$100B still committed to economic support
HAILED the economic lifeline, largely responsible for keeping around a million businesses operating and approximately 3.8M Australians in the job, at the height of the pandemic; the financial support offered by the JobKeeper package has now ceased.
Since it was announced on 30 March 2020, the RBA has estimated that the JobKeeper package has saved at least 700,000 jobs. At the time of inception, Australia was standing on the edge of an economic abyss, with treasury fearing the nation’s unemployment rate would triple to 15 percent, with more than two million Australians potentially becoming unemployed.
We were all witness to the confronting scenes of tens of thousands of our fellow Australians queuing up outside Centrelink offices across the country. Worldwide, we were entering unprecedented times, the uncertainty creating increasing anxiety levels for communities right across the globe. However, following the announcement of JobKeeper, we saw consumer confidence in this country record its largest weekly gain on record, and go on to continue to increase for nine consecutive weeks thereafter.
On July 21, 2020 the Federal Government extended the temporary JobKeeper payment for an additional six months, from September until March with two tiers of payment to account for full and part time workers.
As of the end of February, ATO data indicates around 680,000 businesses employing 2.8M people have graduated from JobKeeper with the unemployment rate today sitting at 5.8 percent.
It is important to remember, that while the JobKeeper funding has now come to an end, the government’s economic support has not. Of the $251B the Federal Government committed to economic support, $100B still remains.
As we move to the next stage of the government’s Economic Recovery Plan, it has been stated that private sector activity will continue to be boosted, through a number measures including tax cuts, business investment incentives, more skills and training opportunities, new infrastructure projects and targeted support, like the $1.2B aviation and tourism package.