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Aus Treasurer 'encouraged' by drop in welfare recipients

IANS | May 03, 2021 02:28 PM

CANBERRA: Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg on Monday defended the decision to end the government's coronavirus wage subsidy scheme after thousands of people came off welfare in April.
According to data released by The Australian on Monday, 93, 000 citizens came off welfare in April after the JobKeeper scheme, which was introduced to stimulate the economy during coronavirus lockdowns, ended in March, reports Xinhua news agency.

The data defies warnings from economists that ending JobKeeper would cause a spike in Australia's unemployment rate, which was 5.6 per cent in March compared to Treasury estimates in December that it would be 7.5 per cent.

It means the scheme will cost the government about A$88 billion compared to the about A$101 billion estimated in the federal budget for 2020/21.

"Ending JobKeeper was the right decision for the economy, for the labour market and the budget, " Frydenberg told The Australian.

"While this is encouraging, there is still much to do."

Frydenberg will unveil the federal budget for financial year 2021/22 on May 11 having previously announced it will focus on driving unemployment below 5 per cent.

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