JobKeeper and JobSeeker extensions hit the Senate: What the legislation means if you're on benefits
Plans to extend the JobKeeper wage subsidy and increased JobSeeker payments are expected to dominate debate in parliament this week as it sits for the last time before the October budget.
Legislation to extend both schemes need to pass the Senate before the current arrangements expire next month.
The Federal Government announced earlier this month it would be extending JobKeeper for another six months, but the payments are being reduced.
Starting from September 28, recipients will get $1200 a fortnight, $300 less than the current JobKeeper payment.
From January 4, that payment will be cut again, to $1000 a fortnight.
Meanwhile, the coronavirus supplement given to JobSeeker recipients from the start of the pandemic will be cut by $300 from the end of September.
Under the changes, those on JobSeeker will receive $800 a fortnight until the end of the year.
So, what is up for debate?
Labor said it will back the JobKeeper extension but has indicated it will be pushing for some amendments to the proposed legislation.
One of Labor's proposed amendments seeks to introduce a "safety net" where workers who were on JobKeeper but are not eligible for the extended version cannot earn less than $1200 per fortnight.
However, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said he opposed the opposition's amendments, saying they would force employers no longer on JobKeeper to pay people at full hours even if they couldn't afford it, and could lead to more job losses.
Pellegrini's Cafe and The Paperback book store are closed during lockdown.(AP)
"It's not about ensuring the worker is getting exactly the same pay that they were previously — it's about ensuring they maintain their job," Mr Fydenberg said.
"Ultimately, Labor's proposal could cost jobs. If you were to force an employer to pay someone, even if there was not the work for them, ultimately that could lead to more sackings."
How will JobKeeper change, depending on the hours you work?
Currently, JobKeeper recipients are being paid the same amount regardless of how much they worked.
As a consequence, JobKeeper functioned as a pay rise for some part-time workers.
How the JobKeeper payments will work following September.(Nine/Tara Blancato)
But under the government's proposed legislation, people who worked fewer than 20 hours a week will receive less, $750 a fortnight after September, and $650 after January.
Mr Frydenberg noted that the reduced payment of $1200 a fortnight is "80 percent of the minimum wage".
More Victorians on JobKeeper than all other states
The Treasurer said extending JobKeeper alone comes at a $30 billion cost to the budget.
More Victorians will be on the payment scheme than every other state combined, he said.
At the moment, 60 percent of the JobKeeper payment's recipients are Victorian residents.
The treasurer's comments come ahead of the tomorrow's release of the national accounts, which is expected to show the largest single quarterly fall in GDP Australia has ever seen.
Economists have predicted a contraction of six percent, which will confirm Australia has suffered its first recession in nearly 30 years because of economic impact of the pandemic.
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Originally published: https://www.9news.com.au