2020 Corona Stimulus Package Update

22 July

In our ongoing pursuit to keep you informed and up to date of the current legislative climate, we have taken the time to put together some of the more pertinent legislative changes that are relevant at this time.

We have become aware of the following Government announcements which can be read in conjunction with the previous update we released on the 9th April 2020. The changes described in this update pertain to Job Keeper, Job Seeker and Increased Access to Working Capital for SME’s.

JOB KEEPER ALLOWANCE EXTENDED TO 28TH MARCH 2021

The JobKeeper Payment, previously due to run until 27th September 2020, will now continue to be available to eligible businesses (including the self-employed) and not-for-profits until 28th March 2021.

  • From 28th September 2020 the payment rate will be $1,200 per fortnight for eligible employees and business participants working in a business for 20 hours or more on average per week reducing to $1,000 from 4th January 2021 to 28th March 2021.
  • For those eligible employees and business participants working in a business less than 20 hours on average a week the payment rate from 28th September 2020 will be $750 per week reducing to $650 per week from 4th January 2021 to 28th March 2021.

To continue to be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment under the extension, businesses and not-for-profits will need to demonstrate the same decline in turnover measure already introduced however based on the following requirement:

  • For payments relating to the period from 28th September 2020 to 3rd January 2021 demonstrate that their actual GST turnover (rather than projected GST turnover) has significantly fallen in the June (April, May & June) and the September quarter 2020 (July August September) relative to comparable periods (generally corresponding quarters in 2019).
  • For payments relating to the period from 4th January 2021 to 28th March 2021 again demonstrate that actual GST turnover has significantly fallen in the June, September and December 2020 quarters relative to comparable periods (generally corresponding quarters in 2019).

CLICK HERE for additional detail

ACCESSIBILITY TO INCOME SUPPORT EXTENDED

The government is extending the temporary Coronavirus Supplement from 25th September to 31st December 2020.

The Supplement will continue to be $550 per fortnight for payments up to and including the reporting period ending 24th September 2020.

From 25th September to 31st December 2020 the supplement amount will be $250 per fortnight.

Existing and new recipients of eligible payments will continue to be paid the Supplement.

There will be no change to the income support payment recipients eligible to receive the Supplement.

CLICK HERE for additional detail

EASING OF INCOME TEST FOR JOBSEEKER PAYMENT AND YOUTH ALLOWANCE

From 25th September to 31st December 2020 recipients of the JobSeeker Payment and Youth Allowance can earn up to $300 per fortnight and still receive the maximum payment rate of JobSeeker Payment or Youth Allowance.

The previous JobSeeker Payment and Youth Allowance income tests will also be replaced with a single income test reducing the payment received by 60 cents for every dollar of income earned above $300 per fortnight.

Principal carer parents will continue to be assessed on a lower income tape rate of 40 cents in the dollar and there is no change to the threshold in income that they can earned before their payment is reduced.

CLICK HERE for additional detail

ACCESS TO PAYMENTS

From 25th September 2020 access to income support payments will change through:

Means Testing which will be reinstated in the form of asset testing and the Liquid Assets Waiting Period for all payments.

The Partner Income cut-out increasing to $3,086.11 per fortnight for individuals with no personal income as a result of changes to income testing for JobSeeker payment. The taper rate will also increase from 25 cents to 27 cents.

Expanded Criteria with JobKeeper Payment and Youth Allowance criteria continuing to provide payment access for permanent employees who lose employment, and sole traders, self-employed, casual and contract workers meeting income/assets tests until 31st December 2020.

Reduced Waiting Times with the Ordinary Waiting Period, Newly Arrived Resident’s Waiting Period and Seasonal Work Preclusion Period being waived until 31st December 2020.

CLICK HERE for additional detail

REINTRODUCTION OF JOB-SEEKING REQUIREMENTS

The gradual reintroduction of mutual obligation requirements on unemployment payment recipients recommenced on 9th June 2020. An employment service provider will take into consideration a jobseeker’s capacity to comply with requirements and the state of the local labour market when determining their mutual obligation requirements.

Details of the mutual obligation requirements can be found in the link provided below.

CLICK HERE for additional detail

INCREASED ACCESS TO WORKING CAPITAL FOR SMES FROM 1ST OCTOBER 2020

Further to the previous government measure providing unsecured loans to be used for working capital for SMEs with turnover of up to $50 million the government have announced that from 1st October 2020, eligible lenders will be able to offer loans on the same terms as the current scheme with the following enhancements:

  • Loans can be used for a broader range of business purposes including to support investment in a period of economic recovery.
  • The maximum loan per borrow will increase to $1 million.
  • Loan term extended from three to five years and the initial six-month repayment holiday will be at the lender’s discretion.
  • Loan can be either unsecured or secured (excluding commercial or residential property)

CLICK HERE for additional detail

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