Professional firms and real estate agents keep wage subsidy Australian experience

The Jobkeeper wage subsidy was available for 12 months to 31 March 2021.  It was administered by the Australia Tax Office who had access to the past income of businesses and they required verifying evidence to be provided. As a result, 900,000 businesses applied compared to 760,000 in New Zealand. However, the ATO was not permitted to disclose how much each recipient received and there have been relatively few repayments.

Data showed that 23 extremely large companies with turnover of more than $1billion, that needed to show a drop in revenue of more than 50% to qualify, received just $79m in jobkeeper.

However, 391 large businesses with revenue of between $100m and $1bn, who needed to show a drop of 30%, received $647m.

The Australian Treasury said that A$27 billion had been paid to businesses whose revenue did not fall sufficiently or increased.

An Australian National University study estimated that only about 20% of jobs were supported by the subsidy paid out.

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