Prime Minister Scott Morrison is expected to today announce the extension of JobKeeper to March 28 at a reduced fortnightly rate, with further cuts for part time workers, casuals, and JobSeeker claimants. The Australian reports the new rate will be $1200. Morrison will make the announcement with Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, following the completion of a Treasury review of the JobKeeper scheme, which found almost $30 billion had been paid to workers. JobKeeper was due to expire in September. The review claimed the flat $1500 wage subsidy dampened incentives to work, although the federal government’s previous claims about this were based on limited anecdotal evidence. Eligibility criteria will be tightened for both JobKeeper and JobSeeker. Labor treasury spokesman Jim Chalmers called on the government to release the full Treasury advice to ensure an informed debate on the new payment rates. A collection of 60 charity groups, unions and social services have called for the JobSeeker boost to be made permanent.
An Australian Special Air Service Regiment raid in 2013 that sought to assassinate a Taliban member allegedly killed another man with the same name, reports ABC Investigations. The Imam of the village of Nawjoy, Mawlawi Sher Mohammad, had that morning been teaching the village’s children, before later in the day being taken to a stable and shot by SAS soldiers, locals claim. The Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force is conducting an inquiry into allegations of war crimes committed by Australian special forces. An Australian Defence Force spokesperson said: “It is not appropriate for Defence to comment on matters that may or may not be the subject of the Afghanistan Inquiry.”
Tim Wilson provided assistance to the Institute of Public Affairs and solicited endorsement for his 2016 Liberal preselection battle while in the office of human rights commissioner, according to emails released through freedom of information laws to an anonymous applicant. Guardian Australia reports the now Liberal MP used his official human rights commission email account to arrange an international speaker for an IPA event, organise his own attendance at IPA donor functions, and ask for a political endorsement from a person who approached him in his capacity as human rights commissioner. Wilson told The Guardian the emails were “utterly irrelevant”.
The International Cricket Council has announced that the men’s Twenty20 World Cup, which was scheduled to begin in Australia in October, has been postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The tournament will instead begin in October 2021. The postponement has led to revision of the international cricket calendar to accommodate bilateral series postponed everywhere since March except in England.