By Cam Lucadou-Wells
Dandenong jobs and businesses will be among the hardest hit in the country with the tapering-off of JobKeeper payments from 28 September, a research paper has stated.
In response to Victoria’s Covid-19 second wave, the Federal Government has extended the $1500 fortnightly wage subsidy beyond its initial six months – but at reduced rates.
Progressive thinktank The McKell Institute stated that the cuts would have “real consequences on employment”.
According to the paper Crossing the Fiscal Cliff, businesses in the 3175 postcode, including Dandenong and Dandenong South, would suffer a $6.2 million cut.
It’s the third highest loss in Victoria, behind the Melbourne CBD and Tarneit/Hoppers Crossing.
Noble Park/Noble Park North businesses will lose $1.9 million a fortnight. Keysborough businesses will suffer a similar loss.
Other local estimated cuts are Springvale ($1.8 million a fortnight), Endeavour Hills ($1.4 million), Hallam ($1.3 million), Lyndhurst ($954,000) and Doveton ($729,000).
From 25 September, the JobSeeker $500 fortnightly coronavirus supplement will be reduced to $250.
Bruce MP Julian Hill said Greater Dandenong would be one of the “worst hit areas in the country” by the payment cuts.
“People need more support, not less, so families and the economy come through this crisis.”
Charities and City of Greater Dandenong Council are also bracing for more people in need of material aid and rates relief in this period.
The McKell paper stated that JobKeeper had been most needed in Victoria due to its stage 4 lockdown, but was also widely adopted through the country.
The Federal Government’s saving of $1.52 billion a fortnight would slow the economic recovery, according to the paper.
It was “likely to increase unemployment in all states, lead to an increase in business closures, and facilitate a ‘W shaped’ economic recovery in Australia, which may have been avoided with stronger fiscal support from the Commonwealth.”
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the Government was providing an “unprecedented level of support” for Victorians as it transitions out of the JobKeeper program.
“So obviously the challenge in Victoria is very significant and very serious.
“I’m really pleased that the numbers have started to come down in Victoria, and as they come down, those restrictions, which have been very stringent indeed, can be eased, and as they’re eased more people can get back to work.”
By Treasury estimates, Victorians would comprise 60 per cent of JobKeeper recipients between December 2020-March 2021.
During that time, Victorians would receive $11 billion of JobKeeper payments.
“Around $28 billion has already gone to Victoria through the JobKeeper program and the cash flow boost, the $750 payments to millions of pensioners as well as the coronavirus supplement and other economic support.”
The McKell Institute found nearly 250,000 JobKeeper applications were made in Victoria, supporting jobs in construction, scientific, technical, health care, transport, postal and retail.
The JobKeeper cuts are estimated as more than $440 million a fortnight in Victoria.