Slosh Tryd’nburp has announced a stuff-up in the Job Keeper program.
It seems some 3 million fewer people will be assisted than expected.
Back on 30th March when Job Keeper was unveiled, the Prime Minister (Scott Morrison) announced that, ‘He expected 6 million Australians would access a so-called JobKeeper payment for the next six months.‘ The cost was to be $130 Billion. An extra half million workers were added to that number a week or two later.
So this afternoon a hapless senior member of the ATO is wheeled out to make an explanation which will absolve Treasury and the Treasurer of responsibility. We were told that some 1000 employers (out of some 900.000 employers) made the mistake of entering 1500 instead of 1 in the box where the number of employees was to be entered. OK, innocent error replicated a thousand times. Suddenly, today, we are told that only 3.5 million people are eligible and are receiving the payment. This signals a $60 Billion saving. [The maths – 1000 x 1500 = 1.5 million. This shows an average payment of some $40,000 per invalid employee.]
All ball park reasonable. OK, in raw numbers that sort of makes mathematical sense.That number adds up to around $60 Billion. And it was not the fault of Treasury or of the ATO or of the Treasurer. The hapless ATO person said so.
It is passing strange that the shortfall, from the Government’s first number of 6.5 Million recipients, is accounted for by a simple form error. It is as if the Government, led by its Prime Minister (Scott Morrison) was psychic. In its initial calculations it included a number which exactly matched the number of erroneous applicants which were made a month later. Excepting we are being told today that the shortfall is 3 Million applicants. NOT the 1.5 Million shortfall caused by careless applicants.
The REAL number of recipients was going to be 3.5 million. We were told that it was going to be 6.5 million. Yet it was not Treasury incompetence in pulling that 6.5 number out of the air. And if 1.5 million recipients were able to take the $60 Billion [as worked out on the back of a Macca’s serviette and shown above], what was left for the other 1.5 million recipients who have disappeared?
It was the fault of a thousand employers who hadn’t seen the still to be created form back on 30th March. And even then they only accounted for a half of the shortfall.
Now. I happen to have here the title to a perfectly good, almost unused, suspension bridge across Sydney Harbour. How much will you offer me for it?