May 22, 2020 / 5:11 AM / 12 days ago

Australia Treasury halves estimate of wage subsidy cost

SYDNEY, May 22 (Reuters) - Australia’s Treasury halved its estimate of the cost of its wage subsidy scheme to A$70 billion ($45.77 billion) after a review found errors in applications made by about 1,000 businesses.

It now expects the number of employees likely to be covered under the “JobKeeper” programme to be about 3.5 million, from an estimate of 6.5 million, totalling A$130 billion.

The reporting error had no consequences for payments already made to eligible businesses, the treasury added in a news release. ($1=A$1.5293) (Reporting by Swati Pandey; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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