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The Treasurer wants to bank the $60b JobKeeper muck-up, but it won't be that simple

#ANALYSIS: The Treasurer wants to bank the $60b JobKeeper muck-up, but it won't be that simple

23/05/2020 7:13:00 AM

ANALYSIS: The Treasurer wants to bank the $60b JobKeeper muck-up, but it won't be that simple

With Josh Frydenberg staring down the barrel of the biggest budget deficits in Australian history, getting a call on Thursday night from the Treasury Secretary saying he's found $60 billion down the back of the couch gives the man holding the nation's tattered chequebook a modicum of relief, writes Matthew Doran

Putting aside (just for a moment) the administrative muck-up, the Federal Government will be hit with a refreshed campaign to expand which workers benefit from the support scheme.That issue has been bubbling away ever since JobKeeper was announced at the end of March, as the nation's businesses grappled with new coronavirus lockdown rules sending them to the wall.

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Casual workers, staff in the university sector and the nation's creatives left floundering by the shutdown of the arts industry are among those on the list of potential beneficiaries if the scheme was adjusted.Labor has been lobbying for those tweaks, even though the party backed JobKeeper through Parliament at the height of the crisis — Anthony Albanese not wanting to let "the perfect be the enemy of the good" at a time when the country was being hit by the twin health and fiscal threats posed by COVID-19.

Given the government had already planned on spending $60 billion more than is now needed, the argument will be that there's no point writing that spending off as a happy symptom of an economy not struggling as much as had been feared.In other words, Josh Frydenberg should just press on and spend, spend, spend.

His Assistant Treasurer, Michael Sukkar, was the Government's frontman on Saturday when those questions were being thrown around and downplayed any suggestion JobKeeper could be opened up to more Australians."The money, as I said, is borrowed money," he told Channel Seven.

"It's not a pot of money, sitting there just waiting to be spent and waiting for the Government to decide how to spend it."The parameters of the scheme are broad."Mr Sukkar was grilled about eligibility for the scheme by the ABC's Raf Epstein on May 14, just a week ago.

"You and I would perhaps be having a different conversation today if you said to me 'Michael, there are only 3 million employees who are covered, it's half what we expected?' In that case, I would be saying to you, 'yeah, look, there's more of a likelihood of wholesale changes'…"

A review of the program is due next month and the Government appears keen to manage community expectations ahead of that — using whatever the findings are to justify any changes into the future, rather than jumping at its newly found, slightly less debt-laden status.

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Maybe it simply means that more business are actually doing OK and haven’t recorded that 30% drop required to qualify? Terrific! So let’s bank it for another rainy day and lessen the massive burden on our kids. There’s no drama or story here. If you haven’t withdrawn it Josh, just leave it in the bank, and spend it on those in need like your coal industry mates. 🤑

Use it for the ones that got left behind and the harder hit industry which are still shut Don't borrow it. That money doesn't exist. It was always only speculative. How can he bank non existent money? means they don’t have to borrow as much, so, bank what? that was In the book of mistakes was it? Use it to kick start the economy.

They don't have money to bank, this is money that they no longer have to borrow! Get it right. Also, foreign students and workers are not our resposibilty as per their visa conditions. They can either catch a flight home (fligths are available), use Super, or speak to their Govt stop spreading the bullshit - Morrison announced the package costing $130b and covering approx. 6m people well before the application forms were released by the ATO. It was not a business stuff up, it was a Govt and Treasury f**k up

If not why not. Stupidity reins in our administration. It’s not borrowing to increase repayable debt Including casual workers in JobKeeper was supposed to cost, extra $25 billion... that's well with Josh's imaginary line drawing now. Given that casuals are baring the economic brunt of this pandemic more than almost anyone else, he really has no excuse not to include them now.

The Assistant Treasurer says this is 'borrowed money' - borrowed from who? There is no JobKeeper funding muck-up, worst case scenario did not happen thankfully and the lightweight author should just cover the arts. Their will be fall out with many a business going under.....still a nice little problem to have down the track to fuel the economy when the dust settles. Great news yesterday for everyone. Except ABC and Labor, Socialists are like that.

Yeah, it will be Public austerity, deficit economics and withholding cash flow from hurting communities is all part of the grand neoliberal lie invented under Reagan, who used the racist caricature of the welfare queen to vilify the poor. This is pure neoliberalism. Bank? Bank? It would have been borrowed money. Avoiding the debt is a sensible strategy. auspol

Good idea cause we are sure gonna need it Even by theirABC 'standards', this is a bizarre comment. We should be $61 billion better off. He should be sacked He can’t bank it without actualising the debt, because it’s Borrowed. Bank it Josh. The country will need in the future. Of course not now the extreme left thinks it’s there to spend 🙄

fair comments . how about an analysis though of what this says about their competence ? have they denuded the aps of expertise - they are reported by senior public servants to have no respect for same? their reasons given for the error doesn’t stand up to scrutiny either. more ! Wow not $600,000 not $6,000,000 but $60,000,000,000!! How is this mistake even possible? How can we trust anything the Government says? Is the Government literally making it all up ? Covid-19 is the Least of our problems. A corrupt, coerced, incompetent Government is the problem.

But it’s not his fault? It be great if the Australian treasurer knew how to use excel spread sheets Isn’t that akin to maxing out one Credit Card and then transferring the borrowed money into another account? Will they be able to bring it back from the Caymans ? Or has it been packed up into the brown paper bags already ?

Is this bloke the femal version of Celeste Barber? No more handouts. Taxpayers already have a massive burden. Jobkeeper does not give employees a 'leg up', for employees it may be above, below or regulated wages. What it does is allow employers to keep their staff at Gov's expense so they can pay unused rent, power, restock & reinvigorate etc.

Could he be so stupid to think that pulling out $60 billion from the economy would have no effect? Quite a funny situation for ScoMo’s government. Maybe they should fix their failed NBN program with it Correction to earlier post. Flunked Y6 maths. They said 1000 made mistakes. Said 500 showed 1500 instead of 1. That's $9 MILLION for 6 months. The other 500 would have to have entered 9,998,500 employees EACH to make up the other $59.991 BILLION. Really? THERE'S MORE HERE.

Could you please explain how the treasurer is 'banking' the 60billion. I’d say that was always the plan. The extra money never existed, except as an accounting trick to look like they’re “saving money” Watch them now as they fall over backwards to find an excuse not to spend the “extra” money A mistake in the nations favor - there is no text book on what to do when a pandemic such as this hit ... they got the figures wrong, corrected it and publicly announced it. Why does this require bad mouthing

Wow not $600,000 not $6,000,000 but $6,000,000,000!!! How is this mistake even possible? How can we trust anything the Government says? Is the Government literally making it all up ? Covid-19 is the Least of our problems. A corrupt, coerced, incompetent Government isn't Helping Our children will be paying off his windfall - it should go where it was borrowed to go or go back.

Jobseeker gotta be bumped up so 2 kfc meals per a day is within budget The Treasurer wants to bank an incorrect guess. If this is the case, Centrelink should owe billions to those who had incorrectly estimated their future income. Sack Frydenberg now ScottMorrisonMP Casual workers, staff in the university sector dont deserve Jobkeeper Jobseeker is available As to foreign students they r export so we dont give welfare to them A bailout means we r giving them free scholarship

$60bn is an alp test. $60bn is a platform for progressive gov in 21C AU. lnp changed gov using pink batts, and 'energy tax' a branding faux. $60bn sits between .JoshFrydenberg resignation and malfeasance. auspol MasterChefAU JEChalmers politicsabc KKeneally albo It should go to where it was intended and where they took the credit for it: To workers needing assistance.

Coronavirus Australia: Treasurer’s excuse for $60 billion JobKeeper stuff upOPINION: It was meant to be the program that helped Australia through the pandemic, but has led to a $60 billion stuff up. Here’s what doesn’t add up, writes samanthamaiden samanthamaiden Of course the old maiden will have a negative piece on it samanthamaiden The excuse doesn't add up. 1,500 x ,1,000 equals $13 billion, not $60 billion samanthamaiden 🤔emmmm,,, Maybe it wasn’t stuff up ?! Maybe the money was hidden to vanish somewhere?!!!! ConspiracyTheory fans

Number of Australians on JobKeeper revised down by 3 million due to 'significant' reporting errorBREAKING: Treasury has revealed the number of Australians receiving the JobKeeper allowance has been grossly overestimated. So we cannot even get a correct number on this...well done So the money is now available for cultural workers? University workers? local government workers?

JobKeeper 'badly implemented, badly communicated and badly budgeted' | Sky News AustraliaShadow Treasurer Jim Chalmers says the JobKeeper program has been “badly implemented, badly communicated and badly budgeted” which shows you cannot trust “a bad government with a good idea”. \n\nThe Australian Tax Office admitted the JobKeeper forms 'could have been clearer', after confusion over the first question resulted in the estimated budget being out by $60 billion dollars.\n\n“The $60 billion question is how can we ever believe anything that this treasurer or this government tells us about the budget or about the economy into the future,” Mr Chalmers said.\n\nImage: News Corp Australia Again, what’s your alternative policy Jim? Chalmers has all the red flags of a terrible Paul Keating just with even more taxes than before and no idea on how to force big miners to keep jobs here whilst slugging them huge taxes... muppet!!! I can't wait to find out how coming under budget is bad

This is a costings blunder made in political heavenPrime Minister Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg have $60 billion up their sleeves thanks to an incredible – and probably historic – maths error in the JobKeeper program | CroweDM CroweDM At least it’s good news. Whichever way people may spin it. CroweDM ScottyFromMarketing CroweDM Either deliberately mean, despite their generous announcements, or a massive $60 bill stuff up. Better economic managers right here. LNPfail

JobKeeper mistake ‘is actually good news for Australian taxpayers’: Frydenberg | Sky News AustraliaSky News host Chris Kenny says “staggering developments” have emerged following the Treasury’s announcement of a 'massive' $60 billion JobKeeper mistake which he discussed in an exclusive interview with Treasurer Josh Frydenberg . \n\nA significant reporting error has led Treasury to dramatically revise its projections for the Morrison government's JobKeeper program. \n\nThe scheme, which sees the government pay $1,500 fortnightly in affected workers' wages, was originally expected to cover around 6.5 million employees at a cost of $130 billion. \n\nBut late Thursday, the Treasury and Australian Tax Office were forced to admit to the Morrison government those projections were wrong.\n\nAs a result, Treasury's revised estimate of the cost of the JobKeeper program is now just $70 billion which is $60 billion less than the original forecast. \n\nTreasury now expects the number of employees likely to be covered under JobKeeper program to be around 3.5 million, around 3 million less than forecast.\n\n Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the “reality is” this was an “unintentional error by a thousand businesses”.\n\nHe said the initial forecast done by Treasury was done at a time when the number of coronavirus cases were on the rise in the nation but said this result “is good news for the Australian taxpayer”. \n\n“It’s good news that the Australian economy hasn’t deteriorated in the way Treasury initially predicted”. \n\n“Nobody should be seeking to blame Treasury or the ATO, we should just be accepting that this is a mistake, it was an unintentional one”. \n\nMr Kenny said the whole “massive” mistake has raised “a range of questions” over the government’s budget which now faces $60 billon less debt than expected. \n\nHowever, “the good news was that it means we’re $60 billion better off than we thought,” Mr Kenny said. \n\nImage: News Corp Australia JoshFrydenberg Great news our treasure made such a monumental error, more like lucky it wasn’t the other way around & we were found to be shortchanged. Fact is liberals are bad economic managers & Frydenberg is the worst JoshFrydenberg Labors fault as usual JoshFrydenberg Did Kenny the Coward ask any tough questions or just hand out his standard platitudes? Frydenberg is incompetent and should resign. If he does not do that, he should be sacked! Like pockets in a singlet.

'Misunderstood question' caused $60 billion JobKeeper estimate blunderA confusing question on the JobKeeper scheme enrolment form led the Australian Tax Office to overestimate the cost of the scheme by $60 billion and its coverage by 2.5 million workers. 9News How did a form not received by employers until late April cause the government to overestimate the cost of the scheme in late March? How is it a blunder? An over estimation is smart, better than under estimating. But then there would be no pleasing you, as you would have reported the blunder either way. Terrible reporting. This is a positive time. There is funds there now that can be allocated to other areas.