Australian Greens Education spokesperson Senator Mehreen Faruqi has labelled the government’s latest change to JobKeeper eligibility rules farcical and sinister as it bends over backwards to deny wage subsidy support to Australian universities.
In the latest twist, Sydney Uni has been denied access to the scheme despite having believed to have qualified due to a significant drop in revenue, and having paid staff additional money in anticipation of receiving government support.
Senator Faruqi said:
“The government is bending over backwards to deny universities access to the JobKeeper wage subsidy. This is farcical and sinister stuff.
“Universities have been dealing with huge uncertainties for months now. Constantly shifting the goalposts is not only enormously unfair to them in this crisis, but reveals the Liberals’ malice towards higher education.
“The clear intent to lock universities out of JobKeeper can only be explained by the Liberals’ ongoing hostility to higher education and their commitment to starve universities of funding.
“The government is fully aware that up to 30,000 university jobs are on the line, but they just don’t seem to care.
“In addition to JobKeeper, the government must back universities through a new package which would massively boost funding, save jobs and improve universities for staff and students,” she said.