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January 04, 2021

Today Scott Morrison is doubling down on his new year cuts, slashing the rate of JobKeeper and cutting up to $200 per fortnight from 1.6 million Australians that are currently relying on the payment.

These cuts will reduce critical support from the economy including from small businesses, regional communities and vulnerable Australians at a time of heightened uncertainty and new COVID-19 outbreaks.

From today, Australians on the top rate of JobKeeper will see their payments cut by $200 while workers on the lower part time rate will see a cut of $100 per fortnight.

This is the second time in three months that the Morrison Government has cut JobKeeper without a proper plan for jobs, despite the fact that 2.2 million Australians are looking for work or more work and the Government expects another 90,000 will join the jobless queues by March.

Today’s cuts to JobKeeper ignore the increased stress on many businesses over the holiday period, particularly in parts of Sydney and surrounding tourist regions.

Many business owners are seeing holiday bookings cancelled or empty tables in their cafes and restaurants at what is usually their busiest time of the year.

Labor has always said that financial support needs to be tailored to the economic conditions, which is why the Morrison Government must urgently consider options to provide targeted support to hard hit parts of the economy and ensure those who need financial support continue to receive it.

At the same time as ripping money away from workers on JobKeeper, Scott Morrison is also delivering New Years pay cuts to those who are in jobs.

On one hand the Government says the economy is doing well enough that businesses no longer need JobKeeper but on the other they say the economy is doing so badly they need to cut the pay of workers. They can't have it both ways.

The cleaners, the retail workers, the truck drivers, the childcare workers and the aged care staff – they have put themselves at risk to get Australia through this crisis. But they could all lose take-home pay under Mr Morrison’s nasty IR changes.

Instead of a plan to create jobs, boost wages and tackle underemployment, the Morrison Government is focused on cutting vital support, cutting workers’ pay and cutting superannuation.