The JobKeeper and JobSeeker payments will be cut back after September, but will remain in place until the new year.
The government announced the changes today as the coronavirus continues to impact the economy, and unemployment continues to rise.
JobKeeper cut back
The government will extend the JobKeeper wage subsidy for a further six months.
However, at the end of September, it decreases from $1,500 a fortnight to $1,200 a fortnight for full-time workers.
Part-time workers (who work less than 20-hours a week) who are also currently receiving $1,500 a fortnight, will have their payment slashed to $750.
JobKeeper will be cut further at the start of new year to $1,000 for full-time workers, and $650 for part-time workers.
Businesses will need to meet strict tests to continue qualifying for the wage subsidy, including being able to prove a 30 percent downturn over six months.
Currently, 3.5 million Australians are receiving JobKeeper, and the government expects one million will continue to need support until March.
JobSeeker also cut back
The government temporarily doubled the JobSeeker unemployment benefit (previously called Newstart) from $550 to $1,100 a fortnight.
However, it will decrease to $800 a fortnight from the end of September.
The government has also reinstated mutual obligations for JobSeeker, with recipients required to look for at least four jobs a month, starting from 4 August.
The requirement comes despite millions of people in Melbourne trapped at home in lockdown.
Penalties will apply to those who do meet those requirements.
The increased unemployment benefit will only apply to the end of the year, however, Scott Morrison concedes it may need to continue after that.
Finally, the income-free threshold is increasing to $300 – which means workers can work and earn wages to that amount without affecting their payments.
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