Eight Questions the Morrison Government Needs to Answer About JobKeeper

Eight Questions the Morrison Government Needs to Answer About JobKeeper

Costing almost $100 billion (nearly $4,000 per Australian), JobKeeper is the most expensive single program ever deployed by the Australian Government. Unlike other advanced countries, our wage subsidy scheme has no public register of who received it.

JobKeeper helped save jobs, but too much has gone to firms that didn’t need the money. The Morrison Government has been secretive about its details. They’ve been treating JobKeeper like it’s Liberal Party money, not taxpayer money.

The Australian Taxation Office has now received four Business Activity Statements and a tax return from every Australian business that received JobKeeper. Yet the Government has only released information that puts the Coalition in a positive light.

Here’s eight questions the Morrison Government need to answer:

1. Every firm receiving JobKeeper has now filed a tax return. How many recipients saw their profits go up? How many dollars went to companies whose profits increased?

2. Billion-dollar firms could get JobKeeper based on drop in March of 50 per cent or a forecast that their turnover would drop more than 50 per cent in the period from March to June 2020. How many billion-dollar firms got JobKeeper, and then didn’t see a 50 per cent drop in their turnover in subsequent Business Activity Statements? How much taxpayer money went to these firms? Who were they?

3. Medium sized companies could get JobKeeper based on a drop in March of 30 per cent or a forecast that their turnover would drop more than 30 per cent in the period from March to June 2020. How many such firms got JobKeeper, and then didn’t see a 30 per cent drop in their turnover? How much taxpayer money went to these firms?

4. Non-profits could get JobKeeper based on a drop in March of 15 per cent or a forecast that their turnover would drop more than 15 per cent in the period from March to June 2020. How many such non-profits got JobKeeper, and then didn’t see a 15 per cent drop in their turnover? How much taxpayer money went to these entities?

5. How many firms got JobKeeper, and then used it to pay executive bonuses, in contravention to the advice of the Australian Taxation Office and the Business Council of Australia? Which firms are they?

6. How many firms got JobKeeper and then used it to pay shareholder dividends? How much taxpayer money went to these firms?

7. Has the Morrison Government - which created RoboDebt to harass social security recipients – lifted a finger to ask firms that didn’t need JobKeeper to repay the money?

Expect the following stock answers:

a) JobKeeper saved jobs, how dare you criticise it
b) Repayment is a matter for each business owner
c) Our critics are playing ’the politics of envy’
d) We did what we needed to do
e) I visited [insert small business here] and they are delighted with the program
f) It’s all about the recovery now

And the bonus follow up question:

8. If what you have just said (a)-(f) is true, then why not disclose how the billions were spent? You have the receipts. What are you hiding?


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  • Andrew Leigh MP
    published this page in What's New 2021-02-16 12:21:39 +1100

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Cnr Gungahlin Pl and Efkarpidis Street, Gungahlin ACT 2912 | 02 6247 4396 | [email protected] | Authorised by A. Leigh MP, Australian Labor Party (ACT Branch), Canberra.