Australia to end wage subsidy support in March 2021

Canberra: Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has confirmed that the government’s coronavirus wage subsidy will end in March 2021, leaving some businesses with no choice but to close.

The JobKeeper Payment for workers who have lost hours as a result of Covid-19, was reduced from A$1,500 per fortnight to A$1,200 on September 28 and will be cut again to A$1,000 on January 4, 2021 until the end of March.

Frydenberg said on Sunday that the scheme will end in March 2021 regardless of the status of the pandemic in Australia.

The Treasurer said he was hopeful that measures included in the federal budget for financial year 2020/21 would continue to prop-up businesses affected by the pandemic but conceded that some would not survive.

“Treasury doesn’t calculate the number of businesses that will be created or the number of businesses that will close,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

“Some business will not survive and some jobs will be lost.

“There will be businesses that will fold, there is no doubt about that, and we can’t save every business and we can’t save every job.”

So far, Australia’s overall Covid-19 caseload has increased to 27,265, with 21 new cases confirmed in the last 24 hours.

The country’s streak of three consecutive days without a coronavirus death has ended, with the death toll increasing by one to 898.