Today show host, Karl Stefanovic slammed the government’s decision to phase back COVID-19 disaster payments, live on-air.
ABC reported, that the government has announced plans to eventually stop COVID disaster payments. However, they have clarified it will be a scale back.
Currently, the Commonwealth-funded disaster payments give people who have lost at least 20 hours a week, $750 a week. However, as states hit vaccination targets, the government will scale back the payments. Once a state is 70 per cent vaccinated, people will have to reapply weekly for a payment. When a state hits 80 per cent, the payment will only be available for two weeks.
Of course, while vaccinations should reduce the spread of COVID-19, they won’t get rid of the disease altogether, so presumedly people will still need to take time off work to isolate themselves.
The scale-back could also see residents of NSW lose access to government money within the month, which is particularly tough for people in industries that are only just reopening, like hospitality.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, appeared on the Today Show, yesterday, where Stefanovic called out the government for their decision.
Stefanovic said: “I get that you can’t keep it going and going but many industries won’t be back to normal at 70 or 80 per cent.
“You have the arts, nightclub, hospitality and tourism, especially in Far North Queensland, to cut them off is kind of cold and brutal, isn’t it?”
According, to news.com.au, Frydenberg hit back and said: “Firstly, we have announced specific economic support programs for the tourism industries right across all of the states and territories, as well as other entertainment venues and businesses.”
Stefanovic has been a huge supporter of everyone in Australia getting their jab.