Qantas and Crown Resorts named biggest JobKeeper recipients


Qantas, Crown Resorts and Flight Center have been revealed as the top three recipients of JobKeeper’s controversial wage subsidy – claiming more than $ 1.3 billion in government payments between them.

Publicly traded companies were ordered in September to disclose how much money they took out of the JobKeeper program, as well as how many employees they took it on and how much they paid back to the government.

And on Tuesday, the business regulator ASIC posted the information on its website with a link to a downloadable spreadsheet.

Data showed Qantas was by far the biggest beneficiary of JobKeeper – claiming $ 160.5 million in fiscal 2020 and an additional $ 695.5 million in fiscal 2021.

This represents a total of $ 856 million, with an earlier analysis of The new daily showing that the national carrier had also taken substantial sums from other government support programs.

ASIC’s disclosures showed Crown Resorts to be JobKeeper’s second largest beneficiary.

The casino operator claimed $ 92.9 million in fiscal 2020 and an additional $ 198.3 million in fiscal 2021.

Crown was later criticized for taking on JobKeeper because it then distributed hundreds of millions of dollars in dividends to shareholders.

Meanwhile, Flight Center has claimed $ 96.4 million in fiscal 2020 and an additional $ 152 million in fiscal 2021.

“Not too late to take stock”

The data dump comes a day after ATO second commissioner Jeremy Hirschhorn said at a summit hosted by The Australian Financial Review that companies benefiting from Australia’s strong economic recovery should consider repaying cash from JobKeeper that they no longer need.

Mr Hirschhorn also said future stimulus payments should not be used for shareholder dividends or executive bonuses – as happened with JobKeeper.

“If you are a large company whose turnover has rebounded, it is not yet too late to take stock and return any surplus JobKeeper that you did not really need,” Hirschhorn said.

“As for the new stimulus, please go ahead and use the proceeds to invest in your business.

“But also think twice if your plan is to access it just to pay bigger dividends or executive bonuses.”

JobKeeper waste

More than $ 27 billion in JobKeeper went to companies whose sales increased in the program’s first six months last year, according to Treasury data.

This equates to 38% of the first $ 70 billion paid out under the program.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg was subsequently pressured to demand that companies reimburse taxpayers if they accepted JobKeeper without needing to.

But the government has not introduced such rules and offered no indication to do so in the future.

Calls for transparency

Listed companies were required to release JobKeeper’s information on Tuesday following pressure from parliament.

In September, Independent Senator Rex Patrick tabled a Senate amendment that would have required the ATO to disclose all companies with annual sales over $ 10 million that received JobKeeper.

Labor, Greens and Cross Benches supported the amendment.

But the federal government pushed it back with the support of One Nation.

Labor leader Andrew Leigh, who has long been a vocal critic of waste in the JobKeeper program, said TND Tuesday that more transparency was needed after JobKeeper went to billionaires who didn’t need it.

“JobKeeper has gone to French and Italian billionaires, executive bonuses, hedge funds and investment banks,” Dr Leigh said.

“It was not Liberal Party money, it was taxpayer money, and Labor believes that the receipt of JobKeeper by companies with revenues over $ 10 million should be [made] Public. “

The JobKeeper program was announced in March 2020 to help businesses affected by the pandemic cover their payroll.

Short-term casual workers were excluded from the program, but the Reserve Bank of Australia estimates that it saved around 700,000 jobs nonetheless.

Top 10 JobKeeper Recipients

Qantas – $ 856 million

Crown hotels – $ 291 million

Flight center – $ 248 million

Mosaic marks – $ 125 million

The Star Entertainment Group – $ 157 million

Myer – $ 144 million

Hospitality and event entertainment – $ 90 million

First investments – $ 87 million

Seven western media – $ 47 million

Southern Cross Media – $ 47 million

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