Federal Member for Flynn Ken O’Dowd said the Federal Government needs to be in a position, by the end of December, to do away with the Jobseeker scheme.
Federal Member for Flynn Ken O’Dowd said the Federal Government needs to be in a position, by the end of December, to do away with the Jobseeker scheme.

Pollies trade blows over CQ JobKeeper payment cuts

SENATOR Murray Watt said 25,500 CQ workers could be worse off due to income support cuts imposed by the Federal LNP Government.

The Shadow Minister for Northern Australia’s comments followed news that 29,000 local jobseekers, students, apprentices, parents and widows would lose $300 a fortnight.

Senator Watt said that was thanks to the Morrison Government’s cuts to the coronavirus supplement.

Mr Watt said that next Monday, millions of dollars more would be ripped out of the CQ economy, thanks to the LNP’s JobKeeper cuts.

From then cuts and changes to JobKeeper will result in some local businesses and workers losing access completely, while others will have their payments slashed by between $300 and $750 per fortnight.

Senator Watt said the government had the power to reverse these cuts and it should do so immediately.

Queensland Senator Murray Watt
Queensland Senator Murray Watt

“Prematurely winding back support will cost jobs and hurt the local economy,” he said.

“With unemployment still expected to increase, it makes no sense for Scott Morrison to be cutting support from the CQ economy, particularly with no jobs plan to replace it.

“In Queensland alone, 667,401 workers receiving JobKeeper are expected to be affected.”

Senator Watt said the unemployment queues would be longer because of Scott Morrison

“He is pulling support from the economy too soon and because he doesn’t have a plan for jobs,” he said.

“The Federal LNP Government are leaving vulnerable businesses and workers in the lurch.”

Federal Member for Flynn Ken O’Dowd said the August labour force figures showed the resilience of the Australian economy and that employers were looking for workers.

“Some employer groups are already complaining they can’t get labour. Therefore, we must get back to normal as soon as possible,” Mr O’Dowd said.

“Both JobKeeper and JobSeeker programs work together to ensure people can maintain connection with the workforce and, where required, be supported to seek additional or alternative employment.

“We must be in a position, by the end of December, to do away with JobSeeker. In the meantime, people need to be taking up employment when offered.”

The One Nation party was approached for comment.