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Payments to job seekers doubled, help for small businesses in $66b plan

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

The Morrison government has announced a series of measures to help casual workers, sole traders, retirees and those on income support as part of its second $66 billion stimulus package in the face of the coronavirus.

The Morrison government has announced a series of measures to help casual workers, sole traders, retirees and those on income support as part of its second $66 billion stimulus package in the face of the coronavirus.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said since announcing the first $17.6 billion package 10 days ago the global and domestic economic environment has deteriorated.

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"We now expect the economic shock to be deeper, wider and longer," Mr Frydenberg told reporters in Canberra today.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison Treasurer addresses the media during a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra today.

The new measures include a new, time-limited coronavirus supplement to paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight to both existing and new recipients of the JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance jobseeker, Parenting Payment, Farm Household Allowance and Special Benefit.

This supplement will be paid for the next six months at a cost of $14.1 billion.

In addition to the $750 stimulus payment announced on March 12, the government will provide a further $750 payment to social security and veteran income support recipients and eligible concession card holders.

The government is also allowing individuals in financial stress as a result of COVID-19 to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in the 2019/20 financial year and a further $10,000 in 2020/21.

"These withdrawals will be tax-free and available to those who are eligible for the coronavirus supplement as well as sole traders who have seen their hours work, or income fall, 20 per cent or more as a result of the coronavirus," Mr Frydenberg said.

JobSeeker allowance to be doubled

Australians receiving the JobSeeker payments, formerly known as Newstart, will have their payments doubled as part of the Federal Government's second stimulus package.

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Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told reporters a temporary coronavirus supplement would be introduced, while asset tests and waiting periods would be waived to allow Australians to get financial support quicker."

The coronavirus supplement will provide an additional $550 a fortnight on top of the existing JobSeeker or Newstart payment and will be available for sole traders and casual workers who meet the income test," Mr Frydenberg said.

"This means anyone eligible for the maximum JobSeeker payment will now receive more than $1100 a fortnight, effectively doubling the JobSeeker allowance.

"The government will also be doubling the $750 payment to people on income support announced with its first stimulus package for those not eligible for the coronavirus supplement, he said.

This includes those receiving the Age Pension, the Careers Allowance, Family Tax Benefit and the Commonwealth Seniors Healthcare - in total 5.2 million Australians.

Sole traders to be allowed to access super early

Sole traders who have suffered business losses of 20 per cent or more as a result of the coronavirus will soon be allowed to access their superannuation early.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said sole traders will be able to apply for access to the initiative online.It will also be extended to casual employees and carries a cap of $10,000 per financial year.

It's estimated as much as $27 billion worth of superannuation will go back to affected workers early as a result of COVID-19.

More to come.

Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/coronavirus-ecomoic-stimulus-what-is-in-it/c320259b-0e1c-4df2-b06a-0b6fb0a720a1

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