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Saturday, January 23, 2021

JobKeeper cut will hurt struggling Hunter residents

More government cuts, this time to JobKeeper, are likely to affect thousands of Hunter residents who are already struggling in the current recession, according to Shortland MP Pat Conroy.

Just a few days after warning a $100 decrease to the Coronavirus Supplement would impact his electorate’s most vulnerable citizens, the federal member stated the latest cutbacks was another blow to stressed locals.

The Australian Government will slash JobKeeper from $1200 to $1000 per fortnight from Monday, January 4.

That comes on top of a $250 handout being decreased to $150 every two weeks – for the Coronavirus Supplement payment – from last Friday (January 1).

“It’s a heartless decision by the Morrison government,” Mr Conroy said.

“And, it’ll hurt a lot of people.

“About 1.5 million Australians are still on JobKeeper, including an estimated 17,000 residents in Shortland.

“By cutting the rate, the government is ripping $3.4 million of crucial support from the [Shortland] economy each week.

“This recession is far from over and the recent COVID-19 outbreak in Sydney is a reminder of how quickly things can change.

“For a significant and growing proportion of my community, their circumstances are much grimmer than they were at the peak of the coronavirus lockdown.”

Mr Conroy said local food banks had reported up to a tripling in demand for their services as a result of the government’s cut to JobKeeper in September, similar to the circumstances surrounding JobSeeker.

“Further reductions to this assistance will make their situations even more challenging, too” he added.

“Unfortunately, the Morrison Government is due to remove JobKeeper entirely on 28 March.

“Who knows what the outcome will be from that?

“So, I’m calling upon the government to extend JobKeeper for those businesses who are still struggling in this recession to ensure that families in my electorate can have food on their table and a roof over their heads.”