Treasurer Josh Frydenberg. Picture: Gary Ramage
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg. Picture: Gary Ramage

Treasury mistake kicks sole traders off JobKeeper

Sole traders were told they would be kicked off the federal government's wage subsidy scheme in another JobKeeper bungle which Josh Frydenberg has blamed on Treasury.

As the Treasurer stood beside Scott Morrison on Tuesday to announce the extension of the JobKeeper program past the original September cut-off, the Treasury website informed sole traders they would be unable to access the scheme from September 28.

"Non-employing businesses will no longer be eligible for the JobKeeper payment from this date," the website said.

It was quickly updated within hours, as the Prime Minister made it clear in his press conference that sole traders remained eligible.

A spokesman for Mr Frydenberg said: "Treasury uploaded incorrect information to its website."

"Sole traders are and continue to be part of the JobKeeper program which will run until March next year," the spokesman said said.

It comes after Treasury was forced to revise its $130bn cost estimate for the scheme down to $70bn.

Shadow Treasurer Jim Chalmers said the error added pain to an already tough time for Australians businesses undergoing serious financial hardship.

"This is yet another serious blunder from the Morrison government, which just adds to confusion and heightens uncertainty in a way that risks jobs and compromises the recovery," he said.

Mr Morrison had said on Tuesday that "the fact we're maintaining the easing of eligibilities for sole traders both on JobSeeker and their continuing access to JobKeeper out to the end of this year I think is important".

Originally published as Treasury mistake kicks sole traders off JobKeeper