Prime Minister Scott Morrison has suggested the JobKeeper wage subsidy might not remain in place the full six months, saying he wants workers supported by the economy not the government.
Work was being done on the future of JobKeeper now, with a review at the end of June, he said.
"People don't want to be on JobKeeper and JobSeeker. They want to be in a job that's paying them. And that's what this plan is about," he said.
"Not to keep people on income support from the taxpayer, but to have a wage that's provided by a business that's successful and earning again and going forward and creating a strong economy."
The $130 billion JobKeeper program has only just got underway with the first payments being made to businesses this week.
But it has already run into complications and disputes, with workers complaining about being asked to work extra hours and businesses complaining that some staff are refusing to work at all.
The $1500 a fortnight subsidy must be paid to every worker in a business, including those who are stood down. That creates the potential for resentment among staff, some of whom are working significant hours for their payment and some who work only a few hours or none at all.
Business owners have also struggled to pay their workers the $1500, given the money has to be paid before it is refunded by the Tax Office. And many workers have been left without any money, with casuals having to work for the same firm for 12 months before they qualify.
Official figures suggest as many as five million workers are on the wage subsidy, lower than the six million originally expected by the government.
Mr Morrison said the JobKeeper program was legislated to last six months but the legislation already included a review.
"Our objective is to grow the economy and get people back into jobs, making sure that people are supported by the economy, and not the taxpayer, as quickly as possible," he said.
"There's a review into JobKeeper to be done at the end of June. We'll take that one step at a time.
"I need to stress again that was a temporary lifeline put in place to help Australians through the worst of this crisis. It comes at a very significant cost. Not just to current but to future generations as well.
"... It's not envisaged to be a longer term arrangement."
Asked whether he could give workers any certainty about how long the payment would last, he said, "I can give them the certainty that I want them to be back in their jobs, where they don't need it."
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