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Australian Government announces enhanced $66 billion Coronavirus stimulus package

Australian Government announces enhanced $66 billion Coronavirus stimulus package
March 23, 2020

The Australian Government has announced a further $66 billion economic stimulus package as the closing down of ‘non-essential’ services and other measures to prevent the spread of Coronavirus impact the economy.

The National Cabinet, which brings together Prime Minister Scott Morrison, premiers and chief ministers, met last night to find a way to force Australians to adhere to social distancing, following the temporary closure of Bondi Beach after people failed to adhere to Government spacing requirements on Friday.

It also backed a range of measure that will see small businesses receive cash payments up to $100,000 and some welfare recipients able to receive another $750.

Additional stimulus measures announced:

• Temporarily doubling the Jobseeker Payment, previously called Newstart
• Sole traders will be able to apply for the Jobseeker allowance if they earn less than $1000 per fortnight due to any loss of business 
• Allowing people to access $10,000 from their superannuation in 2019/20 and 2020/21
• Guaranteeing unsecured small business loans up to $250,000
• Reducing deeming rates by a further 0.25%

Commenting on the need for the further stimulus, Prime Minister Morrison stated "we cannot prevent all the many hardships, many sacrifices that we will face in the months ahead.

"And while these hardships and sacrifices may break our hearts on occasion, we must not let them break our spirit and we must not let them break our resolves as Australians."

Yesterday’s announcement builds on the measures included in the first $17.6 billion economic stimulus package announced more earlier this month.

Key to the stimulus is the move for not-for-profits and small businesses with a turnover under $50 million to receive a tax-free cash payment of up to $100,000, with a minimum payment of $20,000 for eligible companies.

The payments will be delivered by the Tax Office as a credit on activity statements from late April.

The Government expects 690,000 businesses employing 7.8 million people and 30,000 not-for-profits will be eligible for measures in the stimulus package.

The Commonwealth is also offering to guarantee unsecured loans of up to $250,000 for up to three years.

From today, the Federal Government has opened a business hotline designed to give more support to small and medium businesses impacted by the current crisis.

The Contact Centre operate from 7am to 11am and can be reached on 13 28 46 or at business.gov.au

Lower image shows Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg who yesterday announced the stimulus measures.

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