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COVID-19 Rescue Package Announced For Individuals and SMEs

The Federal Government has today unveiled a $66 billion economic rescue package in a bid to protect Australia in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Federal Government has today unveiled a $66 billion economic rescue package in a bid to protect Australia in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The package was announced this morning by PM Scott Morrison in an address that also included urging against “all non-essential domestic travel within Australia.”

READ: PM: All Non-Essential Travel Within Australia Must Now Be Cancelled

Taking into account the first round of stimulus measures last week, and those announced by the Reserve Bank this week, the total economic assistance package is worth $189 billion.

Here’s the top line overview.

 

1. Support for small business

The main news is that Not-for-profits and small businesses with a turnover under $50 million will 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 to businesses by the Tax Office (ATO) as a credit on their ATO and PAYG (Pay as you go) activity statements from late April.

The Government says that 690,000 businesses employing 7.8 million people and 30,0000 not-for-profits will be eligible for measures in the package.

The Commonwealth is also offering to guarantee unsecured loans through banks of up to $250,000 for up to three years with no re-payments or fees for the first six months.

For more information and detail on this go to https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus/businesses

 

2. Immediate access to super (including for sole traders and casuals)

superannuation

All Australians will be able to access up to $10,000 from their superannuation this financial year (By June 30 2020) and in 2020-21.

The withdrawals from superannuation will available to people on benefits and to sole traders and casuals who have lost 20 per cent or more in working hours or income as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

People will not pay tax on the money they access, and withdrawals will not affect Centrelink or veterans’ payments.

There will also be a temporary 50-per-cent reduction in superannuation minimum drawdown requirements for account-based pensions in 2019-20 and 2020-21.

For more information and detail on this go to https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus/businesses

 

3. Cash for those on welfare

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A second $750 payment will be automatically paid to an estimated 5 million welfare recipients on July 13. The first $750 payment, announced in the first stimulus package, will be paid on March 31.

The Government will temporarily double the Jobseeker Payment, previously called Newstart, providing people with an additional $550 a fortnight.

The payment will be available to sole traders and causal workers, provided they meet income tests. The Government will waive asset tests and waiting periods to access the Jobseeker Payment.

For more information and detail on this go to https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus/businesses

 

4. Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses

Many otherwise profitable and viable businesses temporarily face financial distress.

One element of that safety net is to lessen the threat of actions that could unnecessarily push them into insolvency and force the winding up of the business.

The Government is temporarily increasing the threshold (From $2000 to $20,000) at which creditors can issue a statutory demand on a company and the time companies have to respond to statutory demands they receive.

The package also includes temporary relief for directors from any personal liability for trading while insolvent, and providing temporary flexibility in the Corporations Act 2001 to provide temporary and targeted relief from provisions of the Act to deal with unforeseen events that arise as a result of the Coronavirus health crisis.

The ATO will tailor solutions for owners or directors of business that are currently struggling due to the Coronavirus, including temporary reduction of payments or deferrals, or withholding enforcement actions including Director Penalty Notices and wind-ups.

For more information and detail on this go to https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus/businesses