Calm down, Labor. JobKeeper bungle is still borrowed money
A $60 billion miscalculation in favour of taxpayers may seem a serendipitous accident, yet it's been met with outrage, including from senior Labor politicians.
The JobKeeper package's initial $130 billion estimate has now been recalculated to cost just $70 billion, but we have Labor Senator Penny Wong calling for Treasurer Josh Frydenberg to be hauled before the COVID-19 Senate inquiry to 'please explain'.
Moronic. Absolutely moronic.
This is not a blank cheque written by the Federal Government, it's money that's borrowed and should only be spent cautiously and carefully.
And it must be pointed out the Senate Inquiry cannot force a minister from the lower house of parliament - the House of Representatives - to appear.
Frydenberg is the same Treasurer who helped drive this country out of debt - much of it racked up by Labor - and was set to deliver the first budget surplus in a decade, yet Senator Wong wants him hauled over the coals.
Wouldn't it be a far greater issue if these calculations came in $60 billion OVER the forecast, not under?
And wouldn't it be catastrophic if this money was handed over to people who weren't entitled to it?
Thankfully this has not happened.
The calculation stuff up occurred because about 1000 businesses didn't fill out documentation correctly when registering their interest in the scheme which pays workers $1500 a fortnight, funded by the taxpayer.
Instead of businesses filling out information of the number of employees they expected to be eligible for the scheme, they wrote the amount of money they would be expected to receive.
So if there were two employees entitled businesses wrote 3000 instead of two.
Treasury said this reporting error wasn't picked up by the Australian Taxation Office until recently.
Instead the ATO was much more focused on getting payments to eligible employers on time during the pandemic.
But Labor loves to spend and of course spend other people's money like drunken sailors.
This COVID-19 financial package is money that will need to be repaid by the hardworking Australian taxpayer.
But who knows what planet Opposition leader Anthony Albanese is on.
He said the error was one "you can see from space".
Really? Well why didn't he get out of his spaceship and speak up weeks if not months ago if blind Freddie could see the error?
We have more than enough people living off the public purse in this country and it's going to take months, if not years, to get this economy back up and running again.
We need to get people back to work and get the cogs in the economic wheels turning again.
Keeping people on JobSeeker and JobKeeper is unsustainable and the sooner Australians can get off these taxpayer-funded wage subsidies the better for everyone.
Sophie Elsworth is News Corp's national personal finance writer.
Originally published as Calm down, Labor. JobKeeper bungle is still borrowed money