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PM admits to wearing a mask, stops short of calling for mandatory order

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

People should use “common sense” when using public transport, Scott Morrison said, but said the situation in NSW was “different” to Victoria.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he wore a mask during a visit to the optometrist recently as calls grow for the wearing of face coverings to be mandatory in NSW.

When asked by 2GB's Ben Fordham whether he had a mask, the PM said "yeah I do".

"I wore it at the optometrist the other day," Mr Morrison said.

Scott Morrison unveils the changes to JobKeeper and JobSeeker in Canberra today.

When asked whether he would start wearing it in public like US President Donald Trump recently did, he said: "It's the medical advice wherever I am and I'm required to submit to so of course I would".

Mr Morrison said he liked the idea of people in NSW wearing masks on public transport.

"The approach is for people to exercise that common sense," he said.

"I mean, the situation in Sydney and in NSW more broadly is not the situation in Melbourne, it could not be more different."

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The PM also defended the government's newly-announced changes to the JobKeeper and JobSeeker schemes, saying those who make claims must be deserving of the handouts.

Mr Morrison said the eligibility criteria will be tightened for good reason.

"From the 4th of August you can't knock back a job offer to you through the system and then expect to get JobSeeker," Mr Morrison said.

From September 28, the JobSeeker payment will drop from $550 per fortnight to $250.

The JobKeeper 2.0 plan will fall from the current rate of $1500 per fortnight to $1200 and from January, $1000 for those working more than 20 hours per week.

READ:  Health Minister defends release of coronavirus-infected woman from hotel quarantine
How the JobKeeper payments will work following September.

The PM said the change was partly based on hopes the economy would be faring better by 2021.

"It's based on the assessment that you can't keep burning $11 billion of cash every month at those higher rates and you've got to start weaning the Australian economy off these income supports and that means we are phasing them back, we are tapering them down," Mr Morrison said.

"We always said these were temporary payments."

Tomorrow the government is expected to give a budget update.

Mr Morrison said the announcement won't be a "mini-budget", but rather a "reconciliation of all the commitments that have been made".

"No-one should expect any new announcements tomorrow," he said.

You can get up-to-date information from the Federal Government's Coronavirus Australia app, available on the App Store, Google Play and the Government's WhatsApp channel.

Beyond Blue's Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service is a 24/7 service free of charge to all Australians. Visit the site here or call 1800512348

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Source: 9News

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Finance Advice 2021