The decision to scrap JobKeeper payments in the childcare sector from 20 July has attracted widespread criticism, sparking concern that the government could scale back the measure, sector by sector, before it presents the findings of its anticipated review next month.
But Finance Minister Mr Cormann has now confirmed that this will not be the case.
Asked by ABC Radio whether other industries could be booted from the JobKeeper program before the government’s July economic update, Mr Cormann said “no”.
“The direct answer is no, we are not planning and we are not considering any other sectors to be switched over to another form of transitional payment,” the Finance Minister confirmed.
He, however, signalled that important decisions will be made during the review.
“There is a review by Treasury that is currently underway in relation to the operation of the JobKeeper program, as we have flagged now for some time that was always scheduled to take place halfway through,” Mr Cormann said.
“As soon as Treasury makes its findings and provides its recommendations to the government, we will consider those and make judgements accordingly, and that will be announced in the context of the economic statement due on the 23rd of July.”
Not wanting to speculate on the findings and recommendations of the Treasury review, Mr Cormann said changes may or may not be made, but he confirmed that JobKeeper will remain in place until its original end date.
“There may be changes. There may not be changes,” the Finance Minister said.
“At this stage, JobKeeper is operating on the basis as we announced it and adjusted slightly along the way. Now there is this review by Treasury, which assesses the scheme halfway through.
“Once we have received the findings and the recommendations out of that review, we will make judgements accordingly based on the economic data and information and advice in front of us at that time.”
On Monday, Minister for Education Dan Tehan said the temporary Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package, introduced on 6 April, had done its job and would be turned off on 12 July to increase childcare places as Australians return to work.
As a result, from 13 July, CCS will return, along with new transition measures, arguably ending the need for JobKeeper.