Australia on Sunday finalized a wage assistance scheme designed a year ago to help employees in the midst of a health crisis, which unions considered “brutal” as the move could push 150,000 people towards unemployment.
Also read: Live | Recent developments on coronavirus
The Job Keeper program, originally paid AU 500, 1,500 (approximately C $ 1,445) every two weeks by their employer to some employees, was announced in March 2020 in the wake of the lockdown that led to thousands of job cuts across the country.
Finance Minister Josh Friedenberg said the device was “financially viable”, “saving lives and sustaining livelihoods” of many households over the past year.
But Job Keeper admitted that he always wanted to be “temporary”, but for many companies the situation continues to be tense.
The unemployment rate, which rose to 7.5 percent in July, fell to 5.8 percent in February. The Finance Ministry estimates that 100,000 to 150,000 people will lose their jobs as job seekers end.
Michelle O’Neill, president of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, said many more workers would face wage cuts or reductions in working hours.
“The future for 1.1 million workers without a job-keeper wage support system is uncertain, which prevented catastrophic job cuts during the epidemic and has now been abolished,” she denied.
“Closing a job keeper is cruel and negatively productive in terms of economic recovery when many people continue to rely on it.”
At the height of the crisis, nearly four million employees benefited from the job keeper.
In both cases the authorities had to extend the system for the last 12 months while reducing the amount of benefits.
If we compare this with other developed countries, Australia is relatively effective in the wake of the epidemic, because it totals 29,000 cases and less than a thousand deaths since the appearance of the coronavirus.
This result was obtained at the expense of closing the borders of the island. The ultimate sources of pollution are connected to facilities that provide detention of people entering the territory and they are quickly contained.
Following the recession in the first half of 2020, the Australian economy returned to fourth-quarter growth of 3.1%.