Federal treasurer Josh Frydenberg has said there are no plans to extend the government’s JobKeeper subsidy for the tourism industry beyond March 2021, but that targeted support is being considered.
Speaking on the ABC’s Insiders program on Sunday, Mr Frydenberg said that based on what we know today, there should be “no expectation” that JobKeeper will be extended.
“It was always a temporary program, more than $80 billion is already out the door, and it’s already helped support three-and-a-half million Australians,” he said.
When questioned on the future of tourism businesses that rely on international travel to stay afloat, Mr Frydenberg said they should continue their ‘ingenuity’ which has seen them adapt to the new normal of domestic travel, and that targeted assistance is being considered.
“Treasury is analysing the data in the tourism industry, and we will consider whatever future targeted assistance is required, but the key for the tourism sector in Australia is going to be consistency and clarity around border closures. More than 70 cents in the dollar is driven by domestic related tourism,” he said.
“There is no intention to extend JobKeeper, we will look at what other targeted assistance is required.”
When asked if businesses that rely on international tourism should ‘get out of the game’, Mr Frydenberg responded: “They will be decisions that commercial operators themselves make.”