The end of JobKeeper: Scott Morrison reveals when he will review future of handouts after Qantas announced 6,000 job cuts
- He said announcement on future of JobKeeper would come in third week of July
- Follows Qantas on Thursday announcing it was cutting a fifth of its workforce
- CEO Alan Joyce called on government to financially help ailing aviation industry
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed he will make an announcement on the future of JobKeeper in the third week of July.
Mr Morrison said on Friday morning the decision would follow a review of the wage subsidy next month.
Qantas on Thursday announced it was cutting 6,000 jobs – a fifth of its workforce – with its CEO Alan Joyce calling on the federal government to support those losing their job with a bespoke financial assistance program.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed he will make an announcement on the future of JobKeeper in the third week of July
Mr Morrison stayed tight-lipped though on what the eventual decision on JobKeeper will be.
‘We’ll be able to make a decision soon. The announcement will be made in the third week of July when the economic statement is handed down,’ he told 2GB’s Ben Fordham.
‘That’s about three months in advance [of JobKeeper’s scheduled end date in September].’
Mr Joyce told reporters the airline’s management were in discussions with the government about ‘extending JobKeeper or some alternative form of support’.
The prime minister acknowledged the aviation sector will need ongoing help, with JobKeeper wage subsidies and other coronavirus support measures to end in September, but was unable to offer any certainty.
‘We are just working through the best way to target and deliver that support,’ he said on Thursday, adding that could include JobKeeper or other measures.
Air crew walk through the Qantas Terminal at Sydney Airport on June 19. 15,000 staff members already stood down will remain out of work, the airline’s CEO Alan Joyce said
Mr Joyce said he did not expect the airline to resume international services in any significant way until July next year at the earliest.
‘The collapse of billions of dollars in revenue leaves us little choice if we are to save as many jobs as possible long term,’ Mr Joyce said.
‘We have to position ourselves for several years where revenues will be much lower. And that means becoming a smaller airline in the short term.’
Mr Joyce said on Thursday the company would have to become a ‘smaller airline’ in the short term as the COVID-19 pandemic stymies international travel
Mr Joyce said vital signs were strengthening for domestic operations and the airline has ‘extremely bright prospects for recovery’.
But to get there, the carrier will have to raise $1.9 billion through a share sale to balance its books.
More to come
Virgin’s new owner is likely to be American company Bain Capital after rival bidder pulls out of the deal
Virgin Australia airlines is likely to be bought by American private equity firm Bain Capital.
Other consortiums, including the Queensland government, have withdrawn from the race to buy the embattled carrier.
Rival Virgin Australia bidder Cyrus Capital Partners announced on Friday morning they would be withdrawing their interest in buying the airline established in Australia in 2001 by billionaire entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson.
The development is occurring a day after Virgin’s chief rival Qantas announced it would be cutting 6,000 jobs as the coronavirus crisis kills of international air travel and cripples airlines.