Senator the Hon. Mathias Cormann
Minister for Finance
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Senator for Western Australia
Date: Monday, 10 August 2020
DAVID KOCH: JobKeeper payments may be in for more adjustments as the pandemic rolls on. Uncertainty around what's happening in Victoria could derail plans to get the economy back to normal by the end of March. Currently, JobKeeper and JobSeeker payments will be reduced in September and again in January. The full extent of the economic damage is expected to be revealed in the October 6 Budget. For more, we're joined by Finance Minister Mathias Cormann. Minister thanks for your time.
MATHIAS CORMANN: Good morning.
DAVID KOCH: How much more tinkering will you do to JobKeeper?
MATHIAS CORMANN: It depends. Clearly, what we have demonstrated over the last six months is our preparedness to keep responding to an evolving situation. We don't know what we don't know. Right now, our intention is to phase out this crisis level fiscal support, unprecedented levels of crisis level fiscal support in the form of JobKeeper by the end of March as you have just indicated. But in the end, as we have done in the past, we will continue to respond to the facts as they emerge.
DAVID KOCH: When it comes to JobSeeker, is the plan to eventually roll it back to the original Newstart levels?
MATHIAS CORMANN: The ongoing arrangements when it comes to JobSeeker beyond the enhanced COVID supplement arrangements, which come to an end at the end of this year, will be part of the Budget in October.
DAVID KOCH: Obviously you are really working hard on the Budget now. It is only what eight weeks away, seven or eight weeks. Will it focus on where the job losses have been in this pandemic? And how you were getting everyone back to work.
MATHIAS CORMANN: It will focus on the five year plan for the strongest possible economic and jobs recovery on the other side. Mission number one is to really get on top of this health crisis, in particular in Victoria. That is key ingredient number one in order to get the economy going again. Beyond that, we want to get businesses investing in their future growth and success again, so they start hiring Australians again. We want to restore the jobs that were lost. We want to create new jobs moving forward.
DAVID KOCH: So there will be incentives for employers to hire more people?
MATHIAS CORMANN: There will be incentives for businesses to invest in their future growth. Growing businesses will hire more Australians. We have incentives in place now through our instant asset write off and accelerated depreciation arrangements for example. But across the board, we will be pursuing opportunities to encourage businesses to invest in their future growth and success.
DAVID KOCH: Okay, Mathias Cormann. Thanks for joining us.
MATHIAS CORMANN: Always good to talk to you.