The coronavirus pandemic is devastating in many different ways, one of which is the economic impacts. The pandemic affected economies all around the world and nobody is left unharmed. The ones who are most vulnerable are regular workers who are less likely to have extensive emergency funds saved for a situation like this.
Luckily, the Australian Government has taken quick action with an economic response to the crisis geared to lessen this burden for everyday people. Through multiple initiatives, each responding to a new aspect of the crisis, many jobs and businesses will receive some financial support. In addition, there is a focus on supporting the flow of credit to keep banks functional and working to help their customers.
However, these new initiatives aren’t always clear in how they help. For those currently suffering through the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, taking a close look at Australia’s economic response to COVID-19 is a must. In this guide, we’ll break down the specific ways the Government is working to protect the economy both during and after the pandemic.
Australia’s Support for Individuals and Families
The part of the economic relief plan that most people are interested in has to do with the support for individuals and families. These are the ones who feel the biggest effects of the economic slowdown. Many people from all backgrounds are currently experiencing a loss or decrease in employment in the form of being stood down or a reduction in hours.
Throughout these weeks of the pandemic, the economic response of the Government has shifted to how to best help the vulnerable. Mainly, they will be supported through both Centrelink and income subsidies. There is also temporary access to superannuation funds for those who need it. Australia’s economic response to COVID-19 for individuals and families includes:
- JobSeeker – The revised Newstart Allowance through Centrelink was the system for unemployment assistance used in the past, and it’s being called upon to offer even more aid during the coronavirus. Individuals will receive an additional Coronavirus supplement for a limited time at a rate of $550 per fortnight.
- JobKeeper – Many employers are eligible for an income stipend to help pay their eligible employees during this time. This is a $1,500 payment each fortnight for businesses who claim it.
- Veteran and Social Security Support – Those who receive support as veterans or through social security will get two separate $750 payments.
- Superannuation Early Release – Any affected person can access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019-20 financial year and another $10,000 in the 2020-21 financial year without any tax on the money released.
The most important thing to note is that access to these payments has expanded. If you didn’t previously qualify for the JobSeeker payment, for instance, you likely will now. Coverage expanded to include those who are self-employed, contractors, or in other unique positions that didn’t typically include coverage for these benefits.
When in doubt, check with the Centrelink website to see what’s available. In addition, a financial expert can lead you towards the best programs for your unique situation. Keep a close eye on any news and announcements over the next few weeks. As the outlook changes, so do the financial assistance options.
Australia’s Economic Response for Businesses
As you might expect, many businesses are affected by the coronavirus as well. Most non-essential places were closed. Restaurants, bars, cafes, and more are limiting staff. Some businesses might have needed to lay off employees or they might have closed indefinitely.
One of the biggest challenges many business owners had was how to continue paying their employees even during a shutdown. If the business isn’t bringing money in, how could it continue to afford wages? The following are incentives by the Government to address these problems for the sake of the entire economy.
- JobKeeper – As mentioned above, the Government is offering a wage subsidy to help businesses continue paying their employees for a maximum of six months.
- Cash Flow – The Government also is providing up to $100,000 to eligible small and medium businesses to continue employing people and improve cash flow.
- Temporary Creditor Threshold – The limit at which creditors can issue a statutory demand on a business has been increased temporarily to keep companies from going under.
These initiatives and more are one of the many ways Australia’s responding to COVID-19 during this crisis. The government is taking big steps to close any gaps in income and expenses.
Do You Need Financial Help During COVID-19?
If you’re worried about your own financial situation despite these responses above, you’re not alone. Even with income assistance and temporary relief, there are still a lot of challenges that come along with job loss or an economic shutdown.
If you’re not sure what steps to take next, act now. Our team of experts is here to assist you no matter your situation or Australia’s economic response to the virus outbreak. Whether you’re worried about your debt or you’re trying to find the right assistance program, let us guide you through this process. Contact Debt Busters today on 1300 368 322 to get started.