To keep or not to keep - that is the question staring back at the federal government as it looks ahead to next month's scheduled cessation of Jobkeeper.
The pleasing thing for the government, and most states and territories is that in most jurisdictions the number of employees receiving JobKeeper has fallen by more than 60 per cent since September 30.
In NSW, JobKeeper recipients fell by more than 710,000 or exactly 60 per cent in the three months to December. But for Victoria, the figure is just 44 per cent, or 474,000, despite there being 100,000 more Victorians receiving JobKeeper in September.
This is cause enough for concern that a one-size fits all approach to winding back the supplement unfairly discriminates against vulnerable Victorians.
And given our state is currently in the grips of its third paralysing lockdown, many businesses will have undoubtedly just had another jolt to their financial wellbeing as the sudden Valentines weekend lockdown saw hundreds of millions of dollars of accommodation and hospitality bookings evaporate.
The federal government's rhetoric that enough is enough and it's time to move on from JobKeeper simply fails Victorians who through no fault of their own are again being pushed to the brink via a regime of the harshest restrictions yet.
Both the state and federal government should have enough foresight to see what's coming for under the pump business operators six weeks out from the scheduled expiry date for JobKeeper.
Victorians know and understand that the support cannot be forever, but if we don't manage to complete a process originally put in place to help the economy manage the pandemic transition to the other side, then we have simply failed ourselves.
The inescapable reality is the aid is still needed here in Victoria, and the Victorian government needs to strike a revised deal that offers ongoing support for battling businesses, many of whom have been through horrendous circumstances and events those in other states and territories simply (and thankfully) have not.