The Federal government has just announced a new $130 billion dollar rescue package over the next six months to support the jobs and livelihoods of over six million Australians.
Employees will be given up to $1500 a fortnight as a “job keeper” payment, funded by the government, but payment will be made through employers, with the plan to try and keep employees working in businesses that are currently unviable due to COVID-19.
The PM said “Now is the time to dig deep. We are living in unprecedented times. With the twin battles that we face and that we fight against a virus and against the economic ruin that it can threaten. This calls for unprecedented action. Governments making decisions like they never have before.” Mr Morrison said.
“Today I announce that we are committing $130 billion over the next six months to support the jobs and livelihoods of what we anticipate will be 6 million Australians who will need that lifeline in the months ahead,
“We have already boosted the JobSeeker payment for those who have lost their jobs. Today we are introducing a $1,500-a-fortnight JobKeeper payment, to keep Australians in jobs even when the work dries up. We will pay employers to keep paying their employees, and make sure they do.”
The Prime Minster and the Treasurer announced that the new JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme will give businesses up to $1,500 per fortnight per employee to keep people working.
They also announced changes to the income test for people on the Jobseeker payment, meaning their partners could earn almost $80,000 a year before they were ineligible for the payment.
Small businesses who had employees on the books as of March 1 will be able to apply through the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) for the payments through the ATO website.
Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg also announced small business funding “We are providing cash payments of up to $100,000 to small-medium sized enterprises.” he said
“Our plan will see our businesses large and small right across our entire economy share the load with our welfare system to deliver these important income supports.”
In other news:
Queensland has recorded its second coronavirus fatality over the weekend, with a 75-year-old woman dying at Caboolture Hospital.
The woman was a passenger on the Ruby Princess cruise ship.
Health Minister Steven Miles said there were 33 more cases in Queensland, taking the overall number to 689 with seven patients currently in intensive care and five requiring ventilation.
“Eighty-one per cent of all of our cases were people who acquired the disease overseas, and a further 15 per cent were direct contacts of those travellers from overseas,” he said.
“And so that explains the reducing numbers that we are currently seeing, as the number of returning travellers from overseas decreases.”
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is now hinting at even tighter border controls from the end of this week.