The Federal Government’s plan to cut the coronavirus supplement and wage subsidy will be a very unwelcome New Year present for tens of thousands of Tasmanians.
With nearly 8 percent unemployment overall and youth unemployment approaching 20 percent – by far the worst in the country – it unfortunately exposes the Gutwein Government’s failure to act on jobs and to fight Tasmania’s corner in Canberra.
It’s clear that it is too soon to cut JobSeeker and the JobKeeper wage subsidy without risking terrible consequences for the economy and for workers.
Labor Leader Rebecca White said Peter Gutwein should be making the case for an extension to these payments with the Federal Liberals.
“While it’s great to see businesses start to bounce back from the pandemic, many of them are still reliant on JobKeeper and we shouldn’t be putting them or the jobs of their workers at risk,” Ms White said.
“In less than two weeks the Federal Government will cut the JobKeeper payment again, reducing the take home pay of thousands of workers and jeopardising hundreds of businesses.
“On top of this around 51,000 Tasmanians who are currently reliant on the coronavirus supplement are facing a significant cut to their payments.
“Come January 1st the fortnightly supplement will be slashed from $250 to $150.
“This will have most impact on those who can least afford it including jobseekers, students, widows and people receiving parenting support payments.
“This will also strip an estimated $33 million out of the state’s economy over the next three months.
“Proceeding with the disastrous plan to cut the payment to zero in April will take a further $250 million from the economy and from Tasmanians doing it toughest over the course of 2021.
“These cuts from Canberra highlight why it is so important to have a jobs plan to get Tasmanians back to work.
“Without a comprehensive jobs plan for the state, Tasmania’s economic recovery is in danger of stalling.
Only Labor’s plan for jobs Working for Tasmania offers the vision for our economic future.
“This is the jobs plan Tasmania needs.”