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Treasurer defends JobKeeper rejection as PM announces Sydney lockdown support

Article image for Treasurer defends JobKeeper rejection as PM announces Sydney lockdown support

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced financial assistance measures for Sydneysiders affected by the extended lockdown.

After meeting with the National Security Committee, Treasurer, and NSW Premier, Mr Morrison announced the liquid assets test for individual Commonwealth assistance will be waived.

Out of work Sydneysiders can now apply for $325 per week and $500 per week Centrelink payments regardless of how much they have saved.

The suspension of mutual obligations for such payments has also been extended.

Furthermore, NSW will received 300,000 extra vaccine doses, targeted at vaccinating those in outbreak areas.

Half will be comprised by AstraZeneca doses, and the other half Pfizer, and “will not come at the expense of existing allocations” Mr Morrison said.

These measures would also apply to other states and territories that enter a third week of lockdown in a Commonwealth-defined hotspot.

“I do want to stress this is a very serious situation, and it has escalated in recent days.”

Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg defended the decision not to reinstate JobKeeper in response to the lockdown extension.

The $325 and $500 disaster relief payments are virtually equivalent to JobKeeper at the end of its run, he told Jim Wilson.

Applications without the asset test applied will opened once the third week of lockdown begins.

“You mentioned JobKeeper, and the fact it was brought in for an emergency situation,” Jim said.

“Aren’t we in an emergency situation right now in this city and state?”

Press PLAY below to hear the Treasurer’s response

Image: Nine News

Jim Wilson
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