The extension of the JobKeeper wage subsidy program will provide a further “airbag” for the Australian economy, according to the Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA).
The Federal Government has announced that the JobKeeper program will be extended until the end of March next year, but with reduced fortnightly payments and stricter eligibility criteria.
PIPA Chairman Peter Koulizos said the wage subsidy extension would help to soften the economic blow from the pandemic.
“We need to accept that the economic impact of COVID19 is going to be significant,” Mr Koulizos said.
“However, if the various stimulus initiatives and financial support packages hadn’t been implemented, then the fallout would have been severe.
“In essence, these measures are providing an economic airbag to help slow down, and soften, the impact that we all know is coming.”
Mr Koulizos said a similar strategy of stimulus initiatives was employed during the GFC that ultimately resulted in the Australian economy avoiding a recession.
“Those stimulus packages were vital in keeping people employed during that protracted global downturn,” he said. “This time, it’s clear we won’t be able to avoid a recession, but these programs will help to prevent our economy languishing for the long-term.”
The tightening of JobKeeper eligibility criteria announced would also mean that the wage subsidy would be targeted to the people who really need it, Mr Koulizos said.
“The extension, as well as the continuance of mortgage repayment pauses, will benefit homeowners, landlords and tenants who continue to need financial support over coming months,” he said.
Mr Koulizos said the wage subsidy extension also provided some much-needed preparation time for people whose employment was looking tenuous.
“The JobKeeper extension gives people more time to organise alternatives, such as retraining or studying, if their current job is not secure,” he said. “It also gives people time to breathe and prepare – rather than starting to panic about how to financially survive post-September.”