting our health, our economy and our society. It is the engine room to cure COVID-19 – delivering the health and medical research that saves lives. It is also Australia’s third largest export industry, employing more than 220,000 workers.”

“Without a real rescue package with new money, we are looking at losing tens of thousands of jobs.”

“It would take a fraction of the $60 billion ‘windfall’ to save every university job in the country.”

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