The Corona Crucible – Thurs 23rd July

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On Tuesday the Federal Government announced that JobKeeper and JobSeeker payments will now continue past September, but amounts will be reduced. As the PM tends to do, Sir Scott Moron (anagram) rambled on for a long time about how generous and helpful his government has been, before getting to the point and announcing the cut backs.

JobKeeper is being extended until March next year, but will be cut from $1500 to $1200 per fortnight.  JobSeeker (formerly Newstart) will only be extended until December this year, and will be cut back from $1100 to $800 per fortnight. Once again this government is discriminating against those who are most in need. (The mistake of paying part time staff more on JobKeeper than they were earning, will be rectified.)

It remains to be seen exactly how businesses, employees and the unemployed will be impacted by these cuts, but I’m sure that it will cause additional anxiety and stress especially to those who are most vulnerable and struggling. In a minor concession by the government, those on JobSeeker will be able to earn an extra $300 without any penalty, but that’s assuming they are lucky enough to find work, which is highly unlikely for the vast majority.

In the long term, these cuts will not help the economy either, as people will be spending less.

Despite calls for the government to permanently increase in the JobSeeker payment, the government is again failing the most vulnerable Australians.

We are seeing the spread of COVID-19 in Victoria largely driven by casual workers who without sick leave entitlements are going to work and spreading the virus when infected. There is a payment available from the state government for casual workers who are in this situation so they don’t have to go to work when sick. But as outlined in this story, there are some people who don’t qualify for any benefits from the federal or the state government. Daniel Andrews (Denials Warden) announced today that anyone who has been tested and who is not eligible for sick leave will receive an immediate $300 payment while they isolate, that’s on top of the $1500.

The casualisation of the workforce is a legacy of Liberal Federal Government policies over decades, going back to the Howard era. The Federal Government has created this problem, so they should fix it.

Victoria recorded another 403 cases of COVID-19 recorded in the past 24 hours. An additional five Victorians have died overnight.