REVEALED: The group of one MILLION workers who have been ‘left behind’ and excluded from a $4billion wage benefit scheme
- The JobMaker ‘hiring credit’ pays businesses for employing young Australians
- Payment is $200 week for staff aged 16 to 29, $100 week for staff aged 30 to 35
- Scheme slammed for failing to give older jobless Australians certainty for future
Almost one million Australians have been left out of the new wage subsidy scheme as the government focuses on getting young people back to work.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s blueprint for getting Australia through the coronavirus recession includes a JobMaker ‘hiring credit’ which pays businesses for employing young Australians.
The payment – which will cost taxpayers $4billion – is $200 a week for employees aged 16 to 29, and $100 a week for people aged 30 to 35.
University of Melbourne economist Professor Mark Wooden has questioned the focus on age, which he says could result in young people being prioritised over older workers.
He told the Australian Financial Review young people tend to suffer through all recession but they also do better in the recovery too.
Labor has claimed that about 928,000 jobless Australians over the age of 35 will be excluded from the scheme.
Shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers said too many workers had been ‘left out and left behind’.
The government’s JobMaker ‘hiring credit’ will pay businesses for employing young Australians (Stock image pictured)
The payment is $200 a week for employees aged 16 to 29, and $100 a week for people aged 30 to 35 (pictured: A young woman working a store in Sydney)
University of Melbourne economist Roger Wilkins noted that older workers whose skills were redundant typically found it harder to reskill and re-engage with the labour market.
HOW DOES JOBMAKER WORK?
The payment goes to the businesses creating the new jobs.
Businesses will get $200 a week for each new employee aged between 16 and 29.
For new employees aged 30 to 35, they’ll get $100 a week.
About 450,000 jobs are expected to be created from the scheme.
New employees must have been receiving either JobSeeker, Youth Allowance (Other) or the Parenting Payment in the past three months to qualify.
They must also work at least 20 hours a week.
‘That’s what we saw for middle to older aged, low-skilled men in the 1990s.’
Welfare groups have also slammed the scheme for failing to give older jobless Australians certainty for the future.
Australian Council of Social Service chief executive Cassandra Goldie said the scheme should be urgently extended to people of all ages who have been unemployed for at least a year.
‘People without paid work will see no benefit from the income tax cuts brought forward in the budget, which mainly go to people who are lucky enough to have jobs,’ she said.
‘The government will need to do more to ensure that we are all in the recovery together.’
Mr Frydenberg said the scheme was designed to drive down unemployment.
‘We settled on 35, because young people have been particularly impacted by this crisis,’ he told ABC.
About 700,000 workers aged up to 35 had been forced to ask for government handouts by the end of August due to restrictions on the retail and hospitality sectors.
The budget made no mention of what the government intends to do with the Jobseeker dole payment.
Its boosted level is due to end in December, with many concerned it could return to its previous level of $40 a day.
Welfare groups have also slammed the scheme for failing to give older jobless Australians certainty for the future (Pictured: A young woman working at a store in Sydney)
‘We settled on 35, because young people have been particularly impacted by this crisis,’ Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said
Anglicare Australia’s Kasy Chambers said with 1.6 million people out of work and the downturn to last for years, some simple solutions could have been announced.
‘Raise the rate of JobSeeker for good and invest in social housing,’ she said.
Council on the Ageing’s Ian Yates said it was disappointing not to see an increase in the ‘inadequate’ Commonwealth rent assistance maximum rate, and that older unemployed people will still have their savings ‘plundered’ by the liquid assets test.
He welcomed the ‘huge range and depth’ of economic stimulus measures.
‘But we are disappointed there is no parallel support to keep older Australians in work.’
Young Australians will also benefit from a temporary change to eligibility criteria for Youth Allowance and Abstudy.
From the start of 2021 all applicants will be deemed to have worked over the six months from March 25 to September 24.
This will go towards meeting the workforce participation criteria for the payments, which is 30 hours of work a week for at least 18 months within a two-year block.
The budget confirms $7.6 million in bereavement payments for parents of stillborn children.