Local Veteran Presented With Prime Ministers Veterans Employment Award
Local Veteran Presented With Prime Ministers Veterans Employment Award

MP to take JobKeeper claims to Treasurer

Federal MP Phillip Thompson has slammed the misuse of JobKeeper funds after allegations were made about a number of small firms that claimed the payment in amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Labor MP Andrew Leigh alleged in a parliamentary speech that a number of organisations, including Townsville's 1300SMILES, had claimed the payment and still made significant payments to CEOs and in dividends.

Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson Picture: Alix Sweeney
Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson Picture: Alix Sweeney

Mr Leigh named Accent Group, Star Casino, SeaLink and Nick Scali, claiming they were using JobKeeper payments to reward CEOs during the pandemic.

In 1300SMILES's case, Mr Leigh said the dental group had received $2m in JobKeeper payments and paid out $3m to shareholders.

"Managing director Daryl Holmes owns two-thirds of the company and so will get about $2m, roughly what his company received in JobKeeper support," Mr Leigh said.

A 1300SMILES spokesman strongly objected to the claims made by Mr Leigh.

Mr Thompson vowed to take the allegations to treasurer Josh Frydenberg to ensure money was not being misused.

Mr Thompson said big businesses using JobKeeper should ensure the money goes to workers.

"JobKeeper was put in place as a safety net to be able to keep the employer and the employee connected," he said.

"JobKeeper was to keep these businesses operational. It should not ever be used to prop up or pay CEOs bonuses or directors bonuses.

"This is the first time I've heard the allegations. From here I will be raising it directly with the treasurer."

Originally published as MP to take JobKeeper claims to Treasurer

MP Andrew Leigh. Picture: AAP/Joel Carrett
MP Andrew Leigh. Picture: AAP/Joel Carrett

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