The economy is slowly reopening but there could be problems once the financial payments rolled out during COVID-19 come to an end, writes Sophie Elsworth
The economy is slowly reopening but there could be problems once the financial payments rolled out during COVID-19 come to an end, writes Sophie Elsworth

Trouble brews once welfare payments stop in Australia

ANALYSIS

THE JobKeeper payments are flowing through to around three million employees propped up by borrowed money taxpayers must repay.

Latest figures show more than 955,200 businesses have enrolled in the scheme and about 811,600 applications have gone through the steps enabling them to receive payments.

But this financial support for many businesses is a short-term lifeline and one that has an end date - at this stage September 27.

Then the financial taps turn off and this is when things will get real.

Which workers will still be employed and which will be let go?

These financial lifelines come at a cost and they ultimately are always worn by the taxpayer.

As businesses across the nation slowly start to come back to life again it's vital the economy gets itself off life support and Australians get back to work and start spending.

While the $130 billion JobKeeper calculation was revised down to just $70 billion - a win for the taxpayer because it's less debt to be paid back - we still have a long road ahead to pay this money back.

The JobKeeper is a temporary subsidy for businesses impacted by COVID-19 and eligible employers, sole traders and other entities can receive $1500 per eligible employee per fortnight.

But don't forget, this is a financial cushion, and every single person in this country who pays tax wears this cost.

As Prime Minister Scott Morrison recently said in one of his addresses to the nation, "Governments must live within their means so we don't impose impossible debt on future generations".

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said it’s important future generations are not laden with debt they cannot pay back.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said it’s important future generations are not laden with debt they cannot pay back.

That's on the money. We can't continue to cripple the Aussie taxpayer at every opportunity.

In recent days there's been ridiculous calls by the Public Health Association of Australia and the Australian Council of Social Service for paid pandemic leave - again funded by the taxpayer.

But where do these taxpayer-funded subsidies stop? Hasn't the taxpayer been hit hard enough at the moment?

Taxing the hardworking Aussie to death isn't beneficial for anyone.

And with expectations the unemployment rate will rise to 10 per cent, things are certainly looking grim.

What remains a concern is when these government subsidies end, what will happen?

Free childcare stops, mortgage repayment holidays end, we can no long dip into our superannuation and our JobKeeper and JobSeeker payments either finish or are wound back.

Once you starting giving handouts it's very difficult to stop them without causing uproar.

As the nation starts to navigate its way out of this pandemic, we have to remember these handouts and financial subsidies cannot continue forever.

sophie.elsworth@news.com.au

@sophieelsworth

Originally published as Trouble brews once welfare payments stop in Australia



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