20 July 2020

While the Government should be commended for the introduction of JobKeeper at such a critical time for Australia’s businesses and individuals, too many changes to its next phase will erode community confidence, warns the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA).

“JobKeeper has achieved many of its intended outcomes including not adding to the jobless queues,” said IPA chief executive officer, Andrew Conway.

“It is understandable that there were some design flaws considering the short time given for its implementation.

“However, there were also benefits and we need to ensure that we don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater; we should recognise what good has been achieved by this initiative.

“Notwithstanding making changes to JobKeeper at this point in the cycle, we would like to see the following:

  • The way a new business, that commenced operations from 1 January 2020, reports on GST should not determine whether they are in or out of the JobKeeper scheme.
  • Review of the declining turnover eligibility test. JobKeeper 2.0 needs to be better targeted to support those who continue to suffer during this pandemic.
  • Review the flat payment structure of JobKeeper and whether it should be a proportional payment.

“All of the stimulus initiatives around Australia to date have not distinguished between viable and non-viable businesses. The challenge for the Government is to make this distinction to ensure JobKeeper 2.0 achieves the desired outcomes.

“There is also an opportunity for the Government to provide direct assistance to adversely affected industries beyond September.” said Mr Conway.