June 11, 2020
The Federal Government’s JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme is worth at least $2.5 million a month to the South Burnett, and likely very much more.
There have been almost 360 applications for the payment in Kingaroy, although the actual number of employees this represents in unknown.
The town with the next largest number of applications is Nanango, followed by Murgon (see Table, below).
The figures come from data released by Treasury on Thursday which shows the number of applications the ATO received for the JobKeeper program in April, broken down by postcode.
According to Treasury, there are 819 South Burnett employers currently receiving the JobKeeper subsidy.
If they were all sole traders, this would equal a Federal Government wage subsidy of almost $2.5 million per month.
However, as many of the applications could cover multiple employees, the true figure is likely to be much higher.
In April, South Burnett Mayor Brett Otto urged all eligible South Burnett businesses to apply for the subsidy before applications closed at the end of May.
He said it had the potential to inject many millions of dollars into the region’s economy.
The JobKeeper payment was introduced at the height of Australia’s COVID-19 outbreak in an effort to “put a floor” under the economy.
Eligible employers and sole traders could apply to receive $1500 per employee per fortnight, paid by the Australian Taxation Office, to keep workers on their payroll.
About 160,000 Queensland businesses signed up to the scheme, along with another 724,000 around the rest of the nation.
Treasury estimates JobKeeper now covers 3.5 million Australians.
The JobKeeper program is scheduled to run until September 27, although Finance Minister Mathias Cormann confirmed on Monday there is currently a review by Treasury under way.