CANBERRA, March 31 (Xinhua) -- The Australian government has revealed that more than 100,000 businesses have registered for the wage subsidy scheme announced on Monday afternoon.
Prime Minister (PM) Scott Morrison said in a social media post on Tuesday morning that 113,000 businesses had signed up to the program within 16 hours of it being announced.
The 130 billion Australian dollar (80.2 billion U.S. dollar) economic lifeline entitles employees who have had their work status affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to fortnightly payments of 1,500 AUD (926.2 USD).
The payments will be funnelled through eligible employers who will be obliged to pass it on.
"As of 8am today, over 113,000 Australian businesses have registered their interest in the new JobKeeper wage subsidy of 1,500 AUD per fortnight for each employee," Morrison wrote on social media.
"Our 130 billion AUD plan is all about keeping Australians in jobs while we deal with this coronavirus crisis."
The wage subsidy, which Morrison announced alongside Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, was welcomed by corporations.
The Business Council of Australia (BCA), the peak body representing more than 100 of the nation's biggest corporations, said the payment would save many jobs.
Morrison said on Monday that he expects 6 millions Australians to access the JobKeeper Payment.
"This huge package will keep people in jobs and vitally make sure Australia is ready to rebuild quickly once this challenge passes," Jennifer Westacott, the chief executive of the BCA, said in a media release.
"It is a fair and common-sense way of ensuring employees can remain connected to their employers, who have been severely impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 fallout.
"We must safeguard as many jobs as we can to prevent long periods of joblessness and poverty."