FCW Lawyers

Daily Brief 28 April 2020 | The Government is trying to claw back JobKeeper


The Screws are on – The Federal Government is trying to claw back JobKeeper

I suggest you get in quick, if you can prove your eligibility based on the current rules to get JobKeeper. It is clear from the Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg’s Friday release and numerous Government emails to industries, that they are clamping down on their initial generosity now that they see COVID-19 is tracking better than expected.

Late Friday, Independent Schools received a thinly veiled threat that suggested by inference they were fiddling their books to get JobKeeper. Speaking to the Head of Education at ShineWing Australia, Steve Allen, he properly described it as ‘Legislation by Letter’. An entirely accurate comment.

What can we expect as it is perceived COVID-19 recedes as a risk to business?

The answer is more of the same. Hopefully not ideologically driven as the School madness where the desire to push children back to school early seems entirely political and endangers our teachers, children, parents and community. We will see more speeches focusing on anti-avoidance enforcement, more rude and offensive letters suggesting impropriety to business groups and  a tightening of rules around eligibility to stop the cost for JobKeeper.

It was a remarkable thing seeing politicians drop their swords, acrimonious language and political ideology and get on with saving Australia. Sadly that is now in retreat. The balloon has gone up too soon. People think the risks of COVID-19 have abated and it is safe to go back to the way we were, and with it so goes our political class. They are all wrong. COVID-19 is a real and present risk-there is no vaccine. There will be a deep recession. Many in our community have lost their jobs and an entire casual class of employees missed out. After 30 September 2020, when the money taps turn off, the recession will strike. As an example of the economic structural change, many independent schools will drop enrolments by over 10% next year. People will suffer.

This is a time to rally around and double-down, not be filled with self-congratulation and relax, and for our political class to act crassly and return to type. This is the long road for the old dog. Not the show pony.

Have a question or need advice?

Our team is available to clarify any questions to have and provide the right advice for your business and workforce. Please contact Andrew Douglas at [email protected] or on 0488 151 503.

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