Cutting JobKeeper from $1500 a fortnight to $1200 for full time workers and to $750 for part time workers will put significant financial strain on millions of workers who are reliant on the wage subsidy for income while the economy is still shut down.

3.5 million people – more than a third of the pre-COVID workforce – are currently receiving the JobKeeper payment and will be worse off from this week.

Working people have carried the country through this crisis, but in the shadow of the budget the Morrison Government is clawing back support which has kept millions of families safe from the pandemic.

Quotes attributable to ACTU President Michele O’Neil:

“JobKeeper is an essential support during this crisis for millions of workers and their families. Any cut will mean more hardship for working people during the ongoing health and economic crisis.

“These cuts will hit the most vulnerable workers the hardest.

“We also know that these cuts will hurt small business and the economy because it is critical to the recovery from this recession that money is put in the hands of working people to spend.

“We need leadership from the Morrison Government to deliver a national economic reconstruction plan that will save and create secure jobs. The Government needs to maintain and extend JobKeeper and JobSeeker to make sure that working people and those who have lost jobs are supported through this crisis.

“These cuts come in the lead up to Christmas at the end of an incredibly hard year and will be a huge blow to millions of families – they should be reversed and the program should be expanded to cover casuals, visa workers and industries like arts and higher education which the Government arbitrarily excluded.”