Scott Morrison has today unveiled the government's second economic rescue package to deal with the escalating crisis.
The packaging, totalling $66.1 billion over the remainder of this financial year and next, is designed to pump money to small and medium businesses and protect those who lose their jobs. It consists of the following measures:
- Newstart recipients will receive "a new, time-limited Coronavirus supplement to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight" for the next six months. Eligibility for Newstart, under its various new names, will also be expanded to make access easier.
- All welfare recipients except Newstart recipients will receive a further $750 payment on top of the previous $750 handout, in July.
- The Newstart measure is expected to cost $14.1 billion over the forward estimates period while the welfare recipient handouts will cost another $4 billion.
- Individuals in financial stress will be able to apply online to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21, tax free. Cost: $1.2 billion
- Businesses with turnover of below $50 million will be able to access funding based on the PAYG payments they withhold of up to $50,000 this financial year, and $50,000 next financial year (there will also be a floor payment of $20,000 for all businesses). The payments will be made in late April and July. Cost: $32 billion (including $7 billion from the first package).
- The government will also guarantee 50% of new loans to small and medium enterprises of up to $250,000, making it easier for small and struggling businesses to access funding made available by the Reserve Bank's massive $90 billion injection of funding for business investment last Thursday. The government will guarantee up to $20 billion.
- Bankruptcy law thresholds will also be increased to make it temporarily more difficult for creditors to initiate action against firms.