Rankin MP Jim Chalmers says Scott Morrison's lack of jobs plan concerning as residents fear the future

Government needs to act on jobs: Jim Chalmers.
Government needs to act on jobs: Jim Chalmers.

Residents are concerned about the future and federal government's handling of the economy in the middle of the first recession in 30 years, according to a community survey run by Rankin MP Jim Chalmers.

Mr Chalmers, the opposition treasury spokesman, said the survey of more than 1000 conducted via his website found that 71 per cent of people were uncertain or concerned about the future.

He said respondents were unimpressed with Prime Minister Scott Morrison's handling of the economic crisis during coronavirus, with less than half giving the federal government's economic response a positive review.

When asked to select their top three priorities, the economy and health dominated the field.

More than 500 respondents nominated cost of living, 420 highlighted their priorities relating to decent jobs and unemployment, while 420 said there was a need to focus on health and hospitals.

"This survey is a valuable insight into the concerns and priorities of our community as we face the dual challenges of the pandemic and Australia's first recession in almost 30 years," Mr Chalmers said.

Mr Chalmers said the government's decision to wind back JobKeeper subsidy, with no jobs plan to replace it, was a concern.

The subsidy will be reduced from $1500 to $1200 per fortnight for those working more than 20 hours per week.

A second-tier payment of $750 will be introduced for those working less than 20 hours per week from September 20.

"Scott Morrison's silence on a plan for jobs and the recovery is deafening," Mr Chalmers said.

"Our community can't be left in the lurch, waiting for a proper jobs plan by the federal LNP.

"The most important test of the Morrison Government's management of the recession and its aftermath is what happens to jobs.'

A government spokesman said the economic response to the pandemic was unprecedented.

"The Morrison government has contributed a record $314 billion, the equivalent of around 16 per cent of GDP to the COVID-19 response, supporting jobs and livelihoods across the country in all states and territories," the spokesman said.

"More than half of this spend (or the equivalent of 9 per cent of GDP) is in direct measures, such as income support through JobKeeper and JobSeeker coronavirus supplement.

"This is the equivalent of $12,500 for every Australian man, woman and child. The Morrison government's commitment of $314 billion to the economic and health response to the pandemic is unprecedented.

"The Morrison government's temporary JobKeeper payment has been a lifeline to more 900,000 businesses and 3.5 million Australians during the global pandemic.

"A two-tiered payment will also be introduced to better align the payment with the incomes of employees before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. JobKeeper, at $1500, remains in place at that rate until September 28 before it transitions."

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