NSW small business owners are waiting on the details of a JobKeeper-style support package aimed at keeping them afloat with no end in sight for Sydney’s lockdown.
The federal and state governments will on Tuesday unveil details of the aid to include JobKeeper-style payments to cover costs and wages as long as no worker is sacked.
Disaster payments are also expected to rise from the current cap of $500 a week for people in nationally recognised hotspot areas and who cannot work.
NSW reported 112 new COVID-19 cases on Monday and 89 on Tuesday.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the lockdown of Sydney and its surroundings was unlikely to end on Friday, July 16.
There were 63 patients in hospital. Of those, 14 were under the age of 35 and 18 were in intensive care.
Social services and union groups demanded more support for residents locked down across greater Sydney, the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour areas.
The Australian Council of Social Service wanted a top-up and an expansion of the federal disaster payment scheme.
Currently, people can claim up to $500 a week if they are in a nationally recognised hotspot for more than seven days and cannot work.
For people who would usually work fewer than 20 hours a week, the disaster payment drops to $325.
Those already receiving income support are excluded.
“We need to urgently deliver an income floor to ensure everyone affected by the pandemic has an income above the poverty line,” ACOSS chief executive Cassandra Goldie said.
The Australian Council of Trade Unions wanted casuals included in any wage subsidy program.
Secretary Sally McManus said the majority of permanent employees who stood down last year had exhausted their paid leave, while the casually employed remained in limbo with no security or end in sight.
The Australian Federation of Travel Agents has also called for more support for agents Australia-wide as a result of COVID restrictions in Greater Sydney and wider NSW, state and territory borders, and the Trans Tasman bubble, booking opportunities are rapidly closing with significant ramifications for travel agents and businesses.
“The reality is that with borders slamming shut domestically and the Trans Tasman bubble closed more often than it’s open, Australia’s travel agents and businesses are in a worse situation than we were this time last year,” said AFTA chair, Tom Manwaring.
“We need more support, and we need it now for all those businesses impacted by these restrictions,” he said.
For more information, visit www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19
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