JobKeeper and JobSeeker looks set to be extended to March with a bill introduced to Parliament on Wednesday likely to cruise through with Labor’s support.
“I look forward to us continuing to provide the single greatest ever income support that Australians have ever received,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters in Canberra.
“We are scanning and searching for every opportunity to keep people in jobs.”
Labor will vote for the bill despite its concerns around the issue of employers cutting working hours.
Firms remaining on JobKeeper will still have the power to change employees’ hours, duties or work location.
Others booted off JobKeeper will also retain the capacity to change conditions if they prove a 10 per cent reduction in turnover.
The Morrison government plans to cut the wage subsidy from $1500 to $1200 a fortnight at the end of September, and then to $1000 from December to March.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is responsible for setting the rate, meaning that change won’t need to be legislated.
Labor wants JobKeeper to remain at $1500 a fortnight for another six months with Victoria’s coronavirus lockdown smashing the national economy.
The moves comes as workers in Tasmania who have to self-isolate but don’t have sick leave entitlements will now be able to access a $1500 payment.
A similar arrangement is already in place in Victoria.