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Parliament To Be Called Early

CANBERRA: Parliament could sit as early as next week to pass legislation related to the new JobKeeper payment, with Labor likely to support the overall package.

Unions and business groups have widely welcomed the announcement.

Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott said the subsidies are a fair way of making sure employees stayed connected to employers during the crisis.

“This huge package will keep people in jobs and – vitally – make sure Australia is ready to rebuild quickly, once this challenge passes,” she said. “We must safeguard as many jobs as we can to prevent long periods of joblessness and poverty.”

The $1500 fortnightly payment amounts to about 70 percent of the median wage.

The ACTU’s secretary Sally McManus says that, while the decision was welcome, the amount may not be enough. She added: “We believe that allowing this amount to increase up to the median wage of $1375 a week is what is needed.”