Parliament passes $130 billion JobKeeper stimulus package
9 April 2020, Written by David Simmons
The largest stimulus spend in Australia's history has been passed by the Senate overnight, ensuring millions of Australian workers will be supported during the Covid-19 crisis.
Worth $130 billion the package will see around 6,000,000 workers that have been stood down by their employers eligible for economic relief.
The package comes in the form of a $1,500 fortnightly payment to be distributed by employers to employees.
Those eligible include full-time workers, part-time workers, sole traders, and casuals who have worked with their current employer for 12 months or more.
Since the program was announced more than 730,000 business have registered for JobKeeper.
Eligible businesses include those that can demonstrate a minimum of 30 per cent in turnover downturn because of Covid-19. For businesses turning over more than $1 billion per annum that threshold is set at 50 per cent in revenue downturn.
The passing of the legislation through both the Lower and Upper houses of Parliament is a significant display of bipartisanship, with leader of the opposition Anthony Albanese ensuring the Bill would be passed by his party.
Despite the support for the Bill, the opposition did raise concerns about the package, saying it would leave behind more than one million casual employees.
Albanese ultimately said he would "never let the perfect be the enemy of the good".
"And this is good legislation, it will make a difference to people as a result of what we do in this Parliament here."
The passage of the JobKeeper legislation comes as Australia confirms 6,024 cases of Covid-19.
Of those cases 2,773 are in NSW, 1212 in VIC, 943 in QLD, 481 in WA, 420 in SA, 107 in TAS, 99 in the ACT, and 28 in the NT.
Updated at 9:20am AEST on 9 April 2020.
Author: David Simmons