JobKeeper recipients told to research dole

Anyone anxious about having their JobKeeper payment slashed is being told to apply for the dole.

The wage subsidy scheme is being extended at reduced rates for six months from September 28.

Payments for full-time staff are being cut from $1500 to $1200 per fortnight, while people who usually worked less than 20 hours a week before the coronavirus pandemic will receive just $750.

Social Services Minister Anne Ruston is encouraging people to top up their payments with unemployment benefits.

“We have temporarily put arrangements in place so that our social security safety net is not just for people who have lost their jobs,” Senator Ruston said on Monday.

“It is able to provide a cushion for people who have had or fear their hours or income will be reduced.”

JobKeeper recipients on $1200 per fortnight may be eligible for a partial dole payment, lifting their total income to $1476.

People receiving JobKeeper at the part-time rate of $750 per fortnight could receive another $546 in unemployment benefits, boosting their incomes to $1295.

More than one million workers are expected to come off JobKeeper over the next three months as businesses recover.

Almost 3.6 million people have received the fortnightly payments throughout the pandemic.

That number is expected to drop to 2.24 million in the December quarter as businesses whose turnovers have improved “graduate” from the scheme.

It is tipped to tumble to 1.75 million in the first three months of next year.

The Morrison government is also preparing to slash JobSeeker booster payments from the end of this week.

People on the unemployment benefit have since March received an extra $550 per fortnight through a coronavirus supplement.

That is being reduced to $250 a fortnight from this Friday and is scheduled to be scrapped altogether at the end of December.

Senator Ruston said the increased dole payment would be extended into next year if required.

“I want to assure all Australians, if elevated supports are continued to be needed, they will be made available,” she told reporters.

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