With the Liberals needing Senate support for their plans to slash JobKeeper payments to low-income earners, the Australian Greens have described Labor’s approach to JobKeeper cuts as two-faced, urging Labor to stop playing double games and instead fully abandon the opposition’s plans to support the Liberals’ cuts.
After months of campaigning for cuts to payments for people previously earning less than $1,500, on the day that the Morrison government announced cuts to JobKeeper, Anthony Albanese said:
“It’s good that the government’s finally woken up to some of the waste in this scheme” – RN Breakfast 21 July 2020
But today the Australian Financial Review is reporting that “There have been discussions at senior levels in the Opposition about fighting for higher rates” in the new two-tiered system, as apparently “Labor believes supports should not be pulled from the economy when there are nothing to replace them with, especially given the increased volatility caused by the Victorian coronavirus catastrophe.”
“When the government announced JobKeeper cuts last month, Labor was keen to claim credit, having championed cuts specifically to 900,000 of the lowest paid workers,” Greens Leader Adam Bandt said.
“Now we’re to believe that Labor has rediscovered its concern about cutting JobKeeper. Apparently now they still want it cut, but just not quite as much as the Liberals.”
“JobKeeper should not be cut for low-income earners at all. Many of these people were in low-paid, low-hours insecure work, and just as they start getting something close to a living income, Liberal and Labor line up to cut their incomes.
“Instead of playing a double game, feigning opposition to the very JobKeeper cuts they called for, Labor should join with the Greens and oppose any cuts to JobKeeper payments. As the experience in Victoria shows, Australia is still in the middle of fighting this pandemic, and now is not the time to cut support to low-income earners,” Bandt said.