Video Message by Prime Minister Scott Morrison on COVID-19
1 April 2020
Many weeks ago, I said we had three goals as a country. Protect your health, secure your jobs and livelihoods, and to set Australia up to bounce back stronger when all of this is over.
On Monday this week, we made a very big decision to help you secure your livelihood for you and your family, to help you and your family get through what is going to be one of the toughest times we’ve known, but importantly, to bounce back. We made a commitment of some $130 billion. I know it sounds like an incredible amount and it is. And that’s over the next six months. No government has ever made that commitment before. The reason we did it? Because we know we need to support your job and your livelihood, for around 6 million Australians, so you can have the confidence to go through each day, over each month, as we get through this very difficult time together.
The JobKeeper payment, as it’s known, is $1,500 a fortnight. It’s paid to your employer to keep you in your job, when your employer has had a significant reduction in the business that they’re seeing come through. And that payment will continue even though the work may dry up. It’s for a full-time employee, a part-time employee, and it includes those who have had to be stood down. It also includes casual employees who have been with employer for at least 12 months. And if you’re a sole trader, self-employed, it means you as well. $1,500 a fortnight for about 6 million people who qualify under these arrangements. Keeping you connected to your business, the business that employs you. Getting you through, and your family, to support them, to the other side.
So if you are working for, or you’re running a business that has taken a big hit and has been forced to close, that must be absolutely heartbreaking, but what we can do is give you this payment. Made through your employer. Made to your business. It says we’re there for you; that we’ll do what is necessary to be there for you, $1,500 a fortnight for six months, building that bridge to get us all together to the other side.
And we’re also extending the JobSeeker arrangements for those who have a partner in a job. That threshold, which was $47,000, we’re going to lift that up to $79,000. So for those of you who can’t get access through the JobKeeper payment, which will be many of you, who are in that situation, we’re changing those rules so you can get access to JobSeeker.
JobKeeper payment is for all those businesses who register to be part of this at ato.gov.au.
We are in unchartered territory. But we are such a strong country. We are such a strong people. And we need all of that strength in the months and years ahead, supporting each other. But believing in each other because on the other side, we know it can be better. And we’ve got to keep looking there. We will get through it, Australia. We all play our part. We follow the rules around keeping our distance from each other, following all the other guidelines that have been put in place for all of our protection. Protecting lives. Protecting livelihoods. And together, we’ll get through.