Greens' JobKeeper payback scheme could reap more than $1 billion

Federal Greens leader Adam Bandt has called on large companies that reported profits to pay back JobKeeper subsidies to the government. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong
Federal Greens leader Adam Bandt has called on large companies that reported profits to pay back JobKeeper subsidies to the government. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong

A proposal to make companies who made large profits while on JobKeeper pay back the government subsidy to the Treasury could bring more than $1 billion to the economy.

Parliamentary Budget Office costings, commissioned by The Greens, revealed an extra $1.1 billion would be made available next financial year if 65 companies that made excessive profits or paid out executive bonuses while receiving JobKeeper payments returned the amount they received from the government.

Businesses listed in the group of 65 companies include Harvey Norman, Lendlease Group, Tabcorp, Seek and Michael Hill.

It comes as Greens leader Adam Bandt said the party sought to amend the upcoming federal budget to force the repayment of JobKeeper subsidies from companies.

"It's not enough to just ask them to pay back JobKeeper, Parliament has to make them do it," Mr Bandt said.

"Simply appealing to these billionaires' better nature won't work, because they don't have one.

"We will be naming and shaming these corporations with debt collection notices in the coming weeks."

While the figure of $1.1 billion was based on the JobKeeper payments of 65 companies, Mr Bandt said that figure represented the tip of the iceberg.

He said a full list of companies that had profited off JobKeeper had yet to be disclosed.

"While everyone else was suffering during the pandemic, billionaires and big corporations took government handouts and got even richer," Mr Bandt said.

"If you're making enough money to buy a private jet or pay executive bonuses, then you can pay back JobKeeper."

The Greens leader is set to write to crossbench and Labor MPs calling for support for the budget amendments in coming days.

The federal budget is set to be handed down by the government on May 11.

READ MORE:

The $90 billion JobKeeper payment came into effect from March 2020 as a measure to keep businesses afloat during the worst impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It was initially meant to last six months, but the scheme was extended to March 28 this year, when payments stopped altogether

.

Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:

This story Push for businesses to pay back JobKeeper funds could reap $1 billion first appeared on The Canberra Times.

Comments

Discuss "Push for businesses to pay back JobKeeper funds could reap $1 billion"

Please note: All comments made or shown here are bound by the Online Discussion Terms & Conditions.