The CEOs still raking in eye-watering bonuses despite claiming MILLIONS in JobKeeper payments

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Some CEOs at cash-scrapped Australian companies are still raking in millions of dollars in bonuses despite laying off workers and claiming JobKeeper payments.

Labor Party assistant treasurer Dr Andrew Leigh says it’s ‘disgusting’ that taxpayer money is being spent to top up the pay packets of executives during a time of economic crisis.

The $1500 per fortnight JobKeeper program was brought in during April to cushion the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

Footwear giant Accent Group received $13 million in JobKeeper, and still gave CEO Daniel Agostinelli (pictured) a $1.2 million bonus

IDP Education CEO Andrew Barkla (pictured) was gifted a $683,000 bonus despite already earning over 400 times the average wage at $37million per year

IDP Education CEO Andrew Barkla (right) was gifted a $683,000 bonus despite already earning over 400 times the average wage at $37million per year. Accent Group CEO Daniel Agostinelli (left) received $1.2million bonus

CEOs still getting huge bonuses

IDP Education – CEO Andrew Barkla – $683,000 bonus

Accent Group – CEO Daniel Agostinelli – $1.2 million bonus

Star Entertainment Group – CEO Matt Bekier – $800,000 share bonus

Nick Scali – Scali family – $2million in dividends

1300 Smiles – Managing Director Daryl Holmes – $2million in dividends

SeaLink Travel Group – CEO Clinton Feuerherdt – $504,000 in short-term bonuses

Qantas – CEO Alan Joyce – No bonus and a 65 percent reduction in salary to November

Australia Post – CEO Christine Holgate – No annual bonus

 

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Under the plan, companies with a downturn of 30 percent, or 50 percent for organisations with turnover of more than $1billion, can receive a government handout to pay their workers.

‘Recessions hit the poor hardest which is why Australia followed many countries around the world in implementing a wage subsidy scheme,’ Dr Leigh told a parliamentary hearing.

‘But the scheme designed to reduce inequality is being misused by a small number of firms who are channeling it to executive bonuses.’

Australia’s highest-earning CEO, Andrew Barkla, who heads up IDP Education, was gifted a $683,000 bonus despite already earning over 400 times the average wage at $37million per year.

The company claimed $4.4million in Jobkeeper subsidies. 

Footwear giant Accent Group received $13 million for JobKeeper payments, but still gave CEO Daniel Agostinelli a $1.2 million bonus. 

Qantas received $267million in JobKeepr payments. CEO Alan Joyce (pictured) and other senior executives took no pay in April, May and June

Qantas received $267million in JobKeepr payments. CEO Alan Joyce (pictured) and other senior executives took no pay in April, May and June

Matt Barkier, the CEO of Star Entertainment Group, elected to cut his earnings from $1.7million to $1.5million as the gaming juggernaut raked in $64 million from the government.

But although his pay dropped slightly, Mr Barkier was given an $800,000 share bonus, redeemable after 12 months.

At the peak of the coronavirus shutdown Star Entertainment Group stood down 90 per cent of their 9000-strong workforce.

According to the Courier Mail, Mr Bekier’s equity bonus was given for achieving the company’s ‘strategic goals’.

Dr Leigh said there are a number of companies treating JobKeeper like ‘DividendKeeper’ by diverting money for workers into shareholder payouts.

‘Furniture firm Nick Scali received $4million from Australian and New Zealand taxpayers. Its increased dividend will deliver $2million to the Scali family,’ he said.

‘1300 Smiles got $2 million in JobKeeper and paid out $3million to shareholders. Managing director Daryl Holmes owns two-thirds of the company, so will get about $2million – roughly what his company received in JobKeeper support.’

Dental firm 1300 Smiles got $2million in JobKeeper and paid out $3million to shareholders

Managing director Daryl Holmes (pictured) owns two-thirds of the company and will get about $2million

Dental firm 1300 Smiles got $2million in JobKeeper and paid out $3million to shareholders (managing director Daryl Homes right)

The Dental firm told Daily Mail Australia they ‘strongly object’ to the way the company has been characterised.

‘The dividend in question relates to the company’s financial performance to June 2020,’ 1300 Smiles said.

‘Despite the pandemic’s impacts during March, April and May, during government imposed restrictions, the company delivered a strong financial performance and growth under Dr. Holmes’ leadership.

‘The company has financial obligations to its shareholders, which include many self-funded retirees and mum and dad shareholders who depend on dividend income.

North Stradbroke Island-focused tourism operator SeaLink Travel Group paid shareholders $18.9million in dividends after taking in $8.6million in JobKeeper payments.

SeaLink’s CEO Clinton Feuerherdt received $504,000 in short-term bonuses.

With pressure mounting in the community over CEO salaries, Australia Post backtracked on their lavish remuneration plan.

Australia Post was going to hand out $7million to executives but then scrapped the move following yesterday’s GDP figures which revealed Australia has now entered a recession for the first time in three decades with a quarterly decline of 7 percent.

‘The Australia Post board determined that no short-term incentive payment would be made to the executive team for financial year 2020,’ chairman Lucio Di Bartolomeo said in a statement on Wednesday.

Australia Post CEO Christine Holgate appears before a Senate inquiry into changes at Australia Post at Parliament House in Canberra, Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Australia Post CEO Christine Holgate appears before a Senate inquiry into changes at Australia Post at Parliament House in Canberra, Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Australia Post was going to hand out $7million to executives but then scrapped the move following yesterday's GDP figures which revealed Australia has now entered a recession for the first time in three decades with a quarterly decline of 7 percent.

Australia Post was going to hand out $7million to executives but then scrapped the move following yesterday’s GDP figures which revealed Australia has now entered a recession for the first time in three decades with a quarterly decline of 7 percent.

‘I have every confidence in the executive team and their commitment to excellent performance in the year ahead.’

Australia Post are not eligible for JobKeeper payments as a government business enterprise.

The national carrier Qantas has been one of the Australia’s largest recipients of JobKeeper.

Qantas received $267million in payments along with another $190million in taxpayer money to repatriate Australians stuck in coronavirus hotspots.

The airline has sacked 6000 workers and stood down a further 20,000.

In response, CEO Alan Joyce and other senior executives took no pay in April, May and June and no annual bonuses will be paid.

At the moment ‘executives are currently on reduced pay (65 per cent of $2.015million for the CEO and 85 per cent for other executives) until November 2020.’

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