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What the Australian Government’s latest stimulus package means for individuals, households and the economy.

The coronavirus pandemic is having a dramatic impact on all Australians, particularly their income and employment. With so many non-essential businesses closing their doors and health officials urging people to practice self-isolation, many are seeing their work hours reduced and some face the very real possibility of losing their job.

The Australian Government has announced several measures  to support Australians through the Coronavirus crisis.

What help is available for employees, individuals and households?

On 30 March 2020, the government announced a $130 billion wage subsidy scheme. The JobKeeper Payment is designed to help businesses affected by the coronavirus to cover the costs of their employees’ wages, help more people to retain their jobs and continue to earn an income.

The scheme will see the Australian Government pay eligible employers a wage subsidy at a flat rate of $1,500 per full or part time employees and long term casuals, per fortnight for up to six months, backdated to 30 March 2020 subject to the employer applying for the subsidy and meeting the eligibility criteria. If you receive a JobKeeper payment and have accessed support through Services Australia you will need to advise Services Australia of the JobKeeper payment.

Which employers are eligible for the payment?

Employers (including not-for-profits) will be eligible for the subsidy if:

  • Their business has an annual turnover of less than $1 billion and they estimate their turnover has or will likely fall by 30 per cent or more; or 
  • Their business has an annual turnover of $1 billion or more (or is part of a consolidated group for income tax purposes with turnover of $1 billion or more) and they estimate their turnover has or will likely fall by 50 per cent or more; and 
  • Their business is not subject to the Major Bank Levy.

Self-employed individuals (businesses without employees) will be eligible to receive the JobKeeper Payment where they meet the relevant turnover test, refer to for more details.

Businesses will have to register their intent to apply with the ATO in order to receive the JobKeeper payment. Employers will also need to continue to report to the ATO the number of eligible employees employed by their business each month.

For the latest and most up to date information, read more about the JobKeeper payment here.

Which employees are eligible for the payment?

Businesses will receive the payment for each eligible employee, as at 1 March 2020, who continue to be engaged by their business. This includes:

  • Full-time and part-time employees, casuals with regular service in the 12 months prior to 1 March 2020, and stood down employees. 
  • Employees who have been stood down since 1 March can also be re-engaged and receive the wage subsidy. 

If your company closes down and you're made redundant or discharged, you may have to apply for the JobSeeker payment. Read more about the JobSeeker payment here.

For the latest and most up to date information for employees, read more here.

Also as part of the stimulus package, the government is temporarily expanding eligibility for income support payments and establishing a new, time-limited Coronavirus supplement. 

The coronavirus supplement is a payment of $550 per fortnight. This supplement will be

paid to both existing and new recipients of the eligible payment categories. These changes will apply for the next six months. The Coronavirus supplement will commence from 27 April 2020.

For the latest and most up to date information, read more about the income support for individuals and the eligibility payment criteria here.

The government has also announced that it will be making two separate $750 payments to social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession card holders to help ease some of the financial strain caused by the coronavirus outbreak. 

This first payment will help to support confidence and domestic demand in the economy. 

However, the second payment will not be made to those eligible for the $550 Coronavirus supplement. The first payment will be paid automatically from 31 March 2020 and the second payment from 13 July 2020. 

For the latest most up to date information, and to read more about the payments to support households and the eligibility criteria click here.

If you need support the Federal Government’s stimulus package is worth looking into. It’s there to help vulnerable Australians get through this difficult time.

We’re here to help

Before dipping into your emergency funds or making any rushed decisions, it’s worth considering all of the options that are available to help you stay afloat. 

Your financial wellbeing is important to us. In times of difficulty, when making the right decisions matter, it’s sensible to seek out expert advice. 

Your local Mortgage Choice expert can help guide you through some of the options that may be available to you and your unique situation. Give us a call sooner rather than later, so we can start putting the plans in place to help you during this challenging time.


Note: Information is accurate as at 6 April 2020

Posted in: News

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