NEW England MP Barnaby Joyce says he fears a mounting debt crisis, after the federal government announced a pandemic leave disaster payment.
The $1500 payment will be made available to workers that have exhausted all of their sick leave, but only in states which declare a disaster, such as Victoria.
The payment can also be accessed by impacted workers on multiple occasions.
Trade unions and the opposition have been calling for the scheme to be implemented for four months, but the government had resisted those calls, until now.
On Monday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the scheme would be available "for as long as the country needs it".
Mr Joyce told the Express, while he thought the scheme was "generous", he held concerns about how the funds would be paid back.
"My question is, who pays for it?" he said.
"As I have said in the past, you can do anything you want as long as you are prepared to repay it
"All of these things have to be repaid."
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Monday's announcement comes after the Fair Work Commission ordered two weeks of paid pandemic leave be made available to all permanent and casual aged care workers who are required to self-isolate.
Initially, it was down to the employer to cover those costs but now the government will foot the bill as part of the pandemic leave scheme.
"I'm not saying there's not virtue in it, because there is," Mr Joyce said.
"What I am saying is, ultimately there will come a time when people will complain about having to pay higher taxes, complain about there being cuts in other areas and that is how the pendulum swings back.
"It's going to be a mighty task to repay this debt."