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Premier’s staggering ignorance of JobKeeper numbers

  • Premier’s ignorance of JobKeeper numbers defies belief
  • JobKeeper payments keeping economy afloat and workers employed
  • Tasmania needs a jobs plan; Labor has one

The Premier’s self-confessed ignorance about the number of Tasmanians on JobKeeper defies belief and raises serious questions about the competence of the government.

Labor Leader Rebecca White said, with tens of thousands of Tasmanian workers expecting to have their income reduced in just two weeks, a comprehensive jobs plan is urgently needed.

“Peter Gutwein has admitted that the economy is “fragile”, yet he doesn’t even know how many Tasmanians are in receipt of JobKeeper,” Ms White said.

“Not only that, but he also supports the Federal Liberal Government’s decision to scale it back, despite the dramatic impact this will have on workers and the state’s economy, with flow-on effects for consumer spending and business confidence.

“Information provided to the Senate Select Committee on COVID-19 by the Federal Treasury Department has revealed that, of the approximately 3.5 million Australians receiving JobKeeper in June, 1.8 per cent were Tasmanian.

“This equates to a massive 63,000 Tasmanians – a significant proportion of our total workforce – whose support will be cut dramatically in just a fortnight.

“These are basic facts that the Premier should know and it beggars belief that he does not.

“In the absence of any efforts by Peter Gutwein to convince the Federal Government to continue JobKeeper at the current rate, a comprehensive jobs plan is desperately needed to help keep Tasmania’s economy afloat.

Labor’s COVID-19 Recovery Package outlines our plan to create jobs, including investing in TAFE and offering free training in areas where there are skills gaps, mandating apprentice numbers and investment in social housing.

“Tasmania remains the second worst affected state for jobs, behind locked-down Victoria. The government must develop a clear plan to boost confidence and get Tasmanians back into jobs.”

Rebecca White MP
Labor Leader