For months Labor frontbencher Andrew Leigh has hammered the Morrison Government for wasting billions of dollars of taxpayer money by giving the JobKeeper wage subsidy to businesses with rising profits.
As revealed by the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO), a whopping $13 billion (over 13% of the $98 billion wage subsidy) was handed to nearly 200,000 companies that received JobKeeper payments but whose profits rose:
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Yesterday, Labor deputy leader Richard Marles assured businesses that a Labor Government would not require JobKeeper overpayments to be repaid:
“Let me be unequivocally clear: Labor will not require any business to repay a single cent of JobKeeper.
“Let me repeat that. Labor will not require any business to repay a single cent of JobKeeper.”
Clawback provisions are standard operating procedure for government payments subsequently found to be overpayments. Ask any Centrelink client. So why exclude JobKeeper recipients?
Maybe it’s because Labor quickly approved the JobKeeper program when it was announced last year.
For 120 years, Labor has refused to implement decent jobless benefit, with Shadow Treasurer Jim Chalmers recently speaking out against lifting JobSeeker from its pitifully low level of $44 a day:
Shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers has indicated Australia’s welfare bill would not rise significantly under a Labor government…
Dr Chalmers is steering away from further plans to substantially ramp up spending on benefits for unemployed and impoverished Australians…
Dr Chalmers will acknowledge income support is a “really crucial part of the story” but will play down its significance in terms of tackling disadvantage.
Labor also backed the Morrison Government’s stage 3 tax cuts for high income earners.
What is the point of Labor if it is merely a Coalition-lite party that endorses pretty much the same neoliberal policies? Why vote for Labor when you can vote for the real thing?
At this point, the only real difference between Labor and the Coalition is that Labor is far more willing to bend over and grovel to China.