The COVID-19 pandemic continues to seriously impact individuals, businesses and communities across Australia. To support the economic recovery, the Government is extending and further tailoring temporary economic measures to support sectors, regions and communities that will continue to face the biggest challenges.
The rate of JobKeeper is currently $1,500 (gross) per fortnight until 27 September 2020 for all eligible employees. After this time, tiered rates will be introduced as follows:
- From 28 September 2020 – 3 January 2021:
- $1,200 per fortnight for those working 20 hours or more per week (on average)
- $750 per fortnight for those working less than 20 hours per week.
- From 4 January to 28 March 2021:
- $1,000 per fortnight for those working 20 hours or more per week (on average)
- $650 per fortnight for those working less than 20 hours per week.
The assessment of hours is based on the four weeks prior to 1 March 2020. Businesses will have to reapply for JobKeeper at the end of September and again in January proving their turnover is still down more than 30 per cent (for small businesses) and more than 50 per cent (for businesses with a turnover of more than $1billion).
On Thursday 6th August, the Federal Government announced that to be eligible for JobKeeper 2.0 after the initial scheme ends in September, businesses will only need to show a 30% or more drop in turnover for the September quarter (NOT June as well as originally announced). This should ensure Victorian businesses impacted by Stage 4 will all be eligible for the extended payments.
Before COVID-19, JobSeeker, formerly known as Newstart, paid job seekers $560 a fortnight. This was increased to $1,100 with a $550 supplement payment that was due to end in September.
- The payments will be reduced from $1,100 to $815 a fortnight from September
- The Coronavirus Supplement of $550 per fortnight is available until 24 September 2020
- Beyond this date, the Coronavirus Supplement will be available at $250 per fortnight until 31 December 2020
Other eligibility criteria must be met, with some income and asset testing adjustment as part of this.
Early access to Super
Those affected by Covid-19 can access up to $10,000 of their superannuation early. Eligible individuals can apply online via myGov to access superannuation before 31 December 2020.
For more information on the latest updates in the Australian Government response to COVID-19 visit www.treasury.gov.au
From 6pm on Sunday 2 August, Melbourne moved to Stage 4 restrictions and regional Victoria moved to Stage 3 restrictions.
To support the many businesses impacted by these restrictions, one-off grants will be made available to eligible businesses under the Business Support Fund-Expansion program:
- $10,000 for employing businesses in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire in recognition of spending longer under restrictions
- $5,000 for employing businesses in regional local government areas (except Mitchell Shire)
This program is in addition to the first round of the Business Support Fund, which closed on 1 June 2020. Applications for this program have been extended until 14 September 2020.
- JobTrainer skills package: The Australian Government has announced a $2 billion JobTrainer skills package, to reform the Vocational Education and Training sector and keep apprentices in jobs
- Victorian Government's Business Support Package: The Victorian Government has announced a $534 million Business Support Package that includes cash grants for struggling businesses, mental health support for business owners, relief for tourism operators who can no longer welcome Melbourne-based visitors for holidays and tailored and targeted advice for businesses to adapt, stay afloat and then bounce back on the other side
For more information, visit www.business.vic.gov.au
Queensland is on the road to economic recovery and has rolled out stage 1 of its recovery strategy which includes:
- $200 million Works for Queensland COVID Recovery Package—to support local jobs and Local Governments with funding for building productive infrastructure
- $100 million Small Business Adaption Grants Program —to help sustain small businesses so they can succeed post-COVID-19
For more information, visit www.covid19.qld.gov.au
- Business groups with annual Australian wages of up to $4 million will receive a six month payroll tax waiver, for the period of April to September 2020
- A once-off rental grant of up to $1,000 is available for residential landlords who reduce the rent of a tenant experiencing rental hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic
Find out more, here: www.treasury.sa.gov.au
Since commencing its start of Stage 3 Roadmap to a New Normal on 1 June 2020, the NT government has:
- Invested $53 million to unlock infrastructure jobs in the NT, to help the economy recover from Covid
- Approved over $10 million in Immediate Work Grants and Business Improvement Scheme works across the NT as part of the Jobs Rescue and Recovery Plan
Find out more: https://business.nt.gov.au
New South Wales
- Small businesses in industries highly impacted by COVID-19 are eligible to apply for a grant of up to $3000 to safely re-launch operations
- All businesses liable for payroll tax will benefit from a reduction in the payroll tax threshold from $900,000 to $1 million in 2020/21
For more information, visit: www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19
Australian Capital Territory
Canberra is currently in Phase 2 of establishing the foundation for recovery from Covid-19. As part of this phase, the ACT government has provided practical and meaningful support by investing:
- $126 million for the state health system to combat COVID-19 including the new emergency centre
- $35 million for fast track community infrastructure projects and upgrades, including making community facilities more accessible, planting trees, refreshing playgrounds and improving public spaces
- $28 million in the Jobs for Canberrans fund
Read more: www.covid19.act.gov.au
- $14.4 million package to support tourism industry and jobs
- $114 million to support small and medium businesses
- $100 million for land tax relief grants for commercial landlords. Landlords will receive grants equal to 25 per cent of their 2019-20 land tax bill for the property in which an eligible tenant is provided relief
Find out more at www.wa.gov.au
The government of Tasmania announced a $20 million COVID-19 Small Business Sustainability and Recovery Assistance Package which includes:
- $15 million COVID-19 Small Business Sustainability and Recovery Grant Program which will provide a limited number of grants of $5 000 to assist small businesses that have been and/ or continue to be significantly impacted by the pandemic
Find out more at www.coronavirus.tas.gov.au
For regular updates on government support packages visit the COVID-19 update page.
General advice disclaimer: This article has been prepared by FMD Financial and is intended to be a general overview of the subject matter. The information in this article is not intended to be comprehensive and should not be relied upon as such. In preparing this article we have not taken into account the individual objectives or circumstances of any person. Legal, financial and other professional advice should be sought prior to applying the information contained on this article to particular circumstances. FMD Financial, its officers and employees will not be liable for any loss or damage sustained by any person acting in reliance on the information contained on this article. FMD Group Pty Ltd ABN 99 103 115 591 trading as FMD Financial is a Corporate Authorised Representative of FMD Advisory Services Pty Ltd AFSL 232977. The FMD advisers are Authorised Representatives of FMD Advisory Services Pty Ltd AFSL 232977.