MORE than 20,000 Ballarat workers will be worse off if the JobKeeper program ends on September 28 says Ballarat MP Catherine King.
And Ballarat's Trades Hall fear that many Ballarat residents could be pushed under the poverty line if there is no extension to the program in coming days.
In a pre-budget push, Ms King said she feared that up to $18 million could be lost to the Ballarat economy every two weeks, if the JobKeeper programs winds up on September 28, as planned.
"Scott Morrison should reconsider his cuts to JobKeeper which are coming at the worst possible time for many workers, businesses and communities who are relying on it," Ms King said.
"Our community is just coming out of lockdown and businesses are beginning to reopen. Now is not the time to be withdrawing much needed support."
IN THE NEWS
Ms King said from next Monday, cuts and changes to the JobKeeper scheme would see many workers lose all their access, while some would have payments slashed from anywhere between $300 and $750.
"The recession will be deeper and the unemployment queues will be longer because Scott Morrison is pulling support from the economy too soon and because he doesn't have a plan for jobs," Ms King said.
"Our community needs and deserves a comprehensive jobs plan to set us up for the recovery and the future."
At this stage, the Prime Minister is understood to be favouring the reduction of both JobKeeper and JobSeeker funding in the coming weeks, pointing to Sunday's better-than-expected jobs figures which saw 400,000 jobs return across the country.
"The figures that came out this week were a pleasant encouragement in terms of their improvement, but for those who still don't have a job, that is of no comfort to them. People are still out of work and we need to get them in," Mr Morrison told the ABC.
"I think there will be hundreds of thousands of more jobs come back in between now and Christmas, particularly if we get this next step right in Victoria."
Ballarat Trades Hall secretary Brett Edgington said many regional Victorians would be pushed under the poverty line with any cuts.
He said his greatest fear is for those sole-income families who rely on casual or permanent part-time work in industries such as tourism, hospitality and health.
"It will push regional Victorians well under the poverty line," he said.
"We know that Ballarat and regional Victoria is significantly relying on JobKeeper at the moment.
"The point of stimulus is to push money into the economy, this is pushing people them under the poverty line. It's a disgrace and counter to what needs to happen.
"If I was running federal government, I'd give them $1500 now. Investing the money now will save a lot down the track.
"Perversely, if you're a permanent part timer you'd be better off quitting your job and getting JobSeeker."
The Federal Budget will be handed down on October 6.
Have you signed up to The Courier's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in Ballarat.