It turns out the Government’s JobKeeper program, which was estimated to cost the country $130 billion, will now only cost $70 billion. That leaves $60 billion “freed up”.
An accounting error is to blame for an overestimation about how much the wage subsidy program was going to cost.
This means the scheme is covering 3.5 million workers, down from 6.5 million works as originally predicted.
So what will be done with $60 billion? The ABC put that question to Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and he said some of it will fund support programs targeted at some of the country’s worst-hit sectors, including tourism.
“The tourism sector could be one sector in need of further support. That’s what we’ll look at in the context of the economic situation at the time.”
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison also named tourism as an industry that would feel the effects of coronavirus for longer than other sectors.
“We know that and there are particular sectors that will feel this for longer, particularly those who are particularly dependent on international borders. And we know that and we understand that and we’ll be considering that carefully,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.
It comes as others within the tourism industry continue to lobby the government to retain JobKeeper for the industry beyond September.
This is because the industry doesn’t stand a chance of a proper recovery until international borders are reopened, and at this stage, no one knows when that will be.
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