Victoria is set to take the lion’s share of national JobKeeper handouts by the end of the year, with data revealing six out of every 10 of the 2.24million recipients will be from the state.
This is according to Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, who also predicts that 60 per cent will be sustained until the end of the scheme in March 2021.
The state is currently on a hard lockdown, with Melburnians only allowed to leave their residences for food, one hour of daily exercise, work, caregiving and medical treatment.
They are also required to wear masks in public and adhere to a strict curfew for another fortnight – staying at home between 8pm and 5am, unless given an exemption.
Victoria recorded its highest death toll of 41 fatalities on Monday, along with 73 new COVID-19 cases.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg (pictured) estimates 60 per cent of the 1.75 million expected to be on the JobKeeper scheme in March 2021 will be from Victoria
Six in every 10 of the 2.24million people on JobKeeper in the December quarter are expected to be living in Victoria, according to estimates issued by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg. Pictured: JobKeeper state-by-state numbers from May to August
This has brought the state’s virus toll to 565 and the national total to 652.
The JobKeeper scheme was introduced by the federal government to tide over workers until businesses reopened after lockdowns ended.
Eligible businesses can apply for the funding and then pass the money on to their staff.
Mr Frydenberg said on Monday the ‘restrictions imposed by the Victorian government have had a devastating impact on the economy’.
‘The number of Victorians on unemployment benefits has significantly increased with the impost of restrictions while numbers in other states have declined,’ he said, SBS reported.
‘Household spending in Victoria is down more than 30 per cent through the year while the rest of Australia is only down around three per cent.
Victoria is currently on a hard lockdown, with Melburnians only allowed to leave their residences for food, exercise, work, caregiving and medical treatment. Pictured: People walking through a park in Melbourne during lockdown
Victorians are also required to wear masks in public and adhere to a strict curfew for another fortnight – staying at home between 8pm and 5am, unless given an exemption. Pictured: People in public in Melbourne
‘The accommodation and hospitality sector has borne the brunt of the restrictions with the growth in spending in dining and takeaway down more than 60 per cent and in the accommodation sector more than 80 per cent.’
Mr Frydenberg added Victoria’s unemployment rate in July, before stage four lockdown, sat about 10.5 per cent compared to 8.5 per cent in NSW.
The government was trying to get through parliament a bill to extend JobKeeper through to March, though both Labor and the Greens had advocated it go beyond that date.
‘What we have before the parliament right now is an important piece of legislation to extend the JobKeeper payments but particularly to ensure that there is industrial relations and workplace flexibility that goes alongside Jobkeeper,’ Mr Frydenberg said, The Australian reported.
‘It’s important that legislation passes this week because we know from JobKeeper recipients, namely the business who are supporting their employees, that those flexible arrangements have been critical for them to keep their doors open.’
Mr Frydenberg said Victoria’s unemployment rate before stage four lockdown in Jule sat about 10.5 per cent. He said it was about 8.5 per cent in NSW at the time. Pictured: People lining up at Centrelink in Flemington, Victoria, during the start of the coronavirus pandemic
The Treasurer (pictured) added he expected to see the largest single quarterly fall in GDP the nation has ever recorded – due to demand and supply shock because of the coronavirus – when the national accounts come out Wednesday
The Treasurer added he expected to see the largest single quarterly fall in GDP the nation has ever recorded – due to demand and supply shock because of the coronavirus – when the national accounts come out on Wednesday.
The analysis showed about 30,000 Victorians had started to receive unemployment benefits at the end of June as well.
It was more than half of the amount lining up for a handout in the past two weeks.
It comes as Mr Frydenberg calls on the Victorian Government to spend more to help the Australian economy recover during the coronavirus crisis.
He slammed state Premier Daniel Andrews for ‘devastating’ the economy, as the treasurer revealed the true impact of Victoria’s lockdown for the first time.
Mr Frydenberg did not mince his words on Sunday, saying Mr Andrews was responsible for a ‘litany of failures’ that saw the virus spiral out of control and force millions of people back into lockdown.
‘The costs are immense. Treasury have said 10 to 12 billion dollars is the hit to the Australian economy over the September quarter,’ he said on Sunday.
Mr Frydenberg accused Mr Andrews of over-reach for seeking a 12-month extension of his government’s state of emergency powers.
‘I want to hear more about a message of hope for the people of Victoria,’ Mr Frydenberg, himself a Victorian, told Sky News’ Sunday Agenda program.
‘Daniel Andrews and the Victorian government need to be talking more about the road out than about a longer road in.’