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Economic response to COVID-19 Pandemic

Started by ozbob, March 10, 2020, 01:17:28 AM

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The Australian --> Scott Morrison's fast-track cash to beat coronavirus

QuotePensioners, Newstart recipients and small business owners are ­expected to be considered for one-off cash payments to help funnel money back into the economy and protect jobs under the Morrison government's multi-billion-dollar response to the coronavirus.

Scott Morrison will on Tuesday also call on big business to take on some heavy lifting in an act of "patriotism" by fast-tracking the payment of bills to small business suppliers who are facing a cash-flow crunch.

Josh Frydenberg confirmed that the stimulus package, expected to be signed off by the cabinet expenditure review committee on Tuesday, would be substantial, with expectations it could be close to $10bn.

The Prime Minister has guaranteed that the package will be targeted and neither a "waste of taxpayers' money" nor an indiscriminate cash splash like the global financial crisis response. It will use the existing payment system to speed up the rollout.

"Whatever you thought 2020 was going to be about, think again," the Prime Minister will say in a speech to a business summit on ­Tuesday, a day after the biggest drop in the sharemarket since the GFC.

"We now have one goal in 2020: to protect the health, wellbeing and livelihoods of Australians through this global crisis, and to ensure that when the recovery comes, and it will, we are well positioned to bounce back strongly on the other side.

"When the economy bounces back, our budget will also bounce back. The stronger the recovery, the stronger the economy, the stronger the budget. Last year the budget was restored to balance. And now here we are. This is what I was talking about."

The Treasurer said the economic impact of the coronavirus was "very significant", but that "facts, not fear, must determine policy". He flagged an announcement on the support package "sooner rather than later".

Economists backed Mr Morrison's decision for the government to use the payment system to deliver quick stimulus into the economy. They said the fastest way to refuel the economy was through pensioners and the unemployed who were more likely to spend any cash payments immediately.

Deloitte Access Economics partner Chris Richardson said the government should "err on the side of bigger" with its stimulus package, but warned that bipartisan support and speed were essential in restoring confidence. He said the best way to provide assistance to households would be through one-off payments to the 2.5 million Australians on the pension and part-pension, as well as the unemployed.

"If you are looking for the politically simplest way into the cash splash, there's an obvious opening ... An extra $400 for every ­pension and part-pensioner in Australia costs $1bn," he said.

Mr Richardson warned that the budget was in a good position to accommodate a large stimulus.

"A healthy budget is a means to an end and right now we want to take that baby for a spin," he said.

Mr Morrison will use his speech to argue the government is in a strong position to provide stimulus, having balanced the budget for the first time in more than a decade. But he will say the government will not repeat the mistakes of the Rudd government's ­response to the GFC by inventing new programs. "We must use ­existing delivery mechanisms wherever possible," he will say. "We saw the mistakes of trying to rush a range of new programs in the response to the global financial crisis. The measures must be temporary and ­accompanied by a fiscal exit strategy. They cannot be baked into the bottom line for years to come, keeping the budget under water ... We must not waste taxpayers' ­resources."

NAB chief economist Alan Oster said a package worth less than $10bn would not be enough. "What I'd like the ­government to do is give cash help to businesses and households," he said.

He pointed to measures such as delaying quarterly business ­activity tax statements or GST payments, and introducing investment allowances. "I'd like them to do a second round of tax cuts and increase the dole," he added.

Mr Morrison will single out big business as having a crucial role to play in keeping people in jobs and buttressing the economy.

"We need you to support your workers, by keeping them employed," he will say. "Hold onto your people, you will need them on the other side. Wherever possible, support them — whether full-time, part-time or casual — including with paid leave if they need to take time off due to the virus. We need you to support your small business suppliers by paying them promptly. Pay your suppliers not just in time, but ahead of time, especially now.

"How you support your customers, suppliers and employees during the next six months will say more about your company, your corporate values and the integrity of your brand than anything else you could possibly do."

Opposition Treasury spokesman Jim Chalmers said the big concern in the business community was that the government's support package would prove too cautious. "We don't want to look back on this period and see that the government has done too little, too late," Mr Chalmers said.

He said there was concern that the Prime Minister and Treasurer would be "hemmed in" by past rhetoric on the Rudd stimulus package during the GFC, elements of which, such as $900 handouts to households, the government has dismissed as wasteful.
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Melbourne Age --> Stimulus package to pump $8b into businesses to protect jobs

QuoteAustralian businesses will be pump-primed with an $8 billion cash-splash from the Morrison government in a bid to protect the employers of nearly eight million workers ahead of a looming domestic economic crisis.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will on Thursday unveil a stimulus package expected to reach $15 billion, aimed at keeping more than 700,000 small to medium business nationwide "humming" and more than 120,000 apprentices and trainees in work.

The multi-billion boost - the first since the Rudd government's 2009 response to the global financial crisis - will also provide one-off cash bonuses to Australia's 2.5 million pensioners and 680,000 Newstart recipients to stimulate consumption and tax breaks for small businesses to invest in new items such as tools, cars and kitchen equipment.

The size of the package means the government's promised budget surplus of $5 billion is gone, with substantial risks to next year's surplus forecast of $6.1 billion likely to hinge on how quickly the global and domestic economy recovers from the coronavirus outbreak.

Business leaders have been urged to be responsible citizens by supporting their workforces amid the threat of a recession, with state and territory leaders to meet on Friday to discuss a national response to the crisis.

Mr Morrison said Australia was not immune to the global challenge but had already taken steps to prepare for this looming international economic crisis.

"We've balanced the budget and managed our economy so we can now use this to protect the health, well-being and livelihoods of Australians," Mr Morrison said.

"Our targeted stimulus package will focus on keeping Australians in jobs and keeping businesses in business so we can bounce back strongly."

He said a $6.7 billion investment in 690,000 small and medium businesses would "supercharge" the employers of about 7.8 million Australians, with a cash flow boost to invest and protect jobs.

Eligible businesses will be able to claim up to $25,000 against income tax costs of their staff.

Mr Morrison said getting young Australians into work and keeping them there was "vital" and a $1.3 billion investment would protect the jobs of around 120,000 apprentice tradies and trainees.

As the coronavirus hampers the economy, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has revealed how small businesses employing apprentices will be supported.

Taxpayers will fund up to $7,000 a quarter for each apprentice in wage assistance to small businesses to retain existing apprentices and trainees. The subsidy will cover half of apprentices' wages, and is also open to businesses re-employing apprentices and trainees who lose their positions from a small business because of any coronavirus downturn.

It will be open to businesses with fewer than 20 full-time employees and employers of any size and Group Training Organisations that re-engage an eligible out-of-trade apprentice or trainee.

The instant asset write-off threshold will also be increased from $30,000 to 150,000 and expanded to businesses from an annual turnover from up to $50 million to $500 million.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the plan aimed to keep businesses in business, support jobs and provide a stimulus to households.

"In our response, we have been very careful not to repeat the mistakes of previous stimulus programs and not undermine the structural integrity of the budget," he said.

"By acting decisively this package will put Australia in the strongest possible position to deal with the economic challenges we face and to make sure our economy bounces back even stronger."

Economists believe the economy has already contracted through the current March quarter. Most of the measures will hit the economy in the June quarter in a bid to avoid a technical recession.

Ratings agency S&P Global said it expected Australia to be in recession by the middle of the year, the weakest position for the economy in 20 years. It said Australia's triple A credit rating was safe at this moment, but this could change.

"If, however, the virus cannot be contained as we expect or if other unforeseen events emerge within the next few months, then the economic impact could escalate, with more severe credit implications, particularly in relation to Australia's fiscal position and rating," it said.

The ASX200, after putting on 3.1 per cent in value on Tuesday, yesterday gave up all of those gains and then some, finishing the day down by 3.6 per cent or $64 billion.

Banks were hit particularly hard on concerns profits across the entire financial system will be pressured by falling interest rates and slower economic growth. The Commonwealth Bank lost 5.6 per cent with its share price back to its lowest point since late 2018.
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And the sole traders/gig workers? tens if not hundreds of thousands of them out there...working for themselves on the frontline who will be directly affected by coronavirus.....either healthwise or turnover wise...

That business stimulus package will do nothing for the low earning gig worker/sole trader who do not even have the funds to buy new equipment which the government want them to purchase.......many of them will need a pure cash-money injection just to put food on the table/cover business expenses etc.
If your going to spend such a huge amount(17 billion)......then make sure NO-ONE misses out...


Quoteand a new Medicare item to deliver health advice remotely.


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Couriermail --> Distressed borrowers can have their mortgage repayments paused

QuoteThe nation's biggest banks will give mortgage-free holidays to customers, in an unprecedented move prompted by the coronavirus pandemic.

ANZ boss Shayne Elliott said anyone who asked for help would get it — the bank would not "grill" customers or even ask them for paperwork if they requested repayment relief.

ANZ was yesterday the only of the big four lenders to pass on discounts to variable rates to borrowers, following the Reserve Bank of Australia's decision to slash the cash rate for the second time this month to a record low of 0.25 per cent.

National Australia Bank, Westpac and Commonwealth will not be delivering any of this cut to variable mortgage customers.

ANZ's chief executive officer Shayne Elliott said people are "scared" amid the COVID-19 outbreak and the bank would give home loan repayment holidays to any customers who needed it.

"If you are worried and are feel a bit anxious call up the bank and ask to get that payment holiday," Mr Elliott said.

"We are not asking questions, if you are a good customer and have made all your payments in the past we are not going to grill you on household expenses."

The big banks have all rolled out support packages for businesses and homeowners in a bid to help the ailing economy that is headed for recession.

Among the measures for small businesses included repayment holidays, the pausing of interest charges and cuts to small business loan rates.

Some banks are also making available temporary increases to small business overdraft facilities for 12 months.

Borrowers who get pauses on their loans will then have repayments and interest charges restart in six months time, however this could change given the economic uncertainty that lies ahead.

For instance if you have a six-month repayment holiday and you are five years into a 25-year loan, once the loan repayments restart the borrower has an additional six months added to the end of the loan term to help smooth out payments and interest costs.

NAB's chief executive officer Ross McEwan said the relief to small business and home loan customers was critical during an unprecedented time.

"Businesses in particular need help and they need it now," he said.

"The changes also offer our home loan customers the option to fix their rate at our lowest rate ever or pause payments to help ease financial pressures."

While CBA, Westpac and NAB also confirmed any mortgage customers would be able to pause their repayments for up to six months if needed.

ANZ now has the cheapest loan offering on the mortgage market – their two-year fixed loan rate is just 2.19 per cent.

The Australian Banking Association's chief executive officer Anna Bligh said borrowers including small businesses would be delivered "a lifeline" after facing devastating impact as the coronavirus pandemic worsens.

"It will potentially put more than $8 billion back into the pockets of small businesses who are really struggling," she said.

"It will apply to all loans that are attached to that small business including their mortgage, vehicle loans, business loans etc."

Mr Elliott said ANZ had received a tripling of customers in financial need contacting the bank in recent days.

The big banks have also increased the rates on some savings accounts to help deposit holders get better returns on their cash in the bank.

NAB rolled out a 10-month term deposit with a 1.75 per cent rate attached, while CBA and Westpac have introduced the same rate on a 12-month term deposit.

Financial comparison website RateCity's spokeswoman Sally Tindall said "if you're having trouble meeting your mortgage repayments the first thing you should do is pick up the phone and talk to your bank".

"We don't know what lies ahead, so now is a great time to get your finances in the best shape possible," she said.

Ms Tindall said this included reviewing your loans, savings rates and budget.
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22 Mar 2020

Prime Minister, Treasurer

The Commonwealth Government has today released the second stage of its economic plan to cushion the economic impact of the coronavirus and help build a bridge to recovery.

A total of $189 billion is being injected into the economy by all arms of Government in order to keep Australians in work and businesses in business.

This includes $17.6 billion for the Government's first economic stimulus package, $90 billion from the RBA and $15 billion from the Government to deliver easier access to finance, and $66.1 billion in today's economic support package.

Our economic support package includes:

Support for households including casuals, sole-traders, retirees and those on income support
Assistance for businesses to keep people in a job
Regulatory protection and financial support for businesses to stay in business

The Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the Government was acting to cushion the blow from the coronavirus for businesses and households to help them get through to the other side of the crisis.

"We want to help businesses keep going as best they can and for as long as they can, or to pause instead of winding up their business. We want to ensure that when this crisis has passed Australian businesses can bounce back," the Prime Minister said.

"Our focus is on cushioning the blow and providing hope to every Australian that we will get through this and come out the other side together.

"We know this will be temporary.  That's why all our actions are geared towards building a bridge, keeping more people in work, enhancing the safety net for those that aren't and keeping businesses alive so they can get to the other side and stand up their workforce as quickly as possible.

"We know Australia's more than 3 million small and medium businesses are the engine room of our economy. When they hurt, we all hurt.

"The next few months are going to be a difficult journey but we all have a role to play to adapt to the changes we're facing, to cushion the impact of what is happening and to pull together so we can bounce back when we get to the other side."

The Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the $189 billion economic support package was the equivalent of 9.7 per cent of GDP.

"The Government is taking unprecedented action to strengthen the safety net available to Australians that are stood down or lose their jobs and increasing support for small businesses that do it tough over the next six months.

"These measures build significantly on what we have already announced.

"These extraordinary times demand extraordinary measures."

Support for workers and households

Coronavirus supplement

The Government is temporarily expanding eligibility to income support payments and establishing a new, time-limited Coronavirus supplement to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight.  This will be paid to both existing and new recipients of the JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance jobseeker, Parenting Payment, Farm Household Allowance and Special Benefit.

The Coronavirus supplement will be paid for the next 6 months. Eligible income support recipients will receive the full amount of the $550 Coronavirus supplement on top of their payment each fortnight.

This measure is estimated to cost $14.1 billion over the forward estimates period.

An increase of up to 5,000 staff for Services Australia will assist to support delivery of new Government measures.

Payments to support households

In addition to the $750 stimulus payment announced on 12 March 2020, the Government will provide a further $750 payment to social security and veteran income support recipients and eligible concession card holders, except for those who are receiving an income support payment that is eligible to receive the Coronavirus supplement.

This second payment will be made automatically from 13 July 2020 to around 5 million social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession card holders. Around half of those that benefit are pensioners.

The first payment will be made from 31 March 2020 to people who will have been on one of the eligible payments any time between 12 March 2020 and 13 April 2020.

This measure is estimated to cost $4 billion over the forward estimates period.

Early release of superannuation

The Government will allow individuals in financial stress as a result of the Coronavirus to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21.

Eligible individuals will be able to apply online through myGov for access of up to $10,000 of their superannuation before 1 July 2020. They will also be able to access up to a further $10,000 from 1 July 2020 for another three months. They will not need to pay tax on amounts released and the money they withdraw will not affect Centrelink or Veterans' Affairs payments.

This measure is estimated to cost $1.2 billion over the forward estimates period.

Temporarily reduce superannuation minimum drawdown rates

The Government is temporarily reducing superannuation minimum drawdown requirements for account based pensions and similar products by 50 per cent for 2019-20 and 2020-21. This measure will benefit retirees by providing them with more flexibility as to how they manage their superannuation assets.

Reducing social security deeming rates

On top of the deeming rate changes made at the time of the first package, the Government is reducing the deeming rates by a further 0.25 percentage points to reflect the latest rate reductions by the RBA.

As of 1 May 2020, the lower deeming rate will be 0.25 per cent and the upper deeming rate will be 2.25 per cent.

The change will benefit around 900,000 income support recipients, including Age Pensioners.

This measure is estimated to cost $876 million over the forward estimates period.

Assistance to business to keep people in a job
Boosting Cash Flow for Employers

The Government is providing up to $100,000 to eligible small and medium sized businesses, and not‑for-profits (including charities) that employ people, with a minimum payment of $20,000.  These payments will help businesses' and not-for-profits' cash flow so they can keep operating, pay their rent, electricity and other bills and retain staff.

Under the enhanced scheme from the first package, employers will receive a payment equal to 100 per cent of their salary and wages withheld (up from 50 per cent), with the maximum payment being increased from $25,000 to $50,000. In addition, the minimum payment is being increased from $2,000 to $10,000. The payment will be available from 28 April 2020.

By linking the payments to business to staff wage tax withholdings, businesses will be incentivised to hold on to more of their workers.

The payments are tax free, there will be no new forms and payments will flow automatically through the ATO.

This measure will benefit around 690,000 businesses employing around 7.8 million people, and around 30,000 NFPs (including charities).

Small and medium business entities with aggregated annual turnover under $50 million and that employ workers are eligible. NFPs entities, including charities, with aggregated annual turnover under $50 million and that employ workers will now also be eligible. This will support employment at a time where NFPs are facing increasing demand for services.

An additional payment is also being made from 28 July 2020. Eligible entities will receive an additional payment equal to the total of all of the Boosting Cash Flow for Employers payments received.

This measure is estimated to cost $31.9 billion over the forward estimates period, including the value of the measure announced in the first package.

Regulatory protection and financial support for businesses to stay in business

Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme

The Government will establish the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme which will support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to get access to working capital to help them get them through the impact of the coronavirus.

Under the Scheme, the Government will guarantee 50 per cent of new loans issued by eligible lenders to SMEs.

The Government's support will enhance lenders' willingness and ability to provide credit to SMEs with the Scheme able to support $40 billion of lending to SMEs.

The Scheme will complement the announcement the Government has made to cut red-tape to allow SMEs to get access to credit faster. It also complements announcements made by Australian banks to support small businesses with their existing loans.

This builds on the investment the Government is making to enable smaller lenders to continue supporting Australian consumers and small businesses, through providing the AOFM an investment capacity of $15 billion to invest in wholesale funding markets used by small authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADI) and non-ADI lenders.

It further supports the Reserve Bank of Australia's announcement of a $90 billion term funding facility for ns ADIs, that will reduce the cost of lending, with particular incentives to lend to small and medium enterprises.

The measures the Government is announcing today, along with the previous announcements, will deliver a total of $125 billion to support Australians get through the impact of the coronavirus.

The Government will guarantee up to $20 billion to support $40 billion in SME loans.

Providing temporary relief for financially distressed businesses

The Government is temporarily increasing the threshold at which creditors can issue a statutory demand on a company and the time companies have to respond to statutory demands they receive. The package also includes temporary relief for directors from any personal liability for trading while insolvent.  The Corporations Act 2001 will be amended to provide temporary and targeted relief for companies to deal with unforeseen events that arise as a result of the Coronavirus.

This builds on the support for business and business investment provided in our first economic support package, which included:
increasing the instant asset write off
backing business investment by providing accelerated depreciation deductions
supporting apprentices and trainees
targeted support for Coronavirus-affected regions and communities

Support for the aviation industry

As previously announced, the Government is also providing up to $715 million in support for Australian airlines and airports, which will ensure that our aviation sector receives timely cash flow support through an unprecedented period of disruption to international and domestic air travel.

While these are challenging times, Australians can rest assured that the Commonwealth Government will do all that is necessary to support them and build a bridge to ensure that all Australians can get to the other side of this crisis.
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Couriermail --> Revealed: $3b for businesses, households

QuoteTHE State Government is set to announce a $3 billion worker and business rescue package amid fears the national unemployment rate could soar to 30 per cent.

The Courier-Mail can reveal 24,000 businesses will get an average payroll tax refund of $9000 within the week, and households are in line for $200 rebates on their electricity bills as the Government attempts to cushion the impact of the coronavirus crisis on the economy.

It follows the forced closures of businesses across the state, including pubs and clubs, gyms, cinemas, entertainment precincts and indoor sporting venues to stop the virus's spread. It impacted 51,000 Queensland jobs yesterday.

Treasurer Jackie Trad said the package would pump $2.5 billion into protecting Queensland jobs and businesses to ensure they could survive months of uncertainty and come out the other side.

"That is focused solely on keeping businesses viable during the shutdown and also supporting workers who are displaced," she said.

The mammoth package followed predictions out of the US that their unemployment rate may hit 30 per cent, which is being discussed at the highest levels in Australia.

It's understood there are fears Australia's rate could skyrocket to a similar level – a rate experienced here during the Great Depression.

Queensland's support package, to be unveiled today, will include an immediate refund to small and medium-sized businesses of their February and March payroll tax, giving them cashflow now.

Large businesses particularly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis will also get refunds, with all businesses set to get a six month deferral of payroll tax as well.

"The Premier and I have been contacted by business owners every day and we've taken on board what they've said," Ms Trad said.

"For small and medium businesses, we will refund two months' worth payroll tax, putting an average of almost $9000 into the hands of each one of these businesses.

"We're giving them a three-month payroll tax holiday, saving those businesses an average of $13,360."

Combined with the payroll tax deferrals already announced, it means no Queensland business will need to make a payroll tax payment this year.

A $500 million fund will be set up to help displaced workers find jobs in fields where there will be demand, like cleaning, fruit picking and other public purpose jobs.

Industry assistance packages will also be drawn up and offered to large employers like Sea World and Dreamworld, which have been forced to close.

An additional $300 million will be spent on electricity rebates to households, with power and water use set to soar as people are forced to stay indoors and work from home.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the package was an unprecedented response to an unprecedented crisis.
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red dragin

Expecting something similar for rentals tomorrow.




Premier and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
The Honourable Jackie Trad
Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services
The Honourable Steven Miles

Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development
The Honourable Shannon Fentiman

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Palaszczuk Government unveils $4 billion package to support health, jobs, households and Queensland businesses
The Palaszczuk Government will invest an additional $4 billion in measures to support Queenslanders' health, their jobs and businesses.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the measures are an unprecedented response to an unprecedented crisis.

"To date, this is the biggest single relief package assembled by any state or territory," the Premier said.

"Our $300 million household relief package will give Queensland households $200 off their utility bills, building on the $50 asset dividend we have already announced.

"Our society will go through the most difficult period most of us have ever experienced, but I am determined my Government will support Queenslanders through it."

Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad said the package pumps an additional $2.5 billion into protecting Queensland jobs and businesses.

"I've been engaging with Queensland industry and business and we've taken on board what they've said," Ms Trad said.

"For small and medium businesses and large businesses specifically impacted by COVID-19, we will refund two months' worth of payroll tax.

"Additionally, we're giving small and medium businesses a three-month payroll tax holiday, and a further six-month payroll tax deferral for any of these Queensland businesses.

"Combined with the payroll tax deferrals we've already announced, it means no Queensland business impacted by COVID-19 will need to make a payroll tax payment this year.

"That $2.5 billion includes a package of up to $500 million to assist workers who lose their job or income and to help them find jobs in the industries that are vital to getting us through this crisis – health care, agriculture, food production, transport, cleaning and mining.

"We're waiving liquor licencing fees for venues that have had to close their doors, providing rent relief for businesses who rent premises from the state government and giving sole traders, small and medium businesses a $500 rebate on their power bill for this year.

Minister for Health Steven Miles said protecting the health of Queenslanders is the Palaszczuk Government's number one priority.as we navigate through this pandemic.

"We are working to reduce the spread of the virus, but also to ensure we have enough capacity in the health system to support those who need intensive treatment," Mr Miles said.

"To that end, we will invest an extra $1.2 billion to expand:

fever clinics
emergency department capacity
acute care services
regional aeromedical services for our remote communities."

Minister for Employment and Small Business Shannon Fentiman said today's stimulus package is in addition to recently announced initiatives, including the dedicated small business hotline (1300 654 687) which has seen around 2000 business contacts so far.

"We know our businesses are doing it incredibly tough right now. This package is designed to support themes keep their doors open through this crisis and keep their staff employed," Ms Fentiman said.

"On top of our earlier measures including $500 million in concessional loans and our initial coronavirus assistance package last month, this takes our support package for Queensland workers and businesses to more than $3 billion.

"We will keep talking to businesses and unions and continue to work with the Federal Government to see what further measures can be taken to protect the jobs of Queenslanders."

Today we will launch an online portal for businesses to apply for payroll tax relief which can be accessed via www.business.qld.gov.au
Further information and applications for other measures will be made available there in coming days.
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UK-style wage subsidy on the way in Morrison's plan to pay workers who lose jobs


QuoteAustralians who lose their jobs will be given a wage subsidy to guarantee a share of their income as the coronavirus crisis wipes out hundreds of thousands of jobs, in a government plan to be announced within days.

The Morrison government is planning to pay workers as much as 80 per cent of their wages and is examining ways to get employers to transfer the money to their staff, as an alternative to using the welfare system.

While Prime Minister Scott Morrison has criticised the way the United Kingdom has offered an 80 per cent wage subsidy in recent weeks, he has not ruled out an alternative subsidy in Australia. ...
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Couriermail --> PM unveils $130bn jobs package, $1500 JobKeeper payment for workers

QuoteWorkers will be kept in their jobs with fortnightly $1500 government-funded payments in an extraordinary $130 billion bid to keep Australia's economy afloat.

Workers will be kept in their jobs with fortnightly $1500 government-funded payments in an extraordinary $130 billion bid to keep Australia's economy afloat.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the new "JobKeeper" payment would support as many as six million Australians over the next six months.

The scheme will provide a flat payment to workers — rather than proportional wage subsidies for people on different incomes.

Employers will receive the money from the government to keep paying their staff during the coronavirus crisis, in an effort to ensure workers still have a job once the pandemic has subsided.

The cash will flow from May 1, but be backdated to March 30.

Businesses must have had a drop in turnover of at least 30 per cent due to coronavirus to qualify for the payments to give their workers.

Mr Morrison said the "unprecedented action" was needed in "unprecedented times".

"We must work together to make this work and to make it go as far as possible," he said.

The Prime Minister said it was likely that whole countries would collapse in the coming months.

The announcements follows an initial $17.6 billion economic stimulus boost, and a $66 billion support package which dramatically expanded the welfare safety net and doubled unemployment benefits.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the minimum $1500 payment would give working Australians the best chance of keeping their job.

It is the equivalent of about 70 per cent of the median wage — and about 100 per cent of the median wage in sectors including retail, hospitality and tourism which are most impacted by the crisis.

Payments will flow from the first week of May and will be backdated to today.

Full-time and part-time workers are eligible for the scheme, along with casual workers who have been with the same employer for more than 12 months.

Businesses will be able to apply if their turnover has fallen by at least 30 per cent.
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30 Mar 2020

Prime Minister, Treasurer

$130 billion JobKeeper payment to keep Australians in a job

The Morrison Government will provide a historic wage subsidy to around 6 million workers who will receive a flat payment of $1,500 per fortnight through their employer, before tax.

The $130 billion JobKeeper payment will help keep Australians in jobs as tackle the significant economic impact from the coronavirus.

The payment will be open to eligible businesses that receive a significant financial hit caused by the coronavirus.

The payment will provide the equivalent of around 70 per cent of the national median wage.

For workers in the accommodation, hospitality and retail sectors it will equate to a full median replacement wage.

The payment will ensure eligible employers and employees stay connected while some businesses move into hibernation.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the JobKeeper payment would bring the Government's total economic support for the economy to $320 billion or 16.4 per cent of GDP.

"We will give millions of eligible businesses and their workers a lifeline to not only get through this crisis, but bounce back together on the other side," the Prime Minister said.

"This is about keeping the connection between the employer and the employee and keeping people in their jobs even though the business they work for may go into hibernation and close down for six months.

"When the economy comes back, these businesses will be able to start again and their workforce will be ready to go because they will remain attached to the business through our JobKeeper payment."

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the country was about to go through one of the toughest times in its history.

"Businesses will close and people will lose their jobs. That is why we have doubled the welfare safety net," the Treasurer said.

"However, today we are going even further. Australians know that their government has their back.

"That is why we are delivering an historic $130 billion JobKeeper payment to support businesses and to help Australians in a job.

"This will keep Australian workers connected with their employer and provide hope and more certainty during these difficult and challenging times."

JobKeeper Payment

The JobKeeper Payment is a subsidy to businesses, which will keep more Australians in jobs through the course of the coronavirus outbreak.

The payment will be paid to employers, for up to six months, for each eligible employee that was on their books on 1 March 2020 and is retained or continues to be engaged by that employer.

Where a business has stood down employees since 1 March, the payment will help them maintain connection with their employees.

Employers will receive a payment of $1,500 per fortnight per eligible employee. Every eligible employee must receive at least $1,500 per fortnight from this business, before tax.

The program will commence today, 30 March 2020, with the first payments to be received by eligible businesses in the first week of May as monthly arrears from the Australian Taxation Office. Eligible businesses can begin distributing the JobKeeper payment immediately and will be reimbursed from the first week of May.

The Government will provide updates on further business cashflow support in coming days.

Eligible employers will be those with annual turnover of less than $1 billion who self-assess that have a reduction in revenue of 30 per cent or more, since 1 March 2020 over a minimum one-month period.

Employers with an annual turnover of $1 billion or more would be required to demonstrate a reduction in revenue of 50 per cent or more to be eligible. Businesses subject to the Major Bank Levy will not be eligible.

Eligible employers include businesses structured through companies, partnerships, trusts and sole traders. Not for profit entities, including charities, will also be eligible.

Full time and part time employees, including stood down employees, would be eligible to receive the JobKeeper Payment.  Where a casual employee has been with their employer for at least the previous 12 months they will also be eligible for the Payment.  An employee will only be eligible to receive this payment from one employer.

Eligible employees include Australian residents, New Zealand citizens in Australia who hold a subclass 444 special category visa, and migrants who are eligible for JobSeeker Payment or Youth Allowance (Other).

Self-employed individuals are also eligible to receive the JobKeeper Payment.

Eligible businesses can apply for the payment online and are able to register their interest via ato.gov.au

Income support partner pay income test

Over the next six months the Government is temporarily expanding access to income support payments and establishing a Coronavirus Supplement of $550 per fortnight.

JobSeeker Payment is subject to a partner income test, and today the Government is temporarily relaxing the partner income test to ensure that an eligible person can receive the JobSeeker Payment, and associated Coronavirus Supplement, providing their partner earns less than $3,068 per fortnight, around $79,762 per annum.

The personal income test for individuals on JobSeeker Payment will still apply.

Every arm of government and industry is working to keep Australians in jobs and businesses in business, and to build a bridge to recovery on the other side.

The Government will continue to do what it takes to ensure that Australia bounces back stronger.
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Couriermail --> Coronavirus QLD: Treasurer Jackie Trad reveals emergency rental assistance payment of up to $500 a week

QuoteSTATE Treasurer Jackie Trad says she understands people are "incredibly fearful" that they may not be able to pay their rent and pledged that the government will backdate the eviction moratorium in Queensland to March 29.

In a live Q&A streamed on Facebook, Ms Trad said the state government had set up a grant program that offers an emergency rental assistance payment of up to $500 a week, for up to four weeks, for Queenslanders who can not make rent.

"That is pretty obvious out there in the community that people are incredibly fearful about having an income and being able to make rent, being able to put food on the table, being able to make other sorts of cost-of-living obligations like utility bills," Ms Trad said.

"We have in fact set up a grants system for those people in the private rental market, so where you've lost your job, you're not going to get any income support from Centrelink until at least the 27th of April.

"The Queensland government has an assistance program where we will provide you $500 a week to help you with your rent payment and it's a really simple process."

The payments can be accessed by calling the Residential Tenancies Authority on 1800 497 161.

Ms Trad also acknowledged the state government would be writing the eviction moratorium into law "for tenants who can't make rent because they've lost their job due to coronavirus or the impacts, either directly or indirectly, of coronavirus".

"There will be an absolute moratorium, prohibition, written into law around evicting renters because they can't pay their rent and that will be backdated to the day the Prime Minister announced that out of the national cabinet," she said.

However, she said the eviction moratorium is for people who have been "genuinely impacted" by a coronavirus.

"For tenants that do the things that would ordinarily see them evicted - if they significantly damage the property or the owners themselves move in because of financial distress - then that will still occur, this isn't a blanket prohibition," Ms Trad said.

"But where you have lost your job, your hours have been cut, and where you genuinely can not make your rent, you will not be evicted and we will guarantee that by law and we will also help you make up the shortfall in terms of your rent payments until you start getting some income support, or hopefully get another job."

Ms Trad said the government is considering renting out hotels to house the homeless.

"We are looking at every option, including hotels for those who find themselves homeless," she said.

"We are looking at absolutely everything, including head leases in hotels or motels to make sure that we can properly look after those who are most vulnerable in our community."
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Media Statements

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice
The Honourable Yvette D'Ath

Monday, April 06, 2020

$50 million in tax relief for Queensland pubs and clubs

The Palaszczuk Government has announced extra tax relief worth $50 million for Queensland pubs and clubs grappling with the effects of coronavirus.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D'Ath said from April, the State's 1,100 pubs and clubs would get a three-month deferral on gaming machine taxes.

"Queensland pubs and clubs need our help to get through the coronavirus crisis," Mrs D'Ath said.

"They're the heart and soul of communities throughout the State and we're determined to help them through these challenging times.

"From April through to June, we're delivering a three-month gaming tax deferral for pubs and clubs.

"These tax deferrals are worth around $50 million in yet another important financial lifeline we're delivering to the sector.

"In addition to this, around 50 licensees who have already paid their gaming machine taxes for March will have a total of $1.4 million returned to them.

"These measures come on top of the $22.7 million the government has already waived in liquor licensing renewal fees for 2020/21."

Mrs D'Ath said the latest taxation relief for pubs and clubs were part of the broader package to help support business and economic activity, including:

payroll tax deferrals and refunds;
low interest loans; and
energy rebates.

"Going to your local pub or club isn't an option right now, but when this crisis is over we want these community hubs to be there for Queenslanders," she said.

"We're providing the practical support pubs and clubs need to get through this crisis."

The Commissioner for Liquor and Gaming will also examine options to allow for flexibility in how the gaming machine tax is to the repaid, including instalment plans.
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Media Statements

Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
The Honourable Jackie Trad

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Palaszczuk Government delivers support for health, jobs and business

Emergency measures to support Queenslanders, the business community and the industries which will deliver the State back to economic prosperity have been passed by Parliament.

Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad said the Appropriation (COVID-19) Bill 2020 provides additional funding of more than $4 billion over two years to protect Queensland during the coronavirus pandemic.

"The COVID-19 crisis is causing unprecedented economic and fiscal challenges all over the world," Ms Trad said.

"It is affecting governments, industry, business, households and individuals.

"To protect jobs and safeguard our economy, the Palaszczuk Government has announced a $4 billion economic relief package, the biggest stimulus package assembled by any State or territory.

"In addition to this, the Government is providing assistance to support businesses, industry, and the arts sector.

"The Government is also delivering housing services to vulnerable Queenslanders to prevent homelessness."

Our focus is to:

Protect traditionally strong industries that are continuing to operate

Preserve industries that have been shut down so they can bounce back

Invest in public services to support the immediate needs of the community

Plan now for our economic recovery

Ms Trad said the Bill provides additional appropriation for expenditure on COVID-19 related relief measures that have been announced previously by the Government.

These economic relief measures include:

$1.2 billion to expand fever clinics, emergency department capacity, acute care services and regional aeromedical services for remote communities

$300 million in cost-of-living relief for households, including a $200 credit for all 2.1 million households to offset the cost of water and electricity

$2.5 billion for business including payroll tax relief, relief for businesses renting government premises, a worker displacement program to help unemployed people get jobs in sectors facing shortages, electricity bill rebates for all Queensland small and medium sized businesses that consume less than 100,000 kilowatt hours, liquor licensing fee waiver, and assistance to support large businesses to scale up when economic activity improves.

In addition, the Government is also providing:

A $500 million Jobs Support Loan facility, interest free for the first 12 months, to support businesses to keep Queenslanders in work, with loans of up to $250,000

$400 million in land tax relief for property owners, that must be passed on to tenants

An initial $27.25 million package to assist local government, business and industry with resilience and recovery strategies, targeted financial support and counselling

A $24.7 million housing and homelessness plan to deliver accommodation for vulnerable Queenslanders needing to self-isolate, funding for homelessness providers, and enhancements to the Home Assist Secure program.

"This Bill provides the Government with the supply certainty needed to ensure that funding is available to support Queenslanders through the COVID-19 crisis," Ms Trad said.

"It ensures that we can support our most vulnerable through this difficult time and help us prepare for the future and assist with recovery following COVID-19."
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Couriermail --> Scott Morrison wants one million Australians back at work

QuoteSCOTT Morrison has declared he wants one million people back to work as businesses are told to reconfigure and restructure their workplaces so they can re-open.

The shutdowns suffocating the economy were yesterday laid bare as the Prime Minister warned premiers they would have to justify keeping people out of work if they refused to ease restrictions.

About 2.2 per cent of economic activity – or more than 290,000 jobs – have been snuffed out of Queensland alone since clamp downs began in March.

Across the nation one million Australians will have accessed Jobseeker (the new dole scheme) and about five million claimed for JobKeeper.

"I can assure you that the National Cabinet and certainly the Commonwealth Government is under no illusion about the ongoing costs of these (restrictive) measures, and it certainly puts enormous pressure, as it should, on the timetable as we seek to move Australia back to that safe economy because of those significant costs,'' Mr Morrison (pictured) said. National Cabinet will on Friday lay out a three step framework to gradually remove baseline restrictions.

The PM will lay down a road map for an "early mark" to easing restrictions, however, he warned each premier had the power to do what they wanted.

"At the end of the day every premier, every chief minister, has to stand in front of their state and justify the decisions that they're taking in terms of the extent of the restrictions that are in place,'' Mr Morrison said.

"(There is a) trade-off that they are making between people having jobs and the impact on the containment of the coronavirus.

"Just having a low number of cases is not success particularly when you have a lot of people out of work."

No timetable for reopening cafes, restaurants and tourism outlets – businesses that have been razed the most by strict measures – was provided by National Cabinet yesterday, however, bosses were told to get COVID-safe.

Easing restrictions between Australia and New Zealand to allow the flow of trade and tourists between the two nations was discussed in a special meeting of National Cabinet yesterday, which included New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

Ms Ardern said while safety remained "top of mind," she was confident COVID-19 would not spread between the countries.

National COVID-19 co-ordination Commissioner Nev Power said before many businesses could re-open they would need to adhere to "four key issues".

"The first is reconfiguring and restructuring worksites to make jobs safe in those worksites (and) that is very much a business by business proposition under the guidelines of social distancing and personal hygiene.

"Secondly, how to respond in the event that there is an incident in a workplace, how people are communicating and how the tracking and tracing is done, and how those people are supported. Then, how do we return worksites to a safe place to work as quickly as we possibly can.

"Very importantly the communication process of sitting down with employees, making sure everyone understands what is required and what will happen.

"There are businesses, especially in hospitality, and restaurants and pubs, and tourism, that are still impacted by the restrictions ... we are focusing on (those) at the moment.

"So, my message to business is very, very simple. Continue to work with your employees to find ways of configuring your business so you are able to introduce the restrictions on social distancing and hygiene into your normal business activities."

He said the National COVID-19 co-ordination Commission was working with businesses to ensure they could secure the capital needed. However he said he did not want business having to repeatedly open and shut because of outbreaks.

Meantime, Qantas will start a weekly flight from Queensland on Thursday to Hong Kong to get seafood, mostly lobster to Asia.

Federal Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said the freight flights would be a major step in getting Queensland's agricultural and seafood exports back on track.

"We recognise the current COVID-19 crisis has placed immense pressure on local agricultural and seafood exporters, many of whom felt the earliest impacts when overseas demand began to dry up in January," Senator Birmingham said.

"With demand returning, it's absolutely critical local farmers and fishers are able to get their quality product off the farm and out of the water, and onto planes headed for key export markets such as Hong Kong."
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Wake-up call: Maybe it's time we opened the curtains, as well as the borders https://t.co/Skj34eo8FX via @InQldMedia





Fact sheet: Extension of the JobKeeper Payment

The Government is extending the JobKeeper Payment by a further six months to
March 2021. Support will be targeted to businesses and not-for-profits that continue
to be significantly impacted by the Coronavirus. The payment rate will be reduced and
a lower payment rate will be introduced for those who work fewer hours. Other
eligibility rules remain unchanged.

For more information > https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-07/Fact_sheet-JobKeeper_Payment_extension.pdf
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ABC News --> Government will ease JobKeeper criteria, adding $15 billion to the coronavirus recovery scheme

The new guidelines for the JobKeeper extension will begin on September 28

More businesses and workers will now qualify for the government payments

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has said the Victorian lockdowns have forced the additional $15 billion spend
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