Australia “transitioning” to different COVID-19 economic support measures: Treasurer

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CANBERRA, March 26 (Xinhua) — Australia’s Treasurer has declared that the government will continue to support jobs when the coronavirus wage subsidy scheme ends.

The JobKeeper scheme, which was introduced in March 2020 to stimulate the economy amid widespread coronavirus restrictions, will end on Sunday.

Josh Frydenberg said on Friday that the government’s new support measures including tax cuts and low-interest rates would continue to drive economic growth after JobKeeper is cut off.

“We are just transitioning to a series of different economic support measures: tax cuts, infrastructure, skills, low-cost loans that we announced,” he said, according to The Australian.

Steven Kennedy, Secretary to the Treasury, told a Senate hearing on Wednesday that up to 150,000 JobKeeper recipients could become unemployed when the about 90 billion Australian dollars (68.4 billion U.S. dollar) scheme ends.

Opposition Labor Party leader Anthony Albanese said that the government’s decision to not extend the payment would do damage to the economy.

“So they are withdrawing support while the basis for that withdrawal is not being delivered. And that will place real pressure on individuals, real pressure on businesses,” he said on Friday.

“And the government is too obsessed with being in damage control to be concerned about what they should be concerned about. There are real challenges in this country.” Enditem

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