'Significant error': Treasury reveals much lower JobKeeper use

The Treasury Department has revealed a 'significant error' in how businesses have applied for JobKeeper will save the government $60 billion.

22/05/2020 8:12:00 AM

The Federal Treasury has admitted a 'significant error' in the Morrison government's JobKeeper application form has greatly inflated the number of people using the scheme and its total cost by $60 billion | swrighteconomy

The Treasury Department has revealed a 'significant error' in how businesses have applied for JobKeeper will save the government $60 billion.

Very large text sizeThe Federal Treasury has admitted a "significant error" in the Morrison government's JobKeeper application form has greatly inflated the number of people using the scheme and its total cost.In a statement released on its website, the department revealed the $130 billion program - the centrepiece of the government's response to the coronavirus pandemic - was likely to cost $70 billion and cover 3.5 million workers, rather than more than 6 million.

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Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is due to comment later on Friday about the JobKeeper revelations.Credit:Alex EllinghausenIt said a tax office review of the enrolment forms used by businesses to apply for the scheme had found about 1000 firms had made "significant errors" when estimating the number of staff who would use the program.

The most common error was where firms, asked to report the number of employees they expected to go on to JobKeeper, actually reported the amount of money they expected to receive. More than 500 firms alone with one eligible worker reported "1500", which is the JobKeeper payment per person per fortnight.

AdvertisementLoading"This reporting error has come to light as the ATO and Treasury have been analysing the amounts being paid out under the scheme, reconciling these with the estimates provided by enrolled businesses of the likely number of eligible employees," it said.

"It was not picked up by the ATO earlier as their primary focus in the first fortnight of JobKeeper payments was on ensuring that JobKeeper payments were paid promptly to those eligible for them, and not paid to those who were ineligible."These initial estimates from businesses of employees covered are not linked to payments, and so were not as carefully analysed."

The department said as of May 20, 910,055 firms had enrolled for JobKeeper, of which 759,654 claims had been processed.LoadingBased on this take-up, the Treasury now believes 3.5 million will access the program. When it was first announced, the government said it expected 6 million.

The much lower number of people on JobKeeper will also deliver a huge saving to the federal budget. Treasury now puts the estimated cost at $70 billion.The department said the problems did not alter its view of the state of the jobs market."It remains the case that in the absence of the JobKeeper program, Treasury expects the unemployment rate would have been around 5 percentage points higher," it said;

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"Treasury continues to expect the unemployment rate to reach around 10 per cent, although as indicated by last week’s labour force survey, the measured level of the unemployment is highly uncertain given the impact of social distancing restrictions on the participation rate."

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is due to comment on the revelations later on Friday.Sign up to our Coronavirus Update newsletterGet our Coronavirus Update newsletter for the day's crucial developments at a glance, the numbers you need to know and what our readers are saying. Sign up to

Read more: The Sydney Morning Herald »

swrighteconomy Well, they can extend it to all the workers they left out, casuals, migrant workers, arts, international students noworkerleftbehind swrighteconomy Effectively $60b they arent stimulating the economy with. I know of two companies that never actually received the jobkeeper payment but qualified. It’s not a budget error, it’s skimping . Casuals, overseas workers hung out to dry too. Recession requires government stimulus.LNP👎🏻

swrighteconomy Taylor: I didn’t download it Morrison: I didn’t approve sportrorts Cash: I didn’t call the AFP Liu: I didn’t breach AEC Cormann: I didn’t know I hadn’t paid airfares Canavan: I didn’t know Mum signed me up Frydenberg: I didn’t know about the extra $60b auspol JoshFrydenberg bencubby swrighteconomy A significant error!! that's putting it mildly

swrighteconomy Josh looks like he's put on weight, looking chubby face. Must be that $240 a day meal allowance polly get swrighteconomy Mistakes made in forecasts are ok but this just shows how out of touch government system are to reality. Job keeper was overly complex. Still how about stop pending more fear and admit you got the virus modelling 98% wrong and we can call it even.

swrighteconomy Good! Government can print less money and stop devaluing our savings, income and pensions! swrighteconomy Oh dear swrighteconomy scottyfrommarketing conartist morallycorrupt dishonest notsurprised untrustworthy swrighteconomy Dear oh dear, where’d that big hole come from? swrighteconomy Woops, forgot to carry the one! Thank God the superior economic managers are in charge.

swrighteconomy I can read the headlines before the next election “ WE HAVE SAVED BILLIONS in jobkeeper payments!” swrighteconomy Should be sacked for being incompetent swrighteconomy This corrupt government keep fucking things up ... Our Murdochracy is under threat . swrighteconomy Such a competent government in every possible way 🙄

swrighteconomy I wouldn't trust an economist to count the fingers on one hand. Economics is as reliable as astrology and entrails gazing. It's a voodoo practice and needs a complete overhaul. It predicts nothing. swrighteconomy What a load of cobblers. Bushfire Response. Ruby Princess. China Trade. Stimulus Bungle....they are taking incompetence to a whole new level.

swrighteconomy Honestly …..he is the Treasurer of OZ LNPfail swrighteconomy Something to do with hiding under that doona that ScottyFromMarketing is always on about? swrighteconomy swrighteconomy It’s an error in Australia’s favor, we are not in so deep and should bounce back quicker swrighteconomy Treasury the keeper of the accounts?

swrighteconomy They have to go!! Fiscally irresponsible and corrupt to boot!! swrighteconomy mmm some small error pocket money swrighteconomy Vitally missing the word reported ‘had greatly inflated the reported number’, actual number now lower swrighteconomy Arts and cultural workers. International students. Universities. Local Governments. We know where the gaps are. Let's putty them up!

swrighteconomy 6.2% unemployment is way way out!! It’s more like 12% or even higher!! swrighteconomy swrighteconomy So the unemployment figures must be way out then swrighteconomy Imagine if this guy was the Treasurer..... swrighteconomy Just like the Dead Zone Plague, lockdown etc, Even the HQC (but not the zinc)

swrighteconomy That's a hell of an error swrighteconomy

Unemployment rate expected to rise further | Sky News AustraliaTreasury Secretary Steven Kennedy has revealed he would “not be surprised” if the country's unemployment rate rose again following a more significant drop in the April participation rate than expected. \n\nAustralia’s unemployment rate rose to 6.2 per cent in April, with the participation rate dropping by 2.4 per cent in the same month. \n\nMr Kennedy said it was not clear if the JobSeeker scheme was contributing to the fall in participation, but said he believed it was due to people not being available for work due to lockdown restrictions. \n\nImage: News Corp Australia

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Contingency needed for JobKeeper end: Labor | Sky News AustraliaShadow Employment Minister Brendan O’Connor says the government must outline its contingency plans for businesses kept alive by JobKeeper when the program ends in September in case the economy stalls in its recovery. \n\nThe government’s wages scheme, along with it’s the increase to the JobSeeker welfare payment, conclude on September 30, fuelling concerns the end of the scheme is only delaying a sharp increase in the unemployment rate. \n\nMr O’Connor told Sky News despite easing restrictions, Labor remains concerned for those employed in sectors, such as aviation, that will taker longer to open back up. \n\n“Our concern would be sectors that would not be opening up very quickly, like aviation, and further beyond the end of JobKeeper and JobSeeker packages, how will businesses survive if they are still dealing with this issue full on in front on,” he said. \n\n“There has to be at least some contingency plans of government to deal with those issues now and deal with the potential challenges we will face at the end of September.”\n\nWhen asked if he would like to see the programs extended, the Labor frontbencher said that was the government’s problem to solve. \n\n“I think the government should come up with its proposals. It has access to treasury, it has access to government agencies, I think it has, should have, a really good picture of what is happening in the labour market and the economy,” Mr O’Connor said. \n\n“We will work with the government but it is up to them to come up with the precise options.”\n BOConnorMP Like give more money?....ffs. JEChalmers BOConnorMP Mr O’Connor, you state that 500,000 people stopped looking for work last month. Do you think this is due to the Govt’s increased amount of money for the ‘Jobseeker ‘ payment? BOConnorMP Onya Kevin Rudd.

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