JobKeeper for universities: in the too-hard basket

Why the public system gets no wage support

“Universities were not excluded from JobKeeper. The eligibility criteria for universities are different from the eligibility criteria for other businesses,” Jenny Wilkinson from Treasury told a Senate inquiry Friday.

Ms Wilkinson was appearing before the Senate Select Committee on Covid-19’s  inquiry into the government’s response to the pandemic.

Senator Whish-Wilson (Greens-Tas) asked if Treasury had provided advise to the government on excluding universities from JobKeeper. She replied that Treasury had, “provided advice to government on the design of all elements of the JobKeeper programme, including the particular situations that universities were in.”

As to universities circumstance;

“The situation with universities is more complicated than a lot of businesses for a range of reasons. It’s partly the way in which GST turnover is measured for universities, and also the way in which revenue is accrued over time and the way in which particularly overseas student enrolments are recognised. It was for all of these reasons that the eligibility criteria for universities was set out in a different way than for other businesses, not only because of their definition of turnover but also the fact that they needed to meet a decline in turnover over a six-month period.”

So that explains it, the government wasn’t being hostile, things were “complicated.”