14 April 2020

Jobkeeper payment supporting millions of jobs

The Morrison Government’s historic $1500 fortnightly JobKeeper payment will support millions of Australian jobs as we build a bridge to the other side following the severe economic impact from the coronavirus.

The economic shock facing the global economy from the coronavirus is far more significant than what was seen during the global financial crisis over a decade ago.

Businesses across a range of industries have had to close their doors and others have seen a significant drop in activity as countries, including Australia, exercise social distancing measures to contain the spread of the virus.

It is against this backdrop the Government has taken action with $320 billion or 16.4 per cent of GDP in economic support for the Australian financial system, businesses, households and individuals affected by the coronavirus.

Given these actions and the position of economic strength from which we approached the coronavirus crisis Treasury expects the unemployment rate to rise to 10 per cent in the June quarter from 5.1 per cent in the most recent data.

In the absence of the $130 billion JobKeeper payment, Treasury estimates the unemployment rate would be 5 percentage points higher and would peak at around 15 per cent.

More than 800,000 businesses have already registered for the JobKeeper payment which will allow the economy to recover more quickly once we are through to the other side of the crisis.

The Government’s economic support measures are temporary, targeted and proportionate to the challenge we face and will ensure Australia bounces back stronger on the other side, without undermining the structural integrity of the Budget which Australians have worked so hard to restore.

Last week our track record of prudent fiscal management was recognized by Standard and Poor’s who reaffirmed Australia’s AAA credit rating and made the point that “while fiscal stimulus measures will soften the blow presented by the COVID-19 outbreak and weigh heavily on public finances in the immediate future, they won't structurally weaken Australia's fiscal position.”

Australia is one of only ten countries to hold such a rating from all three major rating agencies.

Every arm of government and industry is working to keep Australians in jobs and businesses in business, and to build a bridge to recovery on the other side.

The Government will continue to do what it takes to ensure that Australia bounces back stronger.