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JobKeeper extension a critical commitment to further stimulus

"Ai Group welcomes the federal Government's announcement of the extension of the JobKeeper Payment beyond the end of September. This is a critical commitment to further stimulus for the economy that will help sustain businesses and protect employment as Australia continues to experience a severe downturn as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic," Innes Willox, Chief Executive of the national employer association Ai Group, said today.

"Importantly, the Government has provided an adequate lead time before the changes associated with the extension of JobKeeper take effect from the end of September. This will assist businesses prepare for the changes to their cash flow.

"The new two-tiered payment based on hours worked by eligible employees is a sensible adoption of the New Zealand wage subsidy approach and will go a long way to sharpening the work incentives that were dampened by the flat rate of JobKeeper in the initial phase.

"While the phase-down of the amount of the subsidy will put more pressure on businesses, it is a fiscally responsible move and will help businesses transition to a greater degree of self-reliance in these extreme economic circumstances. JobKeeper will also become more sharply targeted as a result of the quarterly assessment of eligibility based on reduced turnover.

"As further details become available in coming days, Ai Group will liaise with our members and the Government should there be need for fine tuning before the new approach starts from the end of September," Mr Willox said.

Media enquiries: Tony Melville – 0419 190 347