JobKeeper extension passed by parliament

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Daniel McCulloch and Matt Coughlan
(Australian Associated Press)

 

JobKeeper wage subsidies are being split into a two-tiered system and extended for another six months.

Labor has waved through the extension after failing to introduce a wage floor for workers who are no longer eligible for the scheme.

Independent senator Rex Patrick also could not secure enough support for an amendment to force businesses that have paid dividends or executive bonuses to repay the wage subsidies.

The split system replaces flat $1500 subsidies paid each fortnight.

People who worked less than 20 hours a week before the crisis struck will be paid $750 a fortnight from the end of September, while all others will receive $1200.

The maximum payment will come down to $1000 from December to March.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison described the wage subsidy scheme as the most significant economic intervention in Australia’s history.

“We are now extending and transitioning,” Mr Morrison told coalition party room colleagues on Tuesday.

“Transitioning and looking to a day when Australian communities don’t need JobKeeper and when Australians can then run their businesses and hold their jobs sustained by a vibrant and growing economy instead.”

The second tranche of JobKeeper payments is expected to cost more than $30 billion.

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