Prime Minister Scott Morrison is accepting responsibility for the reporting error that overestimated the cost of the JobKeeper scheme by 60 billion dollars.The federal opposition is calling on the Treasurer to explain how the calculation error occurred and that the program should be extended.
The Morrison government is dismissing the idea of using the 60 billion dollar windfall to expand JobKeeper eligibility to more workers.
Those currently excluded from the wage subsidy of $1,500 a fortnight include casuals, temporary visa holders, arts and tertiary education workers and workers of foreign-owned companies.
Mr Morrison says he is unwilling to increase the burden on taxpayers, with direct financial support to Australian workers already expected to cost some 150 billion dollars.
"It's not free money. It's not money that is just sitting somewhere that can be spent. That money is actually sitting in the accounts of banks and foreign lenders all around the world. And so if the suggestion is that we should be increasing borrowings more than would be needed to deliver the program that we've designed and are delivering, well the answer is no."
People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your state’s restrictions on gathering limits.
Testing for coronavirus is now widely available across Australia. If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.
The federal government's coronavirus tracing app COVIDSafe is available for download from your phone's app store.
SBS is committed to informing Australia’s diverse communities about the latest COVID-19 developments. News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus