UnionsACT Statement on ACT Stimulus 2 Package

UnionsACT has today welcomed the establishment of the Jobs Fund for Canberrans, rental relief and other important measures to protect jobs security, but cautions that business must not hoard tax rebates at the expense of jobs.

The second ACT Government stimulus package adds millions in tax rebates and waivers for businesses, without a requirement that employers protect jobs.

UnionsACT urges workers to report if their employer accepts taxpayer funded stimulus but continues to sack or stand-down its workers. Employers are receiving this stimulus payment to ensure they can continue to employ workers, not to enrich themselves by pocketing the rebates and waivers.

UnionsACT will also scrutinise the details of the Jobs Fund for Canberrans, to ensure that it is managed to benefit workers who need it most.

It is also essential that any taxpayer funds awarded to businesses for “fast-tracked projects” are compliant with workplace and safety laws, via Secure Local Job Code Certification.

Finally, UnionsACT has been contacted by a large number of workers facing severe rental stress and threats of eviction by unethical real-estate agents and landlords. The Rental Relief package is a good first step, and landlords must immediately reduce rents to provide relief to renters.

The following quotes are attributable to Alex White, Secretary of UnionsACT:

“It is positive that we have an ACT Government committed to protecting jobs during this crisis, and now business needs to do the right thing by keeping workers in their jobs.

“We remain concerned that taxpayers will subsidise businesses without a mutual obligation that the employer must protect job security.

“These stimulus measures must be implemented with a mandated job security requirement.

“The only way the ACT and Australia can avoid a protected and devastating recession is to protect workers’ jobs.”

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