Wednesday, March 31, 2021
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Australia ends wage support scheme

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                Australia stops its program " <em>JobKeeper</em> ”, Intended to support the employees victims of the containment measures decided last year because of the health crisis.  The unions judge the decision " <em>cruel </em>».

                                    <p>« <em>JobKeeper</em> " has been " <em>an economic lifeline</em> Argues Australian Finance Minister Josh Frydenberg.  The device made it possible to " <em>save lives and preserve livelihoods</em> »Many Australian households affected by the health crisis.

The program was announced in March 2020 in the wake of a national lockdown that had led to thousands of job cuts. It initially involved the payment to certain employees of 1500 Australian dollars (971 euros) every two weeks via their employer.

At the height of the crisis, nearly four million employees benefited. The authorities have extended the scheme twice in the past twelve months, while reducing the amount of benefits.

More than 100,000 workers at risk

It is now over. As unemployment has since fallen back to its pre-crisis level, the government has decided to put an end to a program which, according to it, was not intended to last. The unemployment rate, which had risen to 7.5% in July, fell to 5.8% in February. The Ministry of Finance estimates, however, that between 100,000 and 150,000 people could lose their jobs as a result of the end of ” JobKeeper ».

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The unions, they consider the end of the measure premature. Quoted by AFP, the president of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, Michele O’Neil, recalls that the future remains uncertain for 1.1 million workers. Especially since many have had to accept wage cuts or reductions in the number of hours worked since the crisis. ” Stopping JobKeeper when so many continue to depend on it is both cruel and counterproductive for economic recovery She said.

After a recession in the first half of 2020, the Australian economy rebounded to post fourth quarter growth of 3.1%.

Read also: Coronavirus: Australia and Singapore are considering a “travel bubble” between them

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