1.1 million workers will lose JobKeeper payments from today, despite many parts of the economy being a long way from recovery and in the face of serious concerns from Treasury about job losses.
The Head of Treasury estimated this week that between 100,000 and 150,000 workers will lose their job as a result of the program ending.
Of the remaining million workers hundreds of thousands are likely to lose hours, shifts and pay.
Data showing the scale of the damage caused by this decision will not be publicly available until after the federal budget is delivered in May.
Although parts of the economy have recovered, many are still heavily reliant on JobKeeper, including aviation, higher education, arts, parts of manufacturing and retail.
Local economies that are reliant on tourism will be disproportionately affected by the ending of JobKeeper and face an uncertain future without ongoing support.
Quotes attributable to ACTU President Michele O’Neil,
“1.1 million workers face an uncertain future without the JobKeeper wage subsidy, which has prevented catastrophic job losses during the pandemic and is now being ripped away.
“Up to 150,000 people are facing losing their job this week because of the actions of the Morrison Government. Hundreds of thousands more will lose shifts or hours.
“Cutting off JobKeeper while so many workers are still reliant on it is both cruel and counter-productive to our economic recovery. We need money in the hands of working people so they can spend it.
“This will not only hurt working people but also small businesses many of which are still struggling to recover.
“Women are over-represented in the industries most reliant on JobKeeper and will be disproportionately impacted by this cut.
“While some sectors of the economy have returned to work, there are many regions that rely on tourism where the recovery has barely started. Cutting JobKeeper will be devastating to regional Australia.
“What working people need more than ever is security and stability. JobKeeper with strict criteria ensuring it reaches only businesses genuinely in need will save jobs and should not be removed until all sectors of the economy have recovered.”