Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Federal and state government announce new stimulus packages

March 26, 2020 BY

THE federal government has announced a second stimulus package in response to the coronavirus pandemic that is more than three times the size of the first.

The $66 billion package, revealed by Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Sunday night, includes support for households including casuals, sole-traders, retirees and those on income support, assistance for businesses to keep people in a job, and regulatory protection and financial support for businesses to stay in business.

The measures include:

  • Temporarily expanding eligibility to income support payments and establishing a new, time-limited coronavirus supplement of $550 per fortnight for the next six months, to both existing and new recipients of the JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance for job seekers, Parenting Payment, Farm Household Allowance and Special Benefit
  • In addition to the $750 stimulus payment announced on March 12, 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
  • Individuals in financial stress as a result of the coronavirus can get access to up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21, and
  • 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.

Sunday’s stimulus package follows $17.6 billion in the first economic stimulus package as well as $90 billion from the RBA and $15 billion from the federal government to deliver easier access to finance.

On Saturday, the state government rolled out its own $1.7 billion “economic survival and jobs” package, which includes full payroll tax refunds for the 2019-20 financial year to small and medium-sized businesses with payroll of less than $3 million.

The Victorian package also includes a $500 million Business Support Fund to support the most affected sectors, including hospitality, tourism, accommodation, arts and entertainment, and retail; and a $500 million Working for Victoria Fund in consultation with the Victorian Council of Social Services and Victorian Trades Hall Council, to help workers who have lost their jobs find new opportunities.