Peter Gutwein’s refusal to lobby for the continuation of JobKeeper is a slap in the face to Tasmanians at risk of losing their jobs when the subsidy is withdrawn at the end of this month.
Labor Leader Rebecca White said with ongoing uncertainty around border closures and new COVID-19 variants and outbreaks, the Premier’s inaction is letting down Tasmanian workers and businesses.
“While it has been great to see businesses starting to bounce back from the pandemic, 12,840 workers and 4,414 businesses were still reliant on JobKeeper in January,” Ms White said.
“Not only that but the Tourism and Transport Forum has estimated up to 9,000 Tasmanian jobs in tourism and related sectors will be at risk when the wage subsidy ends.
“The latest ABS data confirms high regional unemployment, with jobs in the south-east falling by 7.9 per cent over the past year – the biggest fall of any region in the country – and down 5.9 per cent in Launceston and the north-east – the third biggest fall in the country.
“These statistics are already terrible and yet Peter Gutwein continues to ignore the warnings and appears to have no plan at all for Tasmanian workers at risk of losing their jobs.
“On top of his offensive inference last week that people reliant on the JobSeeker payment were using it as a “hammock”, the Premier’s inaction on JobKeeper makes it clear that the compassion he showed during the pandemic is a distant memory.
“The Premier needs to put Tasmanians first rather than simply falling into line and backing his Federal Liberal colleagues.
“There is still time to do the right thing and work on behalf of Tasmanians. I urge the Premier to do so.”
Rebecca White MP