HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 25 AUGUST 2021
JobKeeper was the biggest one-off program in Australian history, costing the average Australian household $9,000. It wasn't Liberal Party money; it was taxpayer money, and taxpayers have a right to know how it was spent. In Britain taxpayers know every firm that got their Job Retention Scheme. In New Zealand taxpayers know every firm that got the COVID Wage Subsidy. In the United States taxpayers know every firm that got money through the Paycheck Protection Program.
There's nothing left-wing about accountability. Two out of these three programs were set up by conservative governments. In Britain, New Zealand and the United States they're honest with their taxpayers. In Australia: zip, zilch, nada. That's why Labor moved an amendment in the Senate requiring the tax office to publish the names of every firm with a turnover above $10 million that got JobKeeper.
Australians know that giving JobKeeper to Brett Blundy, Harvey Norman and Solomon Lew didn't save a single job. Dividends to billionaire shareholders and bonuses to millionaire CEOs might help the offshore superyacht industry, but it doesn't lower the Australian jobless rate. What is the Morrison government hiding? Why are they so scared of Australians knowing who got money through the JobKeeper program? Why have they allowed $13 billion to go to firms with rising earnings?
Authorised by Paul Erickson, ALP, Canberra.