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Wage subsidies will be officially extended

Wage subsidies and dole payments will soon be extended, with the underpinning legislation on its way to federal parliament.

It comes with workers in Tasmania to receive access to $1500 a fortnight pandemic leave payments after the state and federal governments struck a deal.

The payments are designed to support workers with no sick leave through their 14-day coronavirus self-isolation period.

The bill to extend JobKeeper and JobSeeker to March will be introduced to parliament on Wednesday and is set to cruise through with Labor’s support.

“I look forward to us continuing to provide the single greatest ever income support that Australians have ever received,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters in Canberra.

“We are scanning and searching for every opportunity to keep people in jobs.”

Labor is supporting the legislation even if the party’s concerns about employers cutting working hours aren’t addressed.

Firms remaining on JobKeeper will still have the power to change employees’ hours, duties or work location.

Others booted off JobKeeper will also retain the capacity to change conditions if they prove a 10 per cent reduction in turnover.

The Morrison government plans to cut the wage subsidy from $1500 to $1200 a fortnight at the end of September and then to $1000 from December to March.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is responsible for setting the rate, meaning that change won’t need to be legislated.

Labor wants JobKeeper to remain at $1500 a fortnight for another six months with Victoria’s coronavirus lockdown smashing the national economy.

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