Flat White

If business is paying back JobKeeper windfalls, what about the bureaucrats and their bonuses?

9 February 2021

1:04 PM

9 February 2021

1:04 PM

JobKeeper. JobSeeker. Job destroyer.

Well, the mob has spoken. 

Those businesses who legally and correctly accessed the Job keeper scheme, but who in hindsight did not need them are being pressured to return the money — the latest being Nick Scali who will repay $3.6 million of Job Keeper funds received. Fair enough.

And to be fair, the National Audit Office will investigate whether the Australian Taxation Office has put in place “effective measures to protect the integrity of Jobkeeper payments”.

Fair and just. 

But here is another matter for the National Audit Office to investigate. Will Commonwealth government public servants, the senior executives who get bonuses, particularly those who worked for the agency that implemented the scheme with questionable “integrity” measures have to pay back their bonuses? After all, two ATO Second Commissioners received bonuses of approximately $60,000 for the FY20 financial year, a period that part included the deployment of the JobKeeper program. 

Interestingly, one of the ATO bonused second commissioners is responsible for “the ATO’s Client Engagement Group, which fosters willing participation in Australia’s tax and super systems through well-designed client experiences”. Perhaps there might be a “willing participation” by this individual in the return of the bonus they received given how many Australians lost jobs and took pay cuts. 

Oh, and the other of the ATO bonused second commissioners apparently seeks to “ensure(s) we (the ATO) are taking advantage of the most innovative trends in technology, to improve the experience of our staff and clients”. Yep. Getting a free loan from the taxpayers of Australia’s is usually a positive “experience”.  

We’re all in this together. Aren’t we?

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