Page MP Kevin Hogan (left) has announced the JobKeeper program and the Coronavirus Supplement have been extended to help support regional businesses and households.
Page MP Kevin Hogan (left) has announced the JobKeeper program and the Coronavirus Supplement have been extended to help support regional businesses and households.

JobKeeper and Coronavirus Supplement extension announced

THE JobKeeper program and Coronavirus Supplement will be extended until next year.

Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan said the support for affected businesses and households will see payments continue until March 2021 in a bid to help the community to get through this crisis, and recover on the other side.

“This unprecedented economic support for local businesses and their workers is helping the Page community through the COVID-19 pandemic and bolstering our economic recovery,” Mr Hogan said.

Under the government’s next phase of support, the JobKeeper Payment will continue at its current level until September 27, after which it will be extended for a further six months to March 28, 2021.

A two-tiered payment will also be introduced so as to better reflect the pre-COVID-19 income of payment recipients.

From September 28 until January 3 next year, there will be two payments of $1200 and $750 per fortnight, with the lower payment for employees who worked less than 20 hours a week in the month of February pre-COVID-19.

From January 4 to March 28 next year, the two payments will be $1,000 and $650.

The temporary Coronavirus Supplement for those on income support will also be extended until December 31, 2020. The $550 per fortnight supplement will continue until September 24. From September 25 until December 31, the supplement will be $250 per fortnight, reducing by the same amount as the JobKeeper payment.

Mr Hogan said the government’s focus remained on reopening the economy where safe to do so, but the extension of these measures recognises that some parts of the economy will continue to be affected and need continued support.

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said the continued assistance would help thousands of regional Australians who are without work, supporting communities and businesses on the economic road back.

“We have always known regional Australia is resilient, but in the past 12 months our local communities have demonstrated that resilience like never before,” Mr McCormack said.

“Through drought, bushfire, floods, and now the pandemic, our people have kept forging determinedly ahead as they fight for their livelihoods, their families and communities.”

The extension of support recognises Australia’s economic recovery is still in its early stages and a number of businesses and individuals remain significantly affected by the global pandemic.

Mr McCormack said the Federal Government would continue to provide support to Australians disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

“This pandemic has taken a toll, but as our regional economies reopen and recover, communities know they have a government focused on saving jobs and creating jobs,” he said.

“We have extended the Coronavirus Supplement, announced a new skills package and introduced JobMaker to help people transition from welfare to work.

“We are also increasing the income free area for the JobSeeker Payment and Youth Allowance (other) to $300 a fortnight to encourage recipients to take up job opportunities as businesses reopen.”

Further details about the amended JobKeeper Payment and Coronavirus Supplement are available at treasury.gov.au.