Essential Report

Alternative spending options for JobKeeper surplus

Jun 2, 2020

Q. On which of the following would you prefer the Government use the $60B it has previously allocated to the JobKeeper program?

    Federal Voting Intention
Total Labor Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
Extend financial schemes supporting those affected by the Covid-19 pandemic (JobSeeker increases, JobKeeper and free early  learning childcare) beyond their current end dates 35% 40% 28% 48% 29%
Broaden JobKeeper scheme to include universities, migrant workers and employees of companies owned by foreign governments 20% 23% 15% 25% 24%
Put money towards reducing national debt accumulate during the Covid-19 pandemic 45% 37% 57% 27% 47%
Base (n) 1,059 299 413 95 136
  •  A third of people would prefer the JobKeeper budget to be spent on extending the scheme beyond its current end date, with a further 20% preferring the scheme to be broadened to include more workers. 45% want the money to be put towards reducing the national debt.
  • Younger people (aged 18-34) are more likely to want the money extending (42%) or broadening the scheme (29%) compared to those over 55 (25% and 16%).
  • Over half of Coalition voters (57%) and retired people (58%) prefer using the money to reduce National debt, rather than providing more support for those who have lost work due to the Covid-19 pandemic.


Read Essential's ongoing research on the public response to Covid-19.

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