Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters has released the findings of the COVID-19 business survey, after contacting more than 100 local businesses.
“We know many businesses across our region have closed, reduced hours or laid off staff because of the pandemic,” Chesters said.
“My office has reached out to more than 100 businesses across the electorate over the past few weeks and discovered that whilst JobKeeper is a good idea, it’s been badly implemented,” Chesters said.
One third of local businesses surveyed did not qualify for JobKeeper, including those in the arts and entertainment sector, casuals, university staff and local council workers.
“I am urging the Treasurer to extend the JobKeeper scheme to cover these workers.
“Now it turns out JobKeeper is under-subscribed by $60 billion, yet Mr Frydenberg is still refusing to help Australians who are struggling to put food on the table.
“This is not some sort of accounting error. It is about real people - members of our community - who are struggling to get by and are being let down by Scott Morrison,” Chesters said.
“Leaving so many Central Victorians out of JobKeeper will worsen the downturn and lengthen the unemployment queues.
“It’s also concerning that a number of Liberal Party Members have suggested JobKeeper should be scrapped early.
“Employers have told me that they could go under if these payments stop before the September deadline.
85% of businesses are against the scheme being pulled early.
“It’s not what they were promised and it’s not what they have planned for,” Chesters said.
“No one except Scott Morrison believes the economy will “snap back” any time soon.
“I’m committed to the long-term prosperity of local business and will continue to lobby for the best outcome for Bendigo and Central Victoria.”
The business survey can be accessed here: http://www.lisachesters.org/covid_19_business_survey