What Australia’s $189bn coronavirus economic rescue package means for you
Government unveils an extra $550 a fortnight for the unemployed, wage subsidies for small businesses, early superannuation access, and support to retain workers
The government has announced a second major economic rescue package worth $66bn, on top of an initial $17.6bn package and more than $100bn in emergency banking measures to prevent against a credit freeze.
Framed as a “safety” package, the second wave of stimulus ramps up support for small business and also includes a major boost to welfare recipients and for people who lose work as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The new suite of measures was described by prime minister Scott Morrison on Sunday as “unprecedented” and targeted at those on the front line who will be first to feel the hit of the downturn.
In total, the government has now committed economic support worth $189bn – almost 10% of GDP – and has also flagged more packages as the crisis unfolds.
So what does it mean for you?
I am on income support – or might soon be – what will I get?
The government announced in its second package that it is establishing a new,time-limited coronavirus supplement to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight for the next six months at a cost of $14.1bn.
This will effectively double the current rate of New start, which is being renamed the job seeker payment.
The coronavirus supplement will be paid for the next six months. Eligible income support recipients will receive the full amount of the $550 coronavirus supplement on top of their payment each fortnight.
Who is eligible?
The extra payment will be paid to both existing and new recipients of the job seeker payment, youth allowance job seeker, parenting payment, farm household allowance and special benefit.
Eligible income support recipients will receive the full amount of the $550 coronavirus supplement on top of their payment each fortnight.
The government will also waive the asset test and waiting periods to access the payment.
I’m a sole trader or self-employed, will I be able to access this payment?
Yes. The government has announced that in the case of sole traders and the self-employed, anyone impacted by the economic downturn triggered by the coronavirus will be able to access the job seeker payment and the coronavirus supplement.
Applicants will make a declaration to Center link that their business has been suspended or had turnover reduced significantly as a result of the downturn.
Sole traders that become eligible for the job seeker payment will automatically meet their mutual obligation requirements during this period by continuing to develop and sustain their business.
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