Owner of Fish D'Vine Kevin Collins says economically, he understands why someone would take the JobSeeker payment instead of working. Picture: Laura Thomas
Owner of Fish D'Vine Kevin Collins says economically, he understands why someone would take the JobSeeker payment instead of working. Picture: Laura Thomas

Opting for JobSeeker over work ‘makes economic sense’

AN AIRLIE Beach business owner who had two new staff quit to take JobSeeker payments over employment says he holds no grudges against them.

Fish D'Vine owner Kevin Collins said the choice made simple economic sense.

"As a straight financial decision I get why you would want to sit at home and do nothing," he said.

Mr Collins said the two staff worked one or two shifts before they advised, one via text, that they did not want to accept the position and would rather stay on JobSeeker.

A casual hospitality employee earns about $26 an hour grossing $780 for a week's work.

This comes to about $650 after tax.

A single person with no children qualifies for $557.85 a week through the JobSeeker payment.

"Clearly that is the decision that some people are making, that they would rather … be basically on holidays for $550 a week rather than have a job paying $750 a week," Mr Collins said

"I understand that."

The JobSeeker payment replaced Newstart in March as an emergency response to mass job losses caused by coronavirus.

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The payment was effectively doubled to $1115.70 a fortnight for singles but is set to revert to the former $560 a fortnight in September.

Hospitality businesses across Mackay and the Whitsundays say this could not come soon enough as they reported the boosted payment was making it difficult to find staff as eased restrictions allowed business to ramp back up.

But, the Federal Opposition said there were not enough jobs for everyone relying on the payment and that the plan to reduce the rate by September could take the equivalent of 83,000 jobs out of the Queensland economy.


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