Finance Minister Mathias Cormann is adamant JobKeeper won’t continue past September, saying whatever income support the federal government extends into October will not be a ”replication” of what came before.
Speaking to Sky News last Friday, Cormann poured cold water over earlier comments from Prime Minister Scott Morrison, where he confirmed that a ”further phase” of income support would be implemented after JobKeeper expires on September 27.
”JobKeeper in its current form was always designed to be in place for a six-month period. That comes to an end at the end of September. It is an unbelievably generous program,” Cormann said.
“On the basis of assessed need, there will be continued support moving forward, but JobKeeper in its current form will come to an end at the end of September.”
C0nfusion reigned over the Morrison government’s plan for JobKeeper last week after the PM talked up the prospect of additional income support, particularly amid a second lockdown in Victoria.
But as has become somewhat routine over the course of the pandemic, Cormann’s later qualification of the PM’s remarks, referencing the “fiscal burden” of the $70 billion-wage-subsidy program, suggests the cabinet will move ahead with plans to significantly re-target income support heading into the fourth quarter.
Morrison has insisted this spending will continue to be delivered at a national level, but it’s possible a new program could be developed that targets businesses still under significant pressure, or still dealing with coronavirus-related restrictions.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will hand down changes to JobKeeper on July 23, alongside an economic update.