In a win for millions of workers the Morrison Government – which three weeks ago ruled out a wage subsidy of any kind – has committed to a $130 billion over six months wage subsidy program; JobKeeper.
The Australian union movement stood together to demand support for workers and businesses facing down a pandemic, and tonight has achieved a landmark policy achievement.
The union movement has consistently pointed to the more than one million casuals and visa workers who will not be covered as in desperate need of access to the wage subsidy program.
As noted by ACTU Secretary Sally McManus:
“We called on the Government to deliver a wage subsidy for all workers who needed a wage subsidy. It wasn’t long ago that members of the Morrison Government were suggesting people would have to rely on their savings and go on Newstart, now they have allocated $130 billion to wage subsidies.
“The scale of this union-won package is unprecedented. The JobKeeper wage subsidy, along with the JobSeeker payment, will transform lives and bring many workers and their families back from the brink of economic ruin.
“If the union movement had not won this fight, workers would be receiving the old NewStart allowance of $40 per day. Now they will get up to double that on JobSeeker as well as no less than $150 per day if they are on JobKeeper.
“The Government has excluded millions of people from JobKeeper but it has given the Treasurer the power to extend the program to cover more people than it does currently.
“If the Prime Minister truly believes that every job is an essential job then every job is worth saving and every worker needs Job Keeper. And we will be making sure Treasurer Frydenberg understands that point.”