Unions Tasmania has today welcomed the announcement that JobKeeper and JobKeeper will be extended beyond September but condemns the Morrison Government for reducing the rate of the payments, calling the cuts another blow for Tasmanian workers.
Unions had been advocating for an extension of both payments along with a retention of the existing rates, noting that the COVID-19 crisis is far from over.
The big news last week was the staggering statistics that there are 20 job seekers in Tasmania for every 1 job and that 39,000 Tasmanians were on either JobSeeker or Youth Allowance. We also know from ATO data that a further 14,900 Tasmanian businesses have workers on JobKeeper, said Unions Tasmania Secretary, Jessica Munday.
These figures highlight how reliant Tasmanian workers are on adequate, liveable support payments to get them through the pandemic. Arbitrary cuts to the rates will only hurt them. Their bills havent decreased. Their grocery bill or power bill hasnt gone down, said Ms Munday. These cuts mean the rate for JobKeeper now falls below the national minimum wage and the rate for JobSeeker even more so.
Unions Tasmania also notes the Government missed an opportunity to close the gaps in the JobKeeper payment for workers in industries such as the arts, universities, for short term casuals and migrant workers, that mean too many workers are still missing out on this support.
For further comment: Jessica Munday 0417 454 809