Following the announced sacking of 6,000 Qantas employees, PM Scott Morrison has conceded that there are sectors of the economy that will continue to be affected much longer than many other businesses.
Addressing the media on Friday, Mr Morrison confirmed that the government will continue to tailor its fiscal support for these sectors.
"As I assured, whether it be Qantas or those in the entertainment sector or the tourism, hospitality sector or regions like North Queensland, we get it, we understand that they are going to be hurting more for longer than other parts of the economy," the PM said.
Speaking on the same topic a few hours earlier, the PM told 2GB radio that it has always been the government's view "that we’re going to have to provide targeted support in those areas."
He also revealed that the JobKeeper review has yet to hit his desk, noting that “we’ve been working hard on those issues together with all the budget ministers, and we’ll be able to make a decision soon”.
“But what I’ve said to Alan Joyce and what I’ve said to everyone is we understand the need for further support,” Mr Morrison said.
Asked whether he is worried about September, when a series of government measures are scheduled to end, the PM reiterated that the government is planning out its next steps.
“I think people shouldn’t rush to conclusions about what the government is going to do post-September. We understand what’s going on out there,” the PM said.
“We’re very closely connected to that and we’re going to keep ensuring we have policies to support people just like we did back in March, just like we moved effectively and significantly.”
Not wanting to reveal what form of support businesses can expect, the PM said: “We’ve got to make the decisions and we’ve got to get them right and we’ve got to calibrate them correctly. We’ve got to get the design right.”
Mr Morrison also stressed that no announcements on a JobKeeper successor will be made before the third week of July.
“We put it in for six months, we planned for a review within the first three months so then we could make further decisions about what happens beyond that point,” Mr Morrison said.
“We’ve been planning our way well through this, and we’re doing better than any other country in the world.”
On Thursday, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce delivered a sombre message, announcing that the airline will axe 6,000 jobs to ensure the business’ survival.
The possible extension of JobKeeper or an alternative scheme post-September have been topics of discussion for weeks, with the airline and entertainment industries calling for prolonged assistance.
Accountants have, however, warned the government to reconsider any further changes to the JobKeeper payment, arguing that “piecemeal or scattergun” approaches could erode the public’s confidence.
“With the exception of announced changes impacting the childcare industry, the joint bodies would strongly caution against making any changes to the current program prior to the scheduled September end date,” the joint accounting bodies said in a letter to the Treasury.