By Julie Owens MP

30 September 2021

Despite desperate pleas from workers and businesses - and a staggering drop in payroll jobs during lockdown – the Morrison Government has announced it will start to cut COVID support payments when 70% of eligible NSW residents are fully vaccinated.

 

NSW is expected to hit this target on October 10 – in less than a week. There is no local data telling us how many businesses are currently relying on JobSaver, but I am sure this sudden change will have a huge impact on our local economy.

 

We do know that more than one in 10 payroll jobs in Parramatta have been lost since the start of lockdown and it's estimated that 1 in 5 local workers are relying on the COVID-19 Disaster Payment.

 

While nobody expects these support payments to go on forever, hitting vaccination targets and easing restrictions does not mean people automatically get their jobs and businesses back.

 

Parramatta needs a plan for economic recovery. The economic pain won’t disappear overnight. In some cases it will last for years. I fear these cuts, made with less than two weeks notice, will make things worse.

 

If the Morrison Government delivered on vaccines and quarantine as quickly as it has moved to cut support, we may not have gone into lockdown in the first place.

 

According to the announcement, once NSW is 70% fully vaccinated the Morrison Government will start cutting JobSaver payments and people receiving the COVID-19 Disaster Payment will need to re-apply every week.

Once NSW reaches 80% vaccination the Disaster Payment will be cut for two weeks then cease altogether. The Morrison Government will stop funding JobSaver and a fraction of the original support will be paid until 30 November.

 

This Morrison Government is cutting support with no plan for Parramatta’s economic recovery. Easing restrictions does not mean the economic burden will be lifted. If you are worried about how these cuts will affect you or your business, please get in touch with my office.