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Pandemic Profiteers: Pay back JobKeeper

Speeches in Parliament
Adam Bandt 12 May 2021

During the pandemic, many big corporations and billionaires made huge profits off the back of public handouts.

Meanwhile, the number of people in this country on income support increased by 100 per cent to over 1.6 million people, and over two million people either didn't have a job or didn't have enough hours of work. After caving in to pressure, the government finally introduced the publicly funded JobKeeper wage subsidy.

The Greens support JobKeeper and support workers, but we don't support big businesses using it to increase their profits and line the pockets of their executives. At least 25 companies receiving JobKeeper also paid executive bonuses worth a combined total of $24.3 million, and 60 corporations recorded profits of over $8.6 billion in the last 18 months.

Big businesses like Harvey Norman refused to pay even a single dollar of the over $20 million in JobKeeper—public handouts—that they received despite doubling profits during the pandemic and paying executive bonuses.

The Parliamentary Budget Office found that over $1 billion in JobKeeper payments was paid to profitable companies. Last night's budget revealed the government is cutting real support for higher education by over $1 billion.

Let's make these billionaires and big corporations pay back the public subsidies they receive despite making record profits and use it to make life better for everyone else.


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