After a week of delay the Morrison Government has been forced to provide tokenistic support for the millions of Victorian workers who have been suffering through a lockdown caused by the failure of the Federal Government on the vaccine rollout and on quarantine.

The payment is a third less than the national minimum wage and will not keep people in contact with their employer during the lockdown so that they have a job to go back to, as the JobKeeper wage subsidy did.

Calls from unions, employers, and State Governments for JobKeeper 2 to be put in place have been ignored by the Federal Government.

This payment will not guarantee that a single affected Victorian worker has a job to go back to once the lockdown is lifted.

Quotes attributable to ACTU President Michele O’Neil:

“The Morrison Government has caused the lockdown in Victoria through a combination of a failed vaccine rollout and failure to secure a national quarantine system.

“This payment will leave working people with nothing for a full week before a restricted number are able to access a small support payment, a third below the minimum wage and half the standard disaster relief payment, which will not secure their employment.

“The Morrison Government has been opposing calls for a JobKeeper 2 wage subsidy for more than a week. The payment that has been announced is no replacement for a wage subsidy available fast to everyone effected which would keep working people attached to their jobs through a lockdown.

“The Morrison Government continues to avoid accepting responsibility for any part of the response to the pandemic, and their compounding failures are putting the health and economic strength of the entire country at risk.”